How To Choose A Wedding Venue
So, you’re engaged!! You’ve picked a date!! Want a few tips on “How To Choose A Wedding Venue?” Grab a snack, or a seat, and a drinky-drink or two and lets get down to this wedding planning business stuff.
Before you start looking at venues, you will need to ask yourself a few questions.
- Where do you want to get married?
- How large is your wedding going to be?
- What is your max budget?
- What is the tone you wish to set for your wedding?
Things To Consider
Are you getting married locally or in a fairytale village in a town far far away? Location can affect your guest list. If you want to get married on the Cliffs of Moher, chances are most of the people you invite won’t be able to attend, unless of course, you live in Ireland. So, maybe you don’t need to book that giant castle you’ve had your eye on…If you plan a destination wedding, will there be plenty of accommodations for your guests? Are your guests there for the wedding only? Are they pretty much going on vacay with you and your hunny bunny?
Are you inviting everyone under the sun? Just the bare minimum? Will the venue realistically hold that many people? Or, are there going to be people swinging from the rafters? Remember, you don’t have any obligation to invite that dude that you had a conversation with that one time at Starbucks. No offense to the awesome dude.
A wedding venue is going to be one of the most expensive items in your wedding budget, so you can’t just go with one because it’s gorgeous if it isn’t going to accommodate your crew or your budget. Get the best bang for your buck and make sure that everyone isn’t packed in like a can of sardines and that you have enough left over to buy that wedding dress that you just might need. If you have had your eye on that castle since you were 9 years old, but the cost is going to eat up your entire wedding budget, how are you going to pay for all of the other expenses? Really sit down and think about everything that goes into a wedding and add up the “guesstimated” costs. You might be surprised by how expensive it can be. But you may also be surprised at where you may feel you can do without to avoid added expenses. If you can spend that green on that castle, more power to ya! Go on with your princess self and big dreams!!
Do you dream of an indoor or outdoor wedding? Or both? Is an outdoor ceremony and indoor reception your vision? Are there outdoor sites with pretty views to host a ceremony? What if there is inclement weather? Will you have last minute options? Are there plenty of photo-ops? What season will you be in? If it’s hot, will you want to wear your 50 pound 20 layer tulle and chiffon gown for an outside ceremony? Do they have parking or transportation accommodations? Some venues were built way back when they didn’t have paved parking lots. Some were built especially for today’s Bride. If you choose that castle, will your guests be able to get to and from it with ease?
What They Offer
Are you looking for a venue to host everything- from getting ready to the grand exit, and everything in between? Do you need them to have guest accommodations for all of your traveling crew? Do you want an all-in-one place to cater to your every desire- like decorations, catering, bartending, wedding planning? Can you believe there are places that do all of that?! Or you can totally break your day up into segments! Ceremony here, reception there…the beauty of it all is it’s completely up to you!!
Are you allowed to use your own vendors? Some venues have a list of approved vendors and in order to use someone that isn’t on the list, you have to pay a nominal fee. Do they allow outside food and beverages? Some venues require you to use their staff, which may cost you more moola than you had bargained for in the end or it may save you big time! Ask if they offer a la carte options where you can choose and only pay for what you want or need.
What is the style you envision? Do you want elegant, rustic, beachy, or themed? Formal or casual? It would be kinda hard to pull off a Great Gatsby themed wedding in a barn…just sayin’ When you picture your day, do you see tall candelabras dripping in crystals? Or a cake sitting on slices of rustic wood topped with antlers? Will the venue you are looking at help you achieve your style, or will it play against it? If your venue is already decorated in a way that your theme or style will fit right in, then you may find you actually have to do less decorating which means less money for decor. If you book that castle and it has draperies, ornate mirrors, and long tables already set up, you may not need as many decorations to help you achieve that elegant royal/princess theme you’ve got going on. Throw in a little up-lighting, some flowers and candles and you’re done! Likewise, if you are going for a rustic theme, choosing a barn styled venue will help you easily achieve your style with their rustic woods and antler adorned chandeliers.
Research And Tour
Look around for different venues in and around your location of choice. Narrow down your selection based on max capacity. Google them to read reviews and see images that they have been tagged in. Do you feel like they can accommodate your event size and help you achieve your style? Schedule a tour! Sometimes, seeing something in person is way different than seeing it in real life. Some places may look immaculate in photo but when you get there all you see are the rusty old hand rails or juice stained carpeting. Some places may look tiny in photos but when you get there, you realize there is an extra courtyard space that wasn’t even in the picture! How does the staff make you feel? Are they welcoming and accommodating?
Book Your Venue
So you narrowed it down. You’ve decided to have your ceremony on the Cliffs of Moher, take photos in front of the castle of your dreams, and have your reception at that quaint little pub down the road. Rock on, you little wedding planner, you! Once you have decided on your date and venue, book it. Book it now. Because you never know when that next couple is going to swoop in and try to steal your thunder. Just kidding, they don’t even know you…If you don’t have the funds for the full amount up front, many venues offer payment options with a deposit. Don’t be afraid to ask. This is not their first
rodeo, umm, I mean wedding…and you are not the first person that has asked about payment options.
Now that you’ve chosen your date and are ready to start looking at venues, just remember to ask yourself these questions before stressing over venues. Where do you want to get married? How large is your wedding going to be? What is your max budget? What is the tone you wish to set for your wedding? These questions should help you narrow down your list to a manageable selection. You’ve got this! You, ma’am, are on your way to happily ever after!!
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