Finding the ideal location for your wedding is one of the first, and most crucial, steps of wedding planning. The venue sets the tone for the day, and can help enhance the event décor and ambiance. It can often be difficult to merge your vision with the practicalities of planning a wedding, such as parking, availability, etc. Your venue location can often determine your wedding date, the vendors you use, and the wedding style. Whether you are seeking a small, outdoor, rustic venue or an extravagant, luxurious indoor location, here a few tips for finding the perfect venue for your big day.
Budget is a key determining factor in venue selection. Setting a budget early on will help narrow down the venue options and ensure you are only viewing locations that you can afford. Additionally, remember to ask all venues for a comprehensive list of what is included in the space rental. Knowing that power is included or excluded, for example, will enable to you to factor in additional costs for services the venue doesn’t provide. Many venues also have a food and beverage minimum, so keep that in mind when calculating your budget.
Similar to budget, a guest number will help reduce the long list of venue options. Having a general idea of your guest number will prevent you from looking at beautiful small or large venues that won’t accommodate the number of your guest list.
If you have a date you are set on, your venue options quickly diminish. However, if you are flexible with your date and time of year, you’ll have a larger variety of choices. Venues will often be booked for popular wedding dates, such as 12/12/12, well in advance. So, if you have selected your wedding date prior to selecting a venue give yourself plenty of time to find your wedding location.
As you search for and view different spaces, keep your vision for your wedding at the top of your mind. The selected venue should compliment the style of your wedding and enhance the atmosphere. If you aren’t set on colors or decor yet, consider selecting a venue that is pretty neutral and transformable, so you can bring your own look and style into the space.
Approved Vendor List
Another important question for all venues is if you can bring in any vendor of your choosing, or if you are limited to their list of vendors allowed to operate in the space. Sometimes venues may have a approved vendor list, due to insurance requirements or other reasons, that all your wedding vendors must be selected from. However, often times venues instead have a list of preferred vendors that they recommend based on past experience, but that does not limit you to their list of preferred vendors. If you are already set on specific vendors, be sure they are pre approved by your selected venue.
Outdoor Venues (Special Note)
If you are set on an outdoor venue, be sure that your chosen location can provide all the amenities your ceremony or reception will require, such as electricity or water. Also, be sure to plan for any unexpected weather. You’ll want to account for additional costs such as a tent or generator when selecting an outdoor venue. Avoid the stress and high expense of a last minute tent by planning ahead and ensuring the venue can provide some kind of covered area, should you encounter bad weather.
The most important that is that the venue feels right for your celebration!