How to Make Finding a Wedding Venue That Much Easier

We all know that you aren’t truly engaged until you have a date for the wedding, and you can’t have a date for the wedding before you find your perfect venue. Unfortunately, searching for a suitable venue can be frustrating and disheartening. Where do you start? What questions do you ask? How do you know which venue is the right one?

It seems like sorting through your thousands of venue options is just as exhausting and confusing as dating — that is, until you found your future spouse.

When it comes to wedding necessities, the venue is near the top of the list, with “future spouse” and “vows,” and though the process will never be easy, per say, it can be easier. With this post as an example, you can endure your own venue search and end up with the wedding day of your dreams.

Budget Comes First

Before you make any plans for your nuptials — almost as soon as the engagement ring slides onto that finger — you should be considering how much you can spend on your wedding day. Your budget will determine almost everything about your big day: how many people can come, what kind of food and beverage you can provide, how lavish your décor can be, and more. And, all of these decisions in turn narrow your venue options.

photo credit: Stressed via photopin (license)
photo credit: Stressed via photopin (license)

Traditionally, the bride’s parents paid for the entire event, from the dress and rings to the guests’ party favors. However, because so many couples are marrying later after becoming financially independent, most parents no longer assume such a substantial expense. If you require financial support from your family to create the wedding you want, you should ask both sets of parents for help. Then, it may be easier to ask each family to fund a particular aspect of the wedding, like the ceremony or the honeymoon, or you can ask for a specific dollar amount, so they know what to expect.

Once you fully understand what money you have available, you can begin to calculate how much you have to spend on your venue. Usually, location rental costs at least 10 percent of a wedding budget; because the average American wedding costs around $25,000, the average couple can expect to spend more than $2,500 on a typical venue. However, if you need a larger space or if you yearn for a highly valued location, you should expect to pay as much as $7,000. Fortunately, there are some tricks to keeping venue costs down:

  • Get married on a weekday
  • Keep the ceremony and reception at one venue
  • Have a morning wedding
  • Pay up-front

Location Comes Second

Armed with the maximum amount you can spend on your venue, you can appropriately search for your perfect wedding venue. The best first step in this endeavor is firmly deciding upon a location.

Destination weddings can actually be less expensive than events held closer to home because you will expect drastically fewer guests. Additionally, many destination venues offer all-inclusive wedding packages that contain accommodation for guests, meals, and decorations at a discounted price. Even traveling slightly outside the big city — for example, from Los Angeles to Glendale — can yield better prices and more beautiful venues than you’re likely to find in crowded metropolitan areas.

photo credit: Venice Beach Thrillin' via photopin (license)
photo credit: Venice Beach Thrillin’ via photopin (license)

Once you know what area is ideal for your wedding, you can start a closer investigation of particular venues. Many venues are owned and operated by experienced event planners, like these wedding venues in Los Angeles, and you may find it easier to narrow your search to associated venues you can trust. Alternatively, there are hundreds of wedding venue guides in print and on the Web that explain prices, amenities, and plenty of pictures to aid your search.

Then Comes Questions About Specific Details

Once you have reduced your list of preferred venues to about five, you can begin contacting the spaces and asking questions. As surprises are bound to cause extreme stress on your wedding day, you want to avoid them at all costs; thus, you should be unafraid to pump venue staff for pertinent information. For example, you absolutely must learn whether or not the venue is full service, meaning it includes tables, chairs, and other catering supplies in the price.

You may also want to understand the background of the venue, with questions such as “How often are yards and buildings maintained? Is there any construction anticipated between now and my wedding day? How many weddings are held every day or every week?” The more questions you ask, and the more answers you get, the better.

Planning a wedding is hard — no one is denying that. However, it doesn’t have to be nearly as hard as some brides- and grooms-to-be make it. With careful planning and precise action, your wedding will fall together as though it was predestined… just like your relationship with your future spouse.