I think choosing a wedding venue is one of the most important decisions you’ll make during the wedding planning. This is especially true if you’re like Dave and I, and had the ceremony and reception at the same venue. Quite often, venues have onsite catering as well. So you’re not just choosing the space for the wedding, but the food as well! The staff will set up the ceremony and reception, serve dinner, make sure everything runs smoothly, etc. It’s an important decision.
Dave and I loved our wedding venue. Their on-site wedding coordinator was a God send, and the banquet staff was amazing! They really had a beautiful set up. Today I’m going to share a few tips with you to make sure you end up with an amazing wedding venue as well!
1. Consider your budget.
The venue (including catering) accounted for half of our wedding budget, so it wasn’t a decision we made lightly. I figured out how much the food and drink would cost given how many people we were inviting. This gave me an idea of where our final number would be. I also considered any upgrades we would need to pay for along the way (audiovisual equipment, extra hours on the bar, etc).
2. Consider your guest list.
Make sure the venue has more than enough space. If the venue claims to hold 250 people and you’re inviting 250, it’s too small for you. Find a venue that holds more people than you’re inviting so everyone has some breathing room.
3. How much work are you willing to take on?
Some wedding venues have staff that set everything up for you, including whatever décor you bring. Some won’t. Our venue set up the hanging lanterns and the tables, but we were in charge of our décor. If you don’t feel like you’ll be able to manage that, make sure to find a venue that will do it for you.
4. What kind of wedding are you having?
Make sure the venue matches the tone of your wedding. If you’re having a black-tie princess wedding, a rustic barn isn’t going to work. On the other hand if you’re going for a rustic wedding with lots of burlap and hay bales, probably don’t go for the country club.
5. The weather factor.
I’m all for outside ceremonies. Hell, I wanted to have one myself. And I certainly planned on it, until it was pouring on my wedding day. Luckily, the venue had a back-up plan. If you’re having an outside wedding as well, make sure there is a Plan B available!
6. Book early!
Wedding venues are typically one of the first things people book, so they’re getting scooped up quite a bit in advance. Dave and I booked our venue 18 months before the wedding!
What are some tips you’d like to pass along for choosing a wedding venue?
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