Out of all the things you need to plan for your wedding day, the venue is undoubtedly one of the most important. Your wedding venue influences many other aspects of your wedding, including, the guest list, theme and decor, your budget, and even your wedding date. It’s a big and exciting decision to make, and it’s important you get it right! Here are six tips to help you find the perfect wedding venue of your dreams.
1. Figure out your guest list
It’s vital to have your guest list finalized before you book your venue. Most venues have limits on the number of people they hold, and will tell you if they have a maximum and minimum. When working on your guest list, it’s best to try and start with as small a number as possible. Having to invite more guests at a later date is better than having to uninvite people if your chosen venue can’t fit such a high number.
2. Work out your budget
How much money do you have to spend on your wedding? You want your venue to cost no more than half of that. Read up on how much different venues are charging in your desired location. Having an idea of how much you can spend on your venue along with the going rates will immediately give you a clear idea of whether a venue is a good fit for you.
3. Set the date (and check availability)
Some couples have a set wedding date in mind — whether it be the day they met, their parents’ anniversary, or dates of religious importance. Or perhaps you just want to get married in a certain month or season, regardless of the date. If you don’t have a strong preference, consider booking your wedding date during an off-season. For example, if you set a winter wedding date (just not in December, another peak month), it’ll be a lot cheaper than a summer wedding.
4. Look at photos of different venues
You’ll find many photos of weddings and wedding venues on the blogs and websites of professional wedding photographers. Having a look round various websites will be really helpful in showing you what certain venues can look like. For example, take a look at this wedding photo collection by Blue Bend Photography at a stunning venue just outside of Asheville: http://www.bluebendphotography.com/2016/08/yesterday-spaces-wedding-asheville/. If you want your wedding to have similar relaxed vibe, consider this venue for your wedding ceremony and reception.
5. Decide on your style
There are many different types of venues out there, so have a think about the style and ambiance you want to create on your wedding day. Ranches and barns are great for rustic-style weddings. Chic and modern looks can be created in industrial warehouses. Hotels, ballrooms, and castles are timeless and elegant. Or perhaps you’re a nature fan — beaches, fields, and woodland provide beautiful backdrops while lowering the overall cost you’ll need to spend on extra decor pieces.
6. Visit different venues in person
Schedule tours of the various venues that have taken your fancy. This is your chance to see how you like each venue in person; it sometimes happens that they look a lot better (or worse!) in-person than in photographs. Take a look at how big the venue is and if there’s room to fit each aspect of your wedding (the ceremony, the reception, dinner, and dancing). Also be sure to check if you’ll be the only ones using the venue on your wedding day. If there are other events occurring on the same date, it’s important to check how much privacy you’ll have, because this may be an issue for you.
Most importantly, you should take your time choosing the perfect venue and begin your search well in advance of your wedding date. There’s no need to book the first venue you like. It’s a better idea to compare and contrast each venue and get quotes for each — this way you know you’re getting the best price possible. Finally, talk it over with your partner thoroughly and make sure your finances are in order before going ahead with your decision.