I have clients who ask me for wedding venue recommendations all the time. It’s one of those things where I can give beautiful wedding venue names but they may not be what they are looking for. Several things go into picking your wedding venue so I thought I would make a list of things to help you find the perfect place to marry your person.
Choose Your Destination
Okay, so maybe you have a strict area on where you want to get married or maybe you have no idea! Think about these things when choosing your wedding location:
- The distance you and your guests will have to travel (consider travel and stay costs)
- Is the location special to you? Maybe you met your soul mate there. Or is it just so beautiful that you just have to go there?
- Does the location have the scenery you want? Are there gorgeous beaches, blue mountains, or marsh with sunsets?
- How is the weather there? Will it be too cold during March or too hot during July?
Set Your Budget
Your budget is so important. You know how they say don’t try on dresses that are over your budget because then you may love it and can’t get it? That’s similar to when you are venue shopping. So before you start daydreaming about a venue or go on a venue tour please contact them to get pricing! Here are a few things to think of when it comes to your budget:
- Does the venue require you to have catering and bar service through them? If so, your catering and venue budgets will combine. If your budget is on the smaller end than it may be better to find a venue that does not have catering.
- Think about what is included in the venue rental fee. If they don’t have anything included then you will have to have a budget for rentals.
- Does the venue require a buyout? Some venues have accommodations and they require you to buy all the rooms for a minimum of “x” number of nights. This could really affect your budget.
- Will you need transportation? How far away is the venue from where you and your guests are staying? Will you be able to drive there or will you need to purchase a trolley or bus for transportation?
Create Your Guests List
The reason why you want to create your guest list before settling on a venue is that some venues have a max or minimum capacity. You also have venues that have their pricing based on guest count. So you don’t want to choose a venue that only holds 50 people but you have 200 on your guest list. You also don’t want to pay more money for a regular wedding when you may be able to have an intimate wedding price.
Choose Your Aesthetic
If you are eclectic like me then this part might be difficult! You want to pick your wedding style! You know, the overall look you are going for. Are you wanting Old Hollywood, Indie, Rustic, Dreamy, or Southern Preppy? The list goes on and on but you want to have this selected so you know what to search for. If you want Classic and Vintage you may look for a historic home with a beautiful ballroom.
Tour Your Favorite Venues
Once you pick your favorite venues it’s a great idea to go actually tour it. There’s just something different about seeing the place in person. Especially if you have several you are loving and can’t choose. This is great if all your venues are kind of close together because you can make a trip of it. Make sure to ask any questions you may of not asked in your emails as well.
Book Your Venue
Now it’s time to book your venue! I always suggest that this is your first vendor to book so then you can start looking in that area for other vendors. Some vendors actually won’t book you until you already have your venue so make sure to get that set in stone first!