Quick Guide to Choosing a Wedding Venue
This quick guide is specifically for busy couples grappling with one of the most important steps of wedding planning: choosing a wedding venue.
Choosing a Wedding Venue
Wedding planning takes a great deal of time, and time is not always easy to find. This quick guide is specifically for busy couples grappling with one of the most important steps of wedding planning: choosing a wedding venue.
A wedding venue is the site of many happy memories. For some couples, a wedding venue is the site of every moment, from the pre-ceremony photos to the last moment of the wedding reception. A magnificent wedding venue brings more to the wedding day than just beauty; the right wedding venue has adequate space and rooms and provides convenience for the wedding party and guests.
With all that in mind, the search for the right wedding venue doesn’t have to be an extensive year-long search. Use this quick guide to find the “one” expediently and efficiently.
Decide What is Important to You
Before searching online or asking for recommendations, every couple should have a conversation about their expectations for a wedding venue. Decide what criteria is most important in the venue search (use this wedding venue checklist), what style venue fits the desired wedding atmosphere (i.e. elegant, rustic, historic, etc.), and set a wedding budget for the venue (this Real Simple worksheet can be useful). Discuss any preferred vendors, such as a caterer or photographer. Consider the needs of guests; this can add items to the list, such as handicap access or convenient parking.
Professional tip: If there is a preferred vendor, ask the venue if the vendor is allowed into the venue. Some venues require couples to use certain vendors.
Make a List of Possible Wedding Venues
The search for a wedding venue is different for every couple. The list of possible venues can come from an online search, from an online map of nearby wedding venues, or from recommendations from family and friends. Check social media and reviews to find out what other couples’ experiences have been with the venue.
Professional tip: Never book a venue without a conversation and a tour. Couples spend a great deal of time discussing details with venue staff; make sure the staff members and venue are as amenable and beautiful as the website.
Contact Wedding Venues with Important Questions
Whether via e-mail or phone, interview every wedding venue to get the major and fine details up front. Use this list of essential wedding venue questions. If the wedding venue is the site of wedding ceremony and reception, ask the wedding venue staff if there is space for both.
Professional tip: Ask for a full list of charges and a copy of the contract from the venues before booking. Look closely for fine print that may cause issues later, such as curfews or additional charges.
Tour the Wedding Venue
Unfortunately, websites and social media don’t always give couples a full picture of the wedding venue. Due diligence will ensure that all those proverbial I’s and t’s are crossed and the venue is the right “one” for the occasion.
Professional tip: Don’t forget to check the areas where the wedding party gets ready and spaces important to guests (like the restrooms). These rooms are not usually on venue promotional materials, but are vital for an excellent experience.