While there are many elements of a wedding that can be easily added or mixed depending on the couple's desires, there's no wedding without a venue. Otherwise there'd be no place for family and friends to gather on your special day.
So how to you go about selecting a wedding venue? There are many things to consider, so read on to see what some of the biggest factors are when deciding what venue is perfect for you.
You should decide how much you are willing to spend on your wedding venue before you even get started with your search. Wedding venues vary widely in price as well as what all they include. You can't just take the rental price at face value, you have to dissect what's included in the price. Will you have to rent in tables and chairs? Is security extra? Are bartenders included? Are there set up or breakdown fees?
You'll also want to look for any hidden fees or expenses that aren't included or outright discussed during the inquiry process. One big one is a service fee. What you thought was the total price could increase greatly if a 20% service fee is added on. When we got married we were given the price of the venue to rent, and later discovered we had to rent all the tables, chairs, and tablecloths, and had to pay the delivery fees for all these items. The price that at first looked attractive ended up being way more than we had anticipated.
Another thing that should be figured out before your start your actual search is getting an idea on what your guest count might be. Many venues have a maximum amount of guests that they can hold. You don't want to look at a venue that can only hold 100 people when your guest list will easily pass 300. So determining how big your event will be is a good thing to figure out before you start looking up venues. Will it be a small gathering or a large party? Approximately how many people will be attending?
This is more important to some people than others. Some of you have one specific date that will work for you and there's no budging. And for others it's just a particular month or season. If your wedding can only be on a certain date then this is something that you must check early on in the discovery process. If you are flexible on the date, it is still important to see what dates (if any) are available in the time frame you are looking at, but your flexibility can open up a lot more venues to choose from. Another thing to consider is whether or not you'd be open to having your wedding on a day other than a Saturday. Does that sound appealing? We have another great blog post to read that goes over the benefits of having a non-Saturday wedding.
Your Wedding Style
When choosing a venue for your wedding, its important to keep your wedding style in mind. It's your big day, so get married in a place that meets your wants and needs. It can be easy to fall in love with wedding styles and themes you see online, but your venue must stay authentic to you as a couple. And taking that notion a step further, a venue that may work for one aesthetic may not always work for what you have in mind. In cases such as this, don't change your wants to fit a venue that isn't right for you. Before going to visit venues, make sure you have a clear vision as well as know what things that you don't want or if there are any deal breakers.
Many venues these days have a spot on the property where the ceremony can take place. There is great peace of mind in having both your ceremony and reception in the same location. But if this is not the case, you'll want to consider how far away your ceremony location will be from the reception venue and what impact that may have on guests, especially those not familiar with the area.
Next, think about the amenities you need at your wedding venue. Do you need a dance floor? An outdoor area? A bar? Getting ready areas for your partner and your wedding party? Are you looking for a rustic setting with lots of natural light or something more modern? Think about these details as well.
Checking reviews on multiple platforms is a good idea, especially before you go to tour the venue. It will give you some background information and prompt questions to ask or warning signs to notice. When looking at reviews, note when they were left. Are they all within a short amount of time? Are they actually from clients that used the venue? A few not so stellar reviews isn't reason enough to dismiss a potential venue. See if the venue responded to the reviews. Often times this will tell you more about the venue than the review itself.
Selecting a wedding venue can be a stressful experience, but it doesn't have to be. Keep these tips in mind when selecting your venue and keep the stress at bay!
Have you already chosen your venue and need more help in selecting other vendors for your wedding day? Check out these other helpful blog posts: