Choosing the right wedding venue is one of the most important decisions you'll make when planning your big day.
After all, it’s the setting for your ceremony and reception, and it will set the tone for the entire event.
With many different venues to choose from, it can be difficult to know where to start. There are a few simple steps to follow when deciding on the wedding venue – from the budget to the feeling you want to capture for your special day.
1. Start your search early.
The best wedding venues book up quickly, so it’s important to start looking at options available in your area early. This will give you plenty of time to find the perfect venue and negotiate a good price.
2. Consider your budget.
Wedding venues will range in price. Set a budget before you start your search to keep the overall spending in line with your initial plan.
3. Define your style.
What kind of wedding are your dreaming of? Are you looking for a traditional ceremony and reception in a ballroom, or something more unique like a wedding in a garden or in a historic property? Once you know what type of wedding you would like, you can start narrowing down your options. Couples often prefer certain locations owing to their personal taste and preference. Traditional settings like churches or historical buildings will create a classic atmosphere that can make your special occasion stand out.
4. Take into account your guest list.
How many guests do you plan to invite? This will determine the size of the venue you need. If many guests travel from out-of-town, hotels nearby with shuttle services can help make transportation easier. Make sure to include this in your budget.
5. Consider the location.
Where do you want to get married? Do you want to stay close to home, or are you open to traveling? The location of your wedding will affect the cost of travel and accommodations for your guests, so keep in mind that a wedding close to where most of your family and friends live may be a better option.
6. Visit the venue in person.
Once you’ve found a few venues that you’re interested in, it’s crucial to do an in-person tour. This will give you a chance to see the venue for yourself and make sure it’s a good fit for you and your guests. Photography lasts a lifetime so during a personal tour think about photo opportunities in each particular venue.
7. Ask questions.
When visiting a venue, be sure to ask plenty of questions. This includes details about the cost, the capacity, the amenities, and any cancellation policies. Ask if changes can easily be made if needed; such as changing dates due to inclement weather or accommodating sudden increases in guest numbers at short notice.
Choosing the right wedding venue is an important decision, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Take under consideration the above points, but don’t forget about other important factors.
- Consider the time of year. If you’re getting married during a popular season, such as spring or summer, you’ll need to book your venue well in advance. Certain months may also have higher rates than others due to increased demand. If you’re looking to save money on your big day, checking out off-peak prices might help keep costs within reason.
- Think about the weather. If you’re getting married outdoors, be sure to choose a venue that has a backup plan in case of bad weather.
- The venue must be accessible to all guests. If you have guests with disabilities, take that into consideration as many stairs and lack of an elevator may seem like you’re overlooking the important details.
- Get references from other couples who have gotten married at the venue. This is a great way to get an idea of what to expect on your wedding day.
With a little planning, you can find the perfect wedding venue for your big day.