Weddings can take place just about anywhere, which means there are a lot of choices to narrow down when you begin looking for a wedding venue. WhereBridesGo.com has a few tips for you today that will help you zone in on spots that best match the wedding you're dreaming of. A shorter list will make it a lot easier to find the perfect place to say "I do!"
Envision Your Dream Wedding
Begin by talking with your future spouse about what you each imagine when you think about your wedding day. Make a list of favorite wedding ideas and must-have elements for the ceremony and reception. Will it be a casual event in a rustic setting or an elaborate gala in a fancy ballroom?
Once you have a good idea for the style and activities you want to include, this will give you a better idea of where to begin searching for a venue. Start by looking up places that match your vision online. After you have a few possibilities, start booking dates to see them in person.
Is the Date or Location More Important?
If you have your heart set on a particular date on the calendar that you absolutely have to get married, then you are going to limit your venue search to places that are not already booked on that date. On the other hand, if the date is flexible, you can instead begin by looking for venues you like the look of and set your date after you make a final venue decision.
Know Your Budget
It's a good idea in every aspect of planning a wedding to know your budget before you start spending it. You don't want to book a venue that will end up costing a lot more than you planned to spend. That will either take away from what you have budgeted for other parts of the wedding, like the beautiful wedding decorations that you will be able to fill the venue with or, even worse, cause you to end up going over-budget.
A factor that could make a higher priced venue worth it would be if they offer all-inclusive packages. This could save you money in other areas like catering or table and linen rentals. If a place is way out of your pre-planned price range, it's best to move along. Like we said before, there are lots of other venues to choose from!
Know Your Guest List
In the early stages of wedding planning, you probably won't have a finalized guest list quite yet but you do need to have a good idea of how many people will be invited. A venue that's too small can be crossed off of the list of possibilities right away. On the other hand, if you prefer to host a small wedding but don't want to deal with the guilt of leaving people off the guest list, choosing a smaller venue allows you to blame the venue size for the limited number of invites.
Be sure to keep in mind what needs to fit into the space in addition to your guests as well. Once everyone is seated, you'll still need plenty of room for a cake table, gift table, photo booth, or anything else you're planning that will take up some space.
Find Out What is Nearby
If you'll have guests from out-of-town attending your wedding, it is very helpful for them if you make sure there are plenty of hotel options nearby. Another thing to think about is transportation for yourself, the wedding party, and any guests that might need a ride home after the reception if they drink too much.
If there aren't cabs or Ubers available in the area, you may need to add a shuttle into your budget to get everyone where they need to be safely. For weddings that have a long time between the ceremony and reception, be sure there is something to entertain guests nearby while they wait.
Ask the Right Questions
Before you meet with someone to look at a wedding venue in person, draft a list of questions to ask so you don't forget any important details that will be needed for a final decision. You may even be able to ask some of those questions on the phone when you call to book an appointment and skip the visit if the place is not a good fit.
Here are a few question examples, but you'll definitely want to come up with questions specific to what you are planning.
- How long before, during, and after the wedding are you allowed to be on premises? You will need enough time to decorate before and clean up after without having to rush.
- What exactly is included with the rental fee? Are there extra charges for services like cutting the cake or parking for guests?
- Are there changing areas for the wedding party?
- For outdoor events, is there a back-up plan in place already in the case of inclement weather or are you, the couple, responsible for coming up with an alternative plan?
When you begin the search for a wedding venue, wedding vendors can be a good source of information. They will know most of the pros and cons of places where they have already worked a wedding.
Take a look at photos of real weddings at each venue when you look them up online. This will give you a better idea of how the space looks once it is decorated and maybe even give you a few new ideas for your own decorations.
While you're online anyway, head on over to our online wedding store to browse through all of the wonderful wedding decorations and accessories we have to offer. WhereBridesGo.com is a fantastic source of inspiration while you are in the planning stages and the perfect place to find nearly everything you need to make your dream wedding a reality!
~The WhereBridesGo.com Team
Post by Deanna Powell, Certified Bridal Consultant