You have just gotten engaged, congratulations! Now that you have found your person, how do you start the process of getting married? Almost everything about your wedding revolves around the venue; your date, color scheme, vendors, style of dress, and decor. Of course you are going to have a tentative date set in mind but locking in the venue means you have a starting point for which the rest of you plans take-off from. The most important factors that will help you decide your venue choice are price, location, amenities, and style/vibe. So get out some paper and lets starting comparing venues!
When looking at a venue you gotta see whats included in the fee! Budget is the most important factor when planning any event, so be realistic when deciding on your venue. You may find the most amazing location but if you can’t afford to feed your guests it is not a practical choice. When looking at a venue price it is important to consider what is included, because additional costs can add up. Basic chairs and tables are usually included but if you find a venue that includes set-up, clean-up, linens (that you actually like), it is extremely helpful to a budget friendly wedding. Since budget usually runs the whole wedding its essential to ask questions and know all the costs included.
Location! Location! Location! Where do you want to get married??? In the mountains? On the beach? Downtown? So many options! Your location will most likely fit into your style of your wedding, if you are thinking rustic you will probably lean towards the outdoors. If you are thinking outdoor or an unconventional location, remember that you may have to create a venue yourself and rent table, chairs and even tents. You should also consider how accessible the site is for your guests, looking into providing a shuttle or locating hotels nearby the venue is super helpful for your guests to have the best time possible. Having shuttles to where the majority of our guests stayed was important to us because our venue was located off a windy unlit road and we didn’t want to endanger our guests leaving our wedding.
Besides looking great a venue needs to give you a little more! Seeing what a venue have to offer can really sway one’s decision on whether it is going to work for your special day. Amenities that you need to be on the look out for are parking options, venue capacity (gotta be able to fit your guests), DJ set-up (do they have an installed sound system?), kitchen options, ceremony space vs. reception space vs. flip options (sometimes you can save costs by only using one site and flipping the space from ceremony to reception), getting ready space (its more efficient for a bride to ready onsite), and most importantly all these amenities need to come in the form of a site that you love! It is important to find a venue prior to finalizing other vendors because some venues charge extra if you use caterers, photographers, and DJs that are not on their preferred vendor list. We almost changed our caterer because of extra fees (they were not a preferred vendor) in the end we kept them because finding great gluten free Italian food is hard to come by. There is a benefit to using preferred vendors, they know the location inside and out. No matter what venue you choose you need to make sure that it provides the services that you need to have a great wedding day!
Wedding decisions are emotionally based, I mean this is a big deal and its going to be an emotional filled day (all good emotions I promise). When you walk into a venue how does it make you feel? What are the feelings that you are hoping to evoke from your guests? Keep these answers in mind when choosing a venue. If your wedding is suppose to be modern, a cabin will definitely work against you. You can always take a blank space and build on it, but it is incredibly hard to turn a a rustic cottage into a classic elegant space. I am not saying that it is impossible to do but it will take a lot of cost, decor, and time to switch up the space to work for you. Your wedding should feel like you both as a couple, so be honest about who you both are and the experience you want your guests to have on your wedding day.
Your venue sets the mood and is a huge deciding factor for your wedding. Now that you have your partner, make a list together to prioritize your wants for a venue so that you are both on the same page. Once you both have an idea of what you want, research your little hearts out! This will make it easier to compare each venue focus in on the perfect place. Good luck! May the best venue win!