Choosing a venue for your wedding and reception should be one of the first tasks you embark on as a newly engaged couple as popular venues can book up over a year in advance. We asked previous brides and some newly engaged couples if they already had a venue in mind before getting engaged and 9 out of 10 said “NO.” However, taking the time to find the right venues to match the wedding and reception of your dreams can take a little research, which is why we came up with the five things you should consider when choosing a venue.
- Evaluate the cost. Budgeting can be a huge challenge when planning your big day, so by trying to find a venue that fits comfortably in your price range it will not only reduce stress but will also set you up for success when planning other areas in your wedding. Keep in mind that some venues will have discounted rates for off-season weddings or celebrations during the week!
- Check the availability. Is the venue you’re considering available on the exact date or time of year you’re interested in? This should be one of the first questions you ask a potential venue. Trying to match your perfect venue and perfect date can really be a challenge, especially if you are looking to book during peak wedding season. If you have your heart set on a specific location, consider being flexible with the date or day of the week. Friday and Sunday weddings are becoming more and more popular as couples find they don’t want to give up that perfect venue.
- Does it match your wedding style? Are you thinking more rustic or traditional? Modern or vintage? Your venue is the backbone of your celebration so you want a venue that matches that style. You don’t want your wedding colors or floral arrangements clashing with any of the permanent decor, walls or floors either. If you feel like a venue could be a possibility, stand back, take it all in and imagine everything about your wedding in that location; if you can’t picture it, time to move on to another option.
- Size ’em up. It is important to know how many guests the venue can accommodate comfortably – you don’t want to pack tables in so tightly that your guests can hardly move. There is a difference between capacity and “comfortably.” It is also important to keep in mind the elements of your wedding and if the venue has spaces for it all (cake, wedding party table, bar areas) and if there will need to be tear-down and removal of tables at any point to make room for things such as the dance floor.
- Location, location, location. For the planning process and the big day itself, location is huge. While you’re planning, getting prepared, visualizing elements or coordinating the setup, it might help if you’re able to make quick trips out to the venue; a centrally located venue will allow you to have easy and regular access while planning. Also consider proximity for the big day. It is important to keep in mind the accessibility, ease to find, the travel time to and from, and the on-site parking space. Lastly, if you plan on serving alcoholic beverages, consider a space that has lodging nearby.
By taking these factors into considerations when starting your venue search, we hope it will help you find that perfect venue that is just right for your big day!