One of the first decisions you will make as a newly engaged couple will be the location of your wedding. So many other wedding planning decisions are based off of your wedding venue. With a wide variety of venue styles to choose from, you will need to narrow your search. We have compiled a list of venue filters to work through to find the perfect place for your big day.
Determine your “Big 3”. Before you can begin your web search, decide on the location/city of the wedding, the estimated budget, and an approximate guest count. These three decisions will form the foundation of your venue search.
Wedding Style. Your wedding style comprises the look, design, and feel that flows throughout all areas of the wedding and even with your wedding vendors. The venue you select is no different: a garden style wedding needs an outdoor setting, or a tropical style wedding would be ideal for a beach wedding. Not sure of your wedding style, take our Free Wedding Style Quiz to get you started. Once you know what your dream wedding style is, you can narrow down your search by noting if your style works in a certain type of venue.
Types of Venues. This is not a comprehensive list, but to give you an idea of the options available we have laid out several venue types for your consideration.
Wedding Date. Most venues will want to know if you are looking for a particular date for your wedding. You should have an ideal date in mind and at very least, narrow down the month that you would prefer. We suggest staying flexible with your wedding date. However, if you are set on a particular date, then be prepared to have to pass on some of your favorite venues. Determine what is most important – the venue or the date?
Timeliness. Do not postpone finding your venue. Some venues may book out a year in advance and sometimes further out for popular months. If you are looking for a particular date, the sooner you begin your search and get a venue locked down, the better.
2 for 1?. Determine before you start your search if you want a venue that can host both the ceremony and reception or if you will have a separate venue location for each. Some prefer an all in one option, while others have special locations in mind that don’t accommodate a reception or have a ceremony space.
Do Your Research. Before you schedule any tours, review the venue’s website, social media, and reviews. Reach out to the ones that you are most interested in to get more information like pricing, inclusions and date availability. Choose your top three and visit those first. There is seldom any need to tour more than three venues.
What You Get. Finally, as a determining factor, review all of the inclusions your potential venue offers in relation to the pricing. How many hours on the day-of will you have access to the venue? What equipment is included? What is the vendor policy? Make sure you are getting the best bang for your buck.
Contributing Photographer: Matt Allen Photo