Most couples begin by choosing their venue. It’s the biggest piece of the wedding planning puzzle, and it can be difficult to plan anything else until you know where the reception will be held. Finding a wedding venue is one of the most important decisions you’ll make throughout the planning process, not to mention one of the most expensive. It can be stressful and overwhelming. After all, the location you select determines the tone and ambiance of your wedding. However, choosing your venue doesn’t have to be stressful and can even be a fun experience for both you and your groom.
Look at the broad picture and visualize the style and atmosphere of your perfect wedding before trying on a single wedding dress, booking a reception band, or taking a bite of a wedding cake. So, while you’re looking for the perfect spot for your wedding, keep these questions in mind.
What style are you going for?
Venue styles can range from traditional to modern, rustic to vintage. With so many different types of venues to choose from, it’s best to work out exactly the style you want for your wedding. You must first visualize what you want your wedding to be like and what will fit you and your future spouse the best. The environment provided by your venue will pervade your whole wedding, and it will have the greatest impact on the overall mood. Make sure you are well-versed in your wedding theme, and most importantly, make sure you sit down with your fiance early on to ensure you both agree on a vision for your wedding.
How many people are you planning to invite?
Before you start touring or selecting your wedding venue, have a number in mind, and stick to that number. If you fall in love with a location but discover that the maximum number of people they can handle is less than that, you’ll have to make some difficult choices: a different venue or making cutbacks to your guest list, both of which can cause a lot of stress. To choose a venue, you don’t need to write down your guest list but have a realistic idea of who will be getting an invite. Believe it or not, your guest list makes a huge difference. Some venues can only hold a limited number of people, while others can accommodate over 500 people! If you want to invite a large number of family and friends, make sure your venue can accommodate them all. Keep in mind that this is your big day while choosing who to invite. Don’t feel obligated to invite everyone. Ultimately, the venue you choose should be able to accommodate those who adore you both and are thrilled to see you take the next step in your relationship.
Is the venue’s cost within your budget?
Budget is another important consideration when selecting a wedding venue, and it can also play a significant role in ruling out many potential venues. It is important to consider not only the cost of hiring the space but also whether the venue offers all inclusive packages. If you’re looking at some full-service venues, and somewhere you can bring in your vendors and décor, be sure to price everything out. That way, you’ll be fully aware of all the costs involved from the start and won’t be caught off guard later on. After you’ve established your budget, rule out any venues that fall significantly outside of this budget. It’s best to avoid seeing any venues that aren’t really within your budget.
Is the venue close to the hotel?
Another consideration when choosing a venue is the venue’s location and accommodations. You will most likely have family and friends visiting from out of town who will need a place to stay before your wedding. Ease of use and accessibility are important to both you and your guests and should be taken into account when making your decision. After all, not all wedding venues have the necessary facilities to accommodate all or even any guests. While touring, make sure to ask for ideas on where to stay. This is also a good time to inquire whether the venue is associated with any hotels or bed and breakfasts in the area. The venue management or a member of the staff will be able to give recommendations based on previous events or provide you with a list of choices or contacts to use during the planning phase.
Are there any hidden fees?
It is common for venues to charge additional fees for cake cutting, ceremony chair rental, set-up, and day-of coordinator services. So, before signing a contract or depositing money, double-check that they have revealed every single fee. Although these extra services can be beneficial, don’t let these hidden fees add up, or you’ll end up spending twice as much as you planned. Make sure the entire venue fits your expectations, and don’t lower those standards only to get a good rate.
Have you done research? Look at real wedding photography & videos featuring potential venues. Unless a venue is new to weddings, couples will have married there, and seeing how your potential wedding venue looks on a wedding day is extremely helpful. Another important screening tool is to read lots of reviews. Nearly every venue, big or small, will have some kind of review or critique of the property and services, most of the time you can find these online. It is highly important to take note of the opinions of others that have come before you. Some venues might have smiling faces and promises of sunshine and rainbows, but the reviews will inform you that it was an overpriced nightmare.
The perfect venue will tick all of the boxes it needs to and should make your heart soar just like it does when you see your future spouse. Whatever your wedding dreams look like, you’ll want to choose a venue that fits your vision. Your wedding venue should reflect your values, tastes, and interests. Rather than putting on a show for your guests, you need to feel authentic in your skin and that you really own your wedding ceremony and aren’t just going through the motions.
Don’t let the venue representative pressure you. Booking your venue is such an important choice, and you’ll want to make the best possible decision after carefully considering all the options. The reception is the biggest element of the entire day, and it’s also the biggest piece of your budget. So take your time.