A wedding comes but once in a lifetime—at least that’s what most of us hope for! So it goes without saying that preparing for your big day comes with a lot of challenges. Perhaps one of the biggest hurdles you have to tick off that wedding checklist (unless you’re planning a zoom wedding) is the venue. Read on and follow these tips for choosing your perfect wedding venue!
What is your wedding vision and aesthetic?
Stunning JA wedding dresses can set the tone for the whole night. Similarly, you would want the wedding venue to align with the theme you have in mind for your wedding. Are you going for a classic black-tie event to go with your elegant dress? Then a luxurious hotel ballroom might be your pick.
Going for boho-rustic-chic while you glide in your flowy lace dress? A beautiful barn or a garden would work great. Always dreamed of a beach wedding? I’ll let you guess which venue would best fit that theme. Your venue is capable of setting the whole ambiance and tone of the wedding, so choose wisely.
You should also consider how much additional decor is needed when choosing a wedding venue. Some places need next to nothing in terms of decoration because they’re already naturally beautiful. These include gardens, old churches, and beaches. Some types of places, such as barns and function rooms, are barer and require a lot of sprucing up. But this also means that you have more room for creativity and freedom in the direction of your decor.
What is your budget?
Now that you’ve zeroed in on the feel that you want for your venue, the next thing to consider is the price. A huge chunk of the wedding budget is usually allotted to the venue. Talk with your partner and whoever else is involved in the budgeting about how much you are willing to spend for the venue. When you have a ballpark, you can begin narrowing down your potential venue list.
What comes with the venue?
Closely related to your budget are the packages that are included. Some places include catering, lights and sounds, a DJ, and more! Comparing different packages will help you gauge just how economical a venue is. Also, remember to ask about the possibility of bringing in outside vendors. Does the venue require a fee or corkage? If the answer is no, then lucky you! But if the answer is yes—which is sadly often—then you have to ask yourself if this is something you’re capable and comfortable of doing.
What is your wedding timeline?
Do you have a special wedding date that you must have no matter what? If you answered yes, then you need to plan your wedding early. Most of the best venues are fully booked months and even years prior. Getting a head start can also save you money, as some venues offer discounts on very early reservations. However, if you’re more flexible on the wedding date, then you’ll be able to have a bigger pool of venues to choose from. Pro Tip: weekdays are usually more affordable than weekends!
What about your guests?
A wedding is a celebration of you and your partner’s love, but you can’t forget about your guests! You want them to have a wonderful experience. So what does your guest list look like? How many people are you expecting? Will your venue be able to comfortably fit all of them? Is it in a relatively accessible place to the majority of your guests?
These are just some questions that you should ask before booking your prospective venue. Also, consider if the venue is outdoors, especially if it is in a location that has fickle weather. Ask about their protocol in case of rain. Do they have tents or an indoor option? Keep these things in mind when deciding on your venue.
How do you feel about the place?
Just like how brides have that “the one” feeling about their wedding dress, couples usually have a similar experience once they visit their future venue. Schedule a site visit and explore the place. Get a feel for what your wedding day would be like by walking through the venue. This is also the perfect time to clarify the venue rules.
What little wedding elements have you been dreaming up? A live band, a dance floor, an open bar, a photo booth, sparklers, and fireworks? Check with the venue if the components that you want for your wedding are allowed. By doing a visit, you will also have an easier time mapping out where these elements could go.
What do other brides and grooms say about the place?
Last but not least, read different reviews about the venue! Ask people about their experience having their wedding there. Would they recommend the location? Even after visiting the venue, there are still many details you can overlook. They do say that hindsight is 20/20. Use this to your advantage. You’ll be able to see how they fixed problems that were venue-related—if any. It’ll give you a clearer picture of what to expect if you end up choosing this venue.
Follow all of these tips and get one step closer to fulfilling your catering. Always remember that you and your partner are the most important people in making this decision. Listen to your gut and be true to your wedding vision. It will help you choose the perfect venue. Good luck and happy planning!
Featured Photo by Jeremy Wong Weddings on Unsplash.com