Five Tips for Couples When Choosing Your Wedding Venue

Congratulations, you said “YES!” Now comes the task of planning your dream wedding. One of the most important choices you’ll need to make is selecting the perfect venue. The location sets the tone for the entire day and plays a big part in creating those unforgettable memories. To help you make the right choice, I’ve put together five tips for couples on choosing the perfect wedding venue for them.

1. Start Early and Formulate Your Budget First.

Instinct will urge you to pick your wedding date and then move onto the venue. My suggestion is to pick 2-3 dates, so that if your search leads you to fall in love with a venue and they don’t the “THE date” available, you have options as an alternative. As soon as you set your wedding date, begin the venue search immediately. The most popular venues get booked up eighteen to twenty-four months in advance, so it’s essential to start early to secure your desired date(s). Before you begin adding venues to your list to tour, make sure you and your fiancée formulate a budget and make a list of what is most important to you, i.e. , the venue, photographer, DJ or band, catering, florist, décor, etc. You’ll want to allocate your budget according to the things that are most important to you. You’ll also want to determine what area in which you’d like the wedding to take place, and an approximate number of guests. This doesn’t have to be spot on, but an estimate that with a 20 +/- range will give you the starting point you need in order to choose a venue that fits both your budget and your desired number of guests. Having a clear idea of your priorities will streamline the decision-making process and prevent any unnecessary stress down the line.

2. What’s Your Style?

Most couples have an idea of what they’d like their wedding to look like based on their own unique style and personality. The venue you choose should align with your wedding theme and overall vision. Whether you dream of a historical venue with vintage vibes, a rustic barn wedding, a glamorous ballroom affair, or an intimate beach ceremony, your venue should complement and enhance your chosen style. Visualize how your decorations, flowers, and other elements will fit into the space, and ensure they harmonize beautifully with the venue’s existing features. Creating a Pintrest board with your ideas can be a really great tool in conveying your vision to potential vendors along the way, so pin to your heart’s content and then use your board(s) to help provide a visual representation of the look and feel you’re trying to achieve.

3. Once You Have Your Guest List , Its Time to Narrow Down Your choices,

Knowing your estimated number of guests is vital to finding a venue that accommodates your invitees comfortably. You don’t want your guests to feel cramped in a tiny space or, conversely, have a grand ballroom swallow up a smaller guest list. Alongside capacity, pay attention to the layout of the venue. Is there ample space for the ceremony, reception, and cocktail hour, if applicable? Are there designated areas for the bride and groom to get ready? The flow of the event should be smooth and cohesive, making it easy for your guests to navigate from one part of the celebration to another. These are things that will help you further trim down your “must see” list with a simple phone call or email to the venue.

4. Consider Accessibility and Included Items

Accessibility is an often overlooked but vital factor in choosing a wedding venue. If you will be having guests with mobility issues, elderly grandparents, and the like, assure the venue will be easily navigated by those guests with ramps and/or elevators. Will there be a large number of out of town guests in attendance? If so, consider the distance from major airports, what accommodations are in the surrounding area of venues on your list, transportation availability for guests who chose to imbibe, and other such factors. You’ll also want to ask about parking availability or valet services. What extras are included with the venue? Do they provide tables, chairs, linens, and other essentials? Is there an on-site kitchen for catering? A venue with more amenities included can save you time, money, and the stress of coordinating with multiple vendors, however, there are some venues out there who require you use their preferred catering company or florist, planner or day-of coordinator. Check with the venue about possible minimum food expenditure requires as well as floral minimums. Both can be very costly with imposed minimums and may rock your budget.

5. Visit in Person

Don’t solely rely on online images; make sure to visit the venue in person. Schedule an appointment for a tour, so you can see the space for yourself, ask questions, and get a feel for the ambiance. If you’re looking at an outdoor ceremony or reception space, make sure you inquire with the venue about their rain plan. You don’t want to have your wedding day arrive only to learn that there’s no backup option for bad weather. A personal visit can make all the difference in choosing the perfect venue that resonates with you and your fiancée.

Choosing the right wedding venue is a key part of creating your dream wedding. By starting early, considering your wedding style, evaluating capacity and layout, thinking about accessibility and amenities, and conducting thorough research, you’ll be well on your way to selecting the perfect place to say, “I do.” Remember to trust your instincts and go with the venue that truly speaks to your heart and matches your vision for this special day. Happy wedding planning!


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