10 Tips to Choosing the Right Wedding Venue

Pre-wedding planning is an exciting time, and one of the best parts about it is figuring out how to make your big day unique, while staying within your budget. When it comes to weddings, one of the biggest expenses you’ll be looking at will be your venue choice. With so many choices available, it can be difficult to narrow down the right option for you and your partner. We’ve come up with 10 tips that can help you find the perfect venue based on your needs and desires.

1) Start Early
Timing is everything when it comes to choosing a wedding venue. You don’t want to book so early that you take away your negotiating power, but if you wait too long and lose your favorite options, there may not be anything left. So how do you know when it’s time? Figure out what date you want to get married at, then decide how much time before that date you need for things like invitations and RSVPs, along with travel times if people are coming from far away. Our event planners pride ourselves on our relationships with venues and ability to negotiate with their teams in order to bring you the best fit event space for your wedding design.

2) Have a Budget
Having a budget is one of the most crucial components of planning a wedding. On average, couples spend between $25,000 and $50,000 on their big day—an expense that doesn’t include engagement rings or pre-wedding events. This means that it’s critical to have a very clear idea of what you can afford and how much you want to spend on each aspect of your celebration.

3) Consider Different Types of Wedding Venues
Consider different types of wedding venues. Wedding venues come in many shapes and sizes, from lavish hotels to rustic barns. There’s no right choice for everyone, but there are a few things you should consider when deciding where your wedding will take place. If you plan on having guests stay overnight at your wedding venue, will there be enough hotel rooms? Are surrounding cities/towns able to accommodate all of your guests?

4) Consider Outdoors versus Indoors
Deciding whether you’ll be indoors or outdoors can greatly affect your choice of wedding venue. For example, if you’re planning an outdoor, summertime event and love access to lakes and outdoor activities, then a park might be perfect for you. However, if it rains on your wedding day, guests will be stuck running between tents or cowering in nearby buildings.

5) Think About the Time of Year You Get Married
It is easy to get caught up in all of wedding season, which runs from spring through early fall and encompasses May, June, September and October. However, it’s best not to set your heart on a specific season, especially if you’re considering a destination wedding . If possible, check out each month in person (or at least through photos) so you can decide for yourself whether or not that time of year will work for your big day.

6) Think About Location
You want your guests to be comfortable, not bored. If you’re having an outdoor wedding, make sure there are enough activities nearby for a fun pre- and post-ceremony hangout. In addition, think about how far away you want your guests to stay—20 minutes or 4 hours?

7) Think About What Is Important to You
When picking a wedding venue, think about what’s important to you. Do you have a certain location in mind? Are you looking for something intimate and small, or grand and expansive? Or do you simply want a place that has delicious food and affordable drinks? Picking your venue should be fun and exciting, but once it comes down to it, remember that your day is all about celebrating with your loved ones.

8) Do Your Research Online
When it comes to wedding venues, you might want to do some of your initial research online. As a bride-to-be, you’ll likely have more than enough planning on your plate without having to also drive from venue to venue—especially if they’re located in separate cities or states. That said, be sure to check out online reviews for any venue before booking a tour.

9) Visit Other Locations/Venues First Hand
Go out and visit other locations in person before making a decision. You’ll get a better feel for space, layout, what food tastes like at different venues, and you’ll be able to compare prices side-by-side without all of that extra stress. Make a day or two of it! Enjoy the process of planning your wedding! It is all about the journey…..make it EPIC!

10) Investigate What the Venue Includes in Their Fees
Before you choose a venue, call and ask what they offer in their basic fee. If they offer hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, dinnerware, table rentals, etc., but it’s not listed on their website or brochure, that’s usually an indication that it will be extra. This information will come in handy when you begin negotiating with other vendors to get everything you want without busting your budget.