If you close your eyes right now and picture your wedding, you probably see your fiance beaming at you, the ring slipping onto your finger and your loved ones happily gathering together. But where is all this merriment taking place?
After the decision to get married, a location is usually the next big choice that newly engaged couples make. But even though selecting the venue is an early and important decision, that doesn’t mean it’s an easy one! Here is a list of things that you should consider when choosing a venue for your wedding.
Space is a crucial consideration when selecting a wedding venue. Before you begin your search for the perfect venue, it’s a good idea to have an estimate of how many guests you plan to invite. This often means creating a rough draft of your guest list. If your guest list is expansive, many churches and banquet halls may not have the capacity to fit everyone. And if your guest list is small and intimate, you don’t want to be rattling around in a huge space! Knowing a rough number of guests you want to invite will help narrow down your search from the beginning.
To some extent, you’ll be bringing your aesthetic into the venue when your vendors set up for the wedding, but the inherent nature and style of a venue is a foundation that cannot be changed. It’s best to choose a venue that fits with the style and feel that you’re envisioning for your wedding day. For example, a cathedral ceremony and ballroom reception might not be the best fit if you crave a whimsical wedding, and a barn venue will not be a great option if you have your heart set on an elegant, formal affair.
Unless you are working with an unlimited wedding budget, money is another factor to consider. If you have a wedding planner, they will be able to steer you toward venues that are a good fit for your budget initially. Beyond that, make sure you ask a lot of questions as you tour each venue to get a good handle on what’s included and what features will incur additional costs so you can try to compare apples to apples when considering multiple venues.
One thing to pay attention to when touring venues is their cleanliness and general maintenance. Is the landscaping well tended? Are the bathrooms clean? What kind of staffing will there be on your wedding day to keep everything spic and span? The condition of the venue on a touring day will tell you a lot about the management and their standards. Make sure that those standards match with your own.
Depending on the venue, they may offer different packages for events. Look into each venue’s catering packages to see whether they suit your needs. Some locations will provide tables, tablecloths, cake stands and other things that will save on your bill with an outside rental company, while others provide only the space. Neither is right or wrong, but you need to be sure you know what you’re getting before you
book the venue.
Permits & Privacy
If you’re planning to have your wedding outside or in a public place, permits may be required. Do your research and get the necessary documents ahead of time. Another thing to consider is whether other people will have access to the area during your wedding. Holding a wedding in a public place can lead to a lot of onlookers, so consider how important your privacy is to you on your big day!
Trust your gut! The workers and management can tell you a lot about what your future experience might bring. Make sure you feel a connection with the staff and that you trust them — they are going to be the ones who ensure your day runs smoothly. As you tour different venues, take note of whether they are listening to you and whether you will feel comfortable working closely with them throughout the months leading up to your wedding day.
For many couples, their wedding is the only time in their lives that they will ever book an event venue. So, it’s OK if you feel a bit out of your element and experience a steep learning curve! We encourage you to check out online photos of other weddings at the venue. Seeing other people’s weddings can give you inspiration and a better idea of what the space looks like in all its glory.
It’s also a very good idea to check out reviews or talk to other brides about their experiences with the business! And as we mentioned before, a good wedding planner can be a huge help in guiding you toward the venues that will suit your wedding best!