A Complete Guide On How To Choose The Perfect Wedding Venue You’ll Absolutely Love
- Author: Natali Grace Levine
- Reading time: 5 min 59 sec
- Publication date: 12/02/2022
- Updated: 04/11/2023
Whereas a lot of wedding services like a wedding cake, second wedding dress, even a bouquet or ceremony arch are optional for your ‘big day’, a wedding venue is always a must. How to find the right wedding location you’ll never regret? What are the main steps in choosing the best wedding spot? Let’s see!
Get the Main Idea of Your Perfect Wedding Venue
Define Your Style & Concept
When it deals with the general style of your wedding, it’s vital to get started with the right wedding venue, as that’s the basis for creating the whole wedding picture. No doubt, you can transform any place into the desired style but it’ll cost more if it’s not appropriate originally. What are you dreaming of? What pictures come to your mind when you imagine your perfect wedding day? A standard classical approach? Modern and futuristic shapes? Neutral tones and pastel shades? Everything matters!
Firstly, before making the list of the wedding venues that seem to be good enough for you, define your dream style and concept. Check the background and colors they offer, the type of interior, and the reception zone.
TIP: Mind the season. The surroundings might look really nice in summer, but if you want to tie the know in autumn, think how the location will look like then.
How Many Guests?
This is an important factor. The venue might be lovely and absolutely appropriate but won’t be suitable for your amount of guests. That’s why it’s crucial to check out your guest list beforehand. Certainly, it’s impossible to predict the exact number and the full list, though you might still outline the general idea: whether it is going to be a cute and intimate ceremony, a family celebration, or a loud party with many friends and acquaintances.
Mind Your Budget
Wedding venue cost usually makes up one of the biggest parts of the budget. It’s not only about the rent but also about decorations, catering, and adding your personal touch to the location. Firstly, you should understand how much you are ready to spend on your wedding in total and on a wedding venue in particular.
How to Choose the Best Wedding Location
Where to Look For?
First of all, check reviews! We’ve already prepared lists of the best wedding venues in Houston, Chicago, Miami, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, and others. Additionally, check couples’ recommendations on Instagram, especially hashtags. Never ignore negative reviews but read them extremely carefully, as it may prevent you from disappointment in the future. Listen to your friends’ recommendations. You may think that nobody in your community has recently got married. But they still may help as they might have visited any of the events or heard about nice locations. Word-of-mouth recommendations matter!
Take the Tour
Pictures are cool because they’re taken in a flattering light, and they’re also edited and corrected. However, remember that it’s important to see the location with your own eyes. Visit the locations you’re choosing between and check if you feel the vibe.
How Long Does It Take to Visit the Location?
It depends on the venue, how big it is and how long you’ll discuss the details with the vendors. That’s usually up to 1-1.5 h plus commuting to the location.
Talk to Your Planner
There might be tons of things you have to consider with the help of your wedding planner. They’re usually familiar with the peculiarities of the locations of the area, and the demands provided by the venues and can even come up with a perfect idea for your wedding location.
Who to Go With?
Obviously, you go with your future husband/wife. You may want to talk to your wedding planner but keep the group small. It’s sometimes useful to hear a lot of different opinions but not in this case. Too many thoughts might distract you and your partner from the real things you want and dream of.
How Many of Them to Visit?
It’s impossible to visit all the places, so come up with a shorter list. Remove some of the options with certain criteria which are important to you. Don’t visit too many venues so as not to get puzzled and lost in tons of options. It’s better to focus on a few nice ideas and analyze them carefully. If nothing suits you, then take the next group of options.
Check the Area Nearby
The venue itself must be lovely and appealing to you along with the surroundings. What about natural views around? Check the spots, and make sure the location is attractive and safe enough. Again, if you’d love to throw a destination wedding party and the venue is remote, it may be difficult for your guests to find accommodation nearby.
TIP: Take some pictures of the venue to look at them later at home and make the final decision.
Analyze the Service & Contracts
How do they treat you as a future client and what contract can they offer? If there aren’t any contracts or unclear conditions they suggest, think twice before agreeing. Check if the venue owners and managers are flexible enough to make certain (reasonable) alterations to match your wedding style and concept. There are often additional fees they may charge for some services and it’s a good idea to clarify everything at the very beginning of cooperation.
Trust Your Feeling
It’s not only about a rational or reasonable choice (though it’s important) but also about your feelings and that vibe. Trust your intuition as well, you should feel emotionally and mentally comfortable at the place.
What to Ask and Look For While Picking the Perfect Wedding Location
Informed means armed. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and request the information you have the right for.
Is the Venue Available for Our Date?
This is question number one, where you get started, especially if your date is already set. If it’s flexible and can be changed, then stick to the option of the venue you’re in love with and be ready to alter the date.
Does It Have a Plan B Option?
Even if the venue and your wedding concept presuppose outdoor activities, make sure that you have a backup plan. What if it rains just before the ceremony or at the wedding reception?
What About Parking Areas And Accommodation Options?
If you’re going to invite guests who come from other cities and travel long distances, they’ll definitely need parking places or transportation offers and even hotel rooms. Therefore ask about these available options on the venue.
How Many Guests Can the Venue Accommodate?
Make sure that you’re discussing the number of guests who can relax and feel comfortable. Your guests will need enough space for chilling out, dancing and simply sitting at the table and having dinner.
What About the Ceremony?
The venues usually provide some options with nice views for holding wedding ceremonies. While visiting the location, ask about them and have a look.
There are some other questions that you might forget about but it’s vital to ask them before signing a contract:
- Do you have a tent if there’s an outdoor wedding?
- Is there enough space for reception/ceremony/cocktail hour?
- What about bathrooms? How many are there and in which condition are they?
- Do you give any discounts for hotel rooms if we rent the location?
- What type of lights do you have and how much of them?
- What do we pay for? How many hours are included? How much does an extra hour cost if it’s possible?
- Do you have any restrictions? Are we allowed to bring all types of beverages?
- How far can we change the style and decorate the venue? Are there any restrictions (flames, confetti, etc).
- What if we cancel or change our minds? Do you give any refunds?
- Can we bring our own alcohol?
- Can we invite vendors, not from your venue?
- Which vendors do you offer? What services are included?
- Could we opt for among your local bakers? (to book a wedding cake)
- Is it possible to bring our DJ or a music band?
- Are we allowed to bring our decorations?
- Can we change the date of the event?
- Will there be any other events on our wedding day? How private is it? (You can also request an ‘Exclusive Hire’. It means your event will be completely private).
- Is there a dance floor?
- Are there any noise or time restrictions?
- When can we start decorating, setting, and arranging the decorations, tables, etc. on the venue? When do we have to remove everything?
- Are there any hidden costs we need to know about?
- Is the venue pet-friendly? Can our guests and we bring our little friends?
TIP: Note the answers (or even prepare a digital note with a table where you can compare the venues you visit), as you’re going to visit more than one potential venue so as not to get lost in loads of information.