Choosing a venue should also be one of the first tasks you knock off your wedding planning to-do list! Here’s what to look for, and what to ask, when picking your place!
What’s Your Budget? You’ll hear this a lot when planning a wedding - and for good reason! Before you start anything, it’s best to sit down with your fiancé and figure out just how much you can allocate to each piece of your wedding day. Many venues come with all sorts of add-ons and extra fees, so it’s best to know exactly what you can spend and what sort of packages each venue you’re looking at offers before you sign that dotted line. Depending on the place, they may provide in-house catering, planning and day-of coordination, and even DJs, among other things; and they may not allow you to bring in your own. Be sure to ask before you make a decision.
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Your Guestlist: How many people are you inviting? Are any of them elderly or handicapped? These are questions you’ll want to ask yourself when choosing a venue for your wedding. If you’re religious, is it important for you for the ceremony need to take place in a house of worship, or is a non-traditional locale alright? If the ceremony space isn’t close to the reception site, is transport available for those who are elderly or handicapped? How large is the space? Can it accommodate everyone you want to join you on your special day? Having a wedding is as much about hosting your guests as it is about saying your vows, and you’ll want to take all these questions into consideration when picking your venue!
Don’t feel overwhelmed though - A good venue coordinator will help you take care of your guests and keep your vision in mind so you and your loved ones all have the day you’ve dreamed of!
If you need help organizing your guest list - check out this awesome tracker I created after my wedding planning experience:
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Do You Have a Date in Mind? How flexible are you on the exact date of your wedding? Is there an anniversary that holds special significance for you and your fiancé? Or, are your more tied to a month or season, rather than a specific day? Venues can book up fast, some even a year or more in advance, so it’s important to know the answer to this question when you start.
Sure, rain may be good luck on your wedding day, but that doesn’t mean you want to say your vows outside in a monsoon! Depending on where you live, weather may play a huge factor in your wedding day and you want to make sure you pick a venue that has an indoor option for those rainy or snowy days!
Privacy: You’ve always loved the idea of a beach wedding, but do you love the idea of strangers walking through your ceremony? Some venues, especially outdoor ones, aren’t
able to guarantee complete privacy. If your heart’s set on that gorgeous view, but you don’t want everyone and their uncle photo-bombing your ceremony, you may be able to compromise with an indoor space that has perfect picture windows. Shop around, and if you need help…
Ask Your Vendors! Or check out wedding sites like The Knot, Wedding Wire, or Here Comes the Guide. Good vendors have worked a lot of their local venues and are more than happy to help you find the right place to say “I do.” They’ll be especially important if you’re planning a destination wedding, as you may not be able to really tour your venue until a few days before your wedding! If you haven’t found vendors yet, or just like to dig on your own, many wedding sites have resources available to help you find the perfect place.
Stay Organized: However you do it best! Make a spreadsheet, or index cards, pinterest or a vision board...whatever method works for you, keep your venue ideas organized in a so you can compare them and make the best decision for your big day. Take your time. You don’t need to make any decision immediately upon seeing the place. Your perfect venue, just like your perfect partner, exists and is waiting for you!
And finally, Trust Your Gut! Did you feel flustered or rushed during your tour? Was the venue coordinator pushing you to make a decision TODAY? Something you can’t put a finger on just tugging at the back of your mind? The days leading up to your wedding will be stressful enough as it is, you don’t need the added worries from a dodgy venue. Find a place you and your fiancé both feel comfortable and happy in. You’re there to celebrate, after all!
The wedding planning process can be stressful - but if you keep these tips in mind, finding a venue shouldn’t have to be!
Here is a list to help get you started on questions to ask during your tour! Download and print to take with you!