Finding the perfect wedding venue isn't easy, ask my clients. There are so many possibilities to choose from, whether you're looking for a modern loft, a barn, or an elegant ballroom. So here is what I feel are the essential aspects of choosing that special place where you will say your “I dos!”
Talk to Your Wedding Planner First
Before you start your venue search, talk to your wedding planner. Planners are familiar with the venues capabilities, layout, venue policies and procedures, and the time and items needed to transform the room.
Choose a Venue That Aligns With Your Wedding Vision
You want your wedding day to have an overall feel, right? If you want a relaxed ceremony with just a few close friends, you probably won’t choose a modern venue. And on the other hand, if you’re looking for an elegant wedding day, a beach wedding isn’t ideal. Use your vision as a starting point to narrow down the list of venues.
Once you’ve narrowed down the vision for your wedding, the next step is to find a wedding venue that fits your style. Here are a few ideas that you may consider.
Nothing is more beautiful than a wedding that speaks to the bride and groom’s relationship and style. Traditional wedding venues can be historic homes or mansions that have an innate sense of nostalgia and a vintage vibe. These charming venues offer times and classic feel and usually feature both indoor and outdoor spaces for weddings, and offer unique opportunities for portraits.
Clean and minimalistic are words that describe a modern wedding ceremony. Couples who want to express their creativity might enjoy planning an industrial-chic wedding at a loft wedding venue or modern space. These venues usually have an open floor plan and often referred to as a blank slate and provides you the opportunity to bring your wedding vision to life.
If you are thinking of a rustic wedding, the farm or barn venue is exactly what you’re looking for. These venues offer rustic charm and an innately casual feel, plus incredible, scenic backdrops for photos.
Consider Guest Experience
When you are choosing a wedding venue, your guest list will play a significant role in where you ultimately wed. The biggest factor your guests will play is how many people the venue space can accommodate. When you have your guest list narrowed down to the most important people, have this number ready when you make your venue tour plan. By calling ahead and finding out how many people the venue can accommodate, you’ll know right away whether or not a venue will work. You want to ensure the comfortability of your guest.
Stay On Budget
It's more than just how much renting the space will cost since venues with in-house catering will charge a per plate rate. Decor and floral design will also drive the cost up, so know how much your total budget is, as well as approximately what your design will cost to execute. If adding that on top of the cost of using the space blows your budget out of the water, you'll either need to scale back your design or look at more affordable venues. Break down your overall budget by category, prioritizing more funds for vendors that are a higher priority. If you select your venue first, and then realize it's more than you should have allocated, it's an uphill battle to stay within your budget when you have other vendors to hire. Not sure how prices break down in your area? Consulting with a planner (me!) gets you information that's more specific than the national averages often found online.
Other Things to Consider
Aside from choosing a venue that suits your wedding vision, several things can make a difference when choosing the perfect location for your wedding.
Make sure your venue has ample lighting. You want your photographer able to capture all the crucial moments. If there isn’t enough lighting, ask the venue if they provide it or if you need to rent equipment.
Many venues offer a coordinator to assist with your wedding. This can help you understand the policies and procedures of your venue, especially if someone needs something quickly or to answer vendor questions. Be mindful that a venue coordinator is not your wedding planner.
Inquire if the venue has preferred vendors or if you can use vendors of your choice. If you must use preferred vendors, ask if there is a discount. Similarly, ask if there is a fee for choosing vendors outside the venue’s preferred vendors list. If there is a particular vendor you have your eye on, you will want to know if you can acquire their services for your wedding at the venue you choose.
If your venue offers in-house catering, inquire about food and beverage minimum, be sure to include the tax and gratuity, ask if you can have a tasting before you choose the menu.
Stay True to Yourselves
It’s important to ask yourself what feels authentic to you, as a couple, and choose a space and design that’s representative of who you are. Remember that a venue may look gorgeous with different design elements; however, it may not fit your vision.
If you are looking for a wedding planner to help bring your wedding vision into reality, contact us today and let's collaborate.