Finding your dream wedding venue can seem like a near-impossible task. There are quite literally thousands of wedding venues to choose from and trying to narrow down choices can take up so much time. Time that you don’t have! Luckily for you, I’ve put together some tips and tricks on how to find your perfect wedding venue. That way you’re not spending countless hours looking for venues that don’t check all the boxes. If you’re newly engaged and ready to make your life 10x easier, then keep on reading.
First and foremost, determine your budget. Making sure that you have a budget and STICKING TO IT is what will save you a ton of time and stress when figuring out how to find your perfect wedding venue. Keep in mind that sticking to your budget is crucial during wedding planning. I’m going to be frank here… weddings can get expensive! There are a ton of different components that go into wedding planning so money can start piling up. Some wedding venues may charge a bit more based on the amenities that they can include such as catering, coordination, etc. Keep that in mind when you’re looking at wedding venues and what they offer for their guests.
Friendly Tip: Wedding venues will cost a significant amount less during the off-season or designated off-days. This can help a ton if you are set on a certain venue but they are out of your price range.
Vision & Theme
When looking for wedding venues, it’s important that your wedding venue fits your wedding vision and theme. If you have in mind a certain aesthetic that you are wanting for your special day, make sure that your wedding venue emulates that. Looking for a very earthy vibe for your wedding? Look at wedding venues that incorporate a lot of greenery, have gardens on the property, and even offer outdoor ceremonies & receptions. If you are looking for more of a modern elegant look then look at different estates, museums, art galleries, or anything that gives off the type of look that you’re going for.
In the midst of wedding planning, the experience of your wedding day tends to get jumbled up in all of the craziness. You are constantly juggling a million and one things, the last thing you are thinking about is the experience when your wedding day actually arrives! However, the experience that not only you have but your wedding guests as well is so important.
Some questions to ask yourself are:
- Do I have a lot of out-of-town guests coming in for the wedding?
- Is the wedding venue close to any hotels where my guests may be staying?
- Is the wedding venue accessible to all guests (ADA Accessibility)?
How Many Guests Are Attending?
Knowing how many guests (or a ballpark range) of how many guests will be attending your wedding is CRUCIAL. The last thing that you or your wedding guests want is to be stuffed in an overly tight space with Uncle Bob breathing down your neck. Uhm – NO THANKS! Making sure you are aware of the wedding venue’s max guest capacity will save you a lot of time and stress. Before making any final arrangements, make sure you are communicating with the venue about their guest capacity. Tour the space if you have to, in order to make sure that everybody will be able to fit comfortably.
Tip: If your dream wedding venue doesn’t have enough space indoors, check if they offer any additional outdoor seating areas. That way you can have more guest capacity, but have an area where other guests can go outside and take a breather.
What type of amenities does your dream wedding venue include? This can be important stuff here! Remember how I mentioned above that your wedding venue can cost a bit more money because of the amenities? Well I say that because it’s completely true! Planning your wedding can cost a bit of $$$ so if you’re willing to splurge more on your wedding venue who has good amenities, then this might be a good option. Some amenities to look out for include:
- Tables, Chairs and Accessories
- On-site Catering
- Event Coordination
- Setup and Cleanup Services
- Onsite Parking
- Sound & Lighting Equipment
- and more!
While these are just some of the many amenities that wedding venues may offer, it’s a good practice to ask which if any amenities are included in the price.
Indoor & Outdoor Options
One of the biggest fears that anybody has on their wedding day is the weather. Of course, a majority of us want beautiful weather on our wedding day. It seems so much easier that way, doesn’t it? However, we aren’t given the ability to control the weather so what you get is what you get. Ideally, your perfect wedding venue will have indoor AND outdoor options just in case of inclement weather.
What happens if on the day of your wedding it’s raining and your ceremony is set to be outdoors? Having a backup plan is always a good idea in any circumstance, especially on your wedding day. When looking for wedding venues, make sure that you ask about what options they have if the weather becomes an issue. Do they offer tents just in case it rains? Can you move everything to an indoor space? These are some of the important questions you should be asking.
Reviews, Reviews, Reviews
When you’re looking to go to a new restaurant, what do you do? You read the reviews! So treat your wedding venue the same way and make sure you check out multiple reviews before booking. Reviews can tell you other couples’ experiences working with the wedding venue. They can also get you thinking about things that you never even thought of, which could actually be very important to you. Check reviews on multiple different websites like Google, The Knot, Wedding Wire, etc, and make sure to look at both the negative and positive reviews.
How private do you want your wedding venue to be? Will there be any other weddings held on the same day as yours? These are all things to keep in mind when wondering how to find your perfect wedding venue. If you already know that you are wanting your wedding to be the only one at that venue, that can narrow down a ton of options for you. Make sure that you are comfortable with the level of privacy that the wedding venue offers and determining your own boundaries for your wedding day.
Curfews & Noise Ordinances
You thought curfews ended when you were a teenager? WRONG! Your wedding venue can easily enforce curfews just like when you were younger. Okay… I may be embellishing a little bit but there is some truth there! Some wedding venues will have noise ordinances and restrictions when it comes to how late the reception can go on and how late you can play music. If you’re looking to dance the night away with your wedding guests, make sure you ask your wedding venue if they have any noise ordinances or restrictions when it comes to ending your wedding day
Trust Your Gut
This may be corny, but it is absolutely true. Choosing your dream wedding venue can be difficult and you can easily get distracted from outside opinions. You turn to those who love and support you and sometimes everything can get twisted and stray from your wedding day vision. Make sure that no matter where you choose to have your wedding, you are doing it for yourself and nobody else. Your wedding day is all about you and don’t let anybody make you forget it!