Updated: Oct 18, 2022
Choosing your venue is one of the first things you’ll have to do in your wedding planning process. It’s not something you’ll want to delay since nine out of ten times your venue decision will either set or change your ideal wedding date. It’s also important to keep in mind that it can be a quick process or it may very well be a long and tedious one depending on what you are looking for. Here are some keys details to help you narrow down your search so that you are only visiting venues that meet your desired requirements.
Consider The Venue Esthetics
All venues are not made equally. Some are dated, while others are very well updated and come with all of the bells and whistles. Some are rustic, some are elegant and others are very sleek and modern. The overall style and feel you desire for your day will help you rule out some of the venues that you don’t want to waste your time visiting since they probably will clash with the style and vision you are seeking. For instance, if you are dreaming of a rustic barn style wedding you’d probably want to stay away from visiting venues with ballrooms, marble floors and crystal chandeliers since this is far off from your desired look. You’ll want to schedule time to tour venues that have beautiful outdoor spaces, acres of lush landscape and barn like venue structures to give you that rustic appeal. Meanwhile, if you are in fact looking to create a fairytale wedding, you’ll most likely want to visit venues with grand ballrooms, crystal chandeliers, tall ceilings and an overall atmosphere that boasts vintage/antique esthetics since that is the style you are looking to create. You wouldn’t want to waste precious time visiting venues that are modern or rustic if this is the case.
Determine Your Maximum Guest Count
Knowing your maximum guest count can save you significant time when visiting venues. Typically you can find out the max capacity for the desired space at a venue by either visiting their website or asking that question over the phone when inquiring about scheduling a venue tour. Why is this important to know you wonder? Well, it’s pretty simple. If you know you plan on inviting at least 250 to 300 people, you can go ahead and rule out venues with rooms that can only accommodate a maximum of 100 to 150 guests. Why waste time visiting these spaces if your party size is way too large for that venue to host your wedding. You can just go ahead and cross that one off of the list. Alternatively, if you only anticipate a guest count of 100 people or less, you’d also want to rule out venues with rooms/spaces that will seat well into the 200 guest count and more since your floor plan layout will ultimately look minuscule in a room with that much space. The space would ultimately be overwhelmingly too large. Remember, you never want to feel like the space is too overpowering. In the same way it would look if you were to cram way too many seated tables in a space that clearly isn’t big enough to accommodate your guest count.
Consider Your Ideal Dinner Menu
The type of food you want to serve your guests can play a major role in your venue decision. If you are looking for a five course dining experience with wine pairing, you’ll need to ensure that the venue offers such service if this is important to you. If great quality steaks are a must for you, then you might be interested in Steakhouse Restaurant venues that have wedding and event spaces as a part of their facility. If Italian cuisine is your go to, then you can easy find lots of venue options to accommodate that. But what happens if you have specific requirements based on religious, cultural or dietary restrictions? Then you’ll need to research venues that are accommodating to your specific needs. Some venues may create a customized menu just for your wedding to ensure that a cultural or religious need is met. Some might even allow you to bring in your own caterer or private chef to ensure that you can create that desired menu. However, many venues might not be as accommodating. Hence, why it is so important to know your desired menu so that you can ask these questions upfront before wasting a trip to tour a venue that will not make the cut.
Take Into Account Your Desired Ceremony View
If your heart is set on an outdoor wedding ceremony, you’ll want to consider the desired view you are looking for. Are you interested in a ceremony backdrop that will boast a Mountain View, a Beachfront View, a Lake, River or even a Waterfall View? What about a dreamy/whimsical Forest or Garden View. Or just a stunning Sunset View. Whatever your desired vision, you’ll want to ensure that your venue can give you the view you require. It wouldn’t make sense for you to visit several venues that accommodate beach ceremonies if your heart is set on stunning Mountain Views. So don’t waste a perfectly good day visiting a venue that doesn’t meet this need since venue tours can get quite draining overtime. Remember you are giving about a 45 minutes to an hour of your time to walking through these spaces and talking to the venue’s event sales person.
Determine Your Ideal Wedding Timeframe
Another important factor to consider when choosing your venue is your desired wedding timeframe. If you are hoping for fireworks or a sparkler send off, for your grand exit, then you’ll want to have a late afternoon ceremony with an evening reception so that it’s dark enough outside to accomplish that. If you are wanting to have a brunch menu option, then you’ll want to consider a mid-morning ceremony followed by an early afternoon reception. Whatever time frame you desire you’ll want to check with the venue you're considering to see if they operate early enough to cater a brunch style wedding reception. Alternatively, you'll need to find out what is their latest hour of operation in the event that you want to host a reception that goes past midnight. For instance, if you want to have your wedding on December 31st and be able to countdown to midnight to bring in the New Year, then this is something you’d need to inquire about upfront especially if the venue closes at 11:00pm. You’ll only want to visit and consider venues that operate or have overnight staff that will allow your wedding reception to go on well past midnight.
While these are just a few details to consider they are all very important with helping you get started on narrowing down your venue list. This way, you are more efficient with your time and availability when scheduling your venue tours. Another great way to help you with finding your perfect venue is to enlist the help of a Wedding Planner. Remember we are the experts in this field and a few of us, who are really great at what we do, have already compiled lists of venues that check the boxes in all of these specific categories. Essentially, we’ve already done the work so that you don’t have to! Retaining our services from the very beginning helps to alleviate your stress since you've never planned a celebration of this magnitude before.
I hope you found this to be a great read and that it can serve as a helpful guide for you in your wedding planning process. So go out there and confidently “Say I Do To Your Venue!”
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