When planning your wedding, every single aspect is optional except for one. The one absolute essential needed in order to begin planning your wedding is a venue. You won’t be able to pick an official wedding date, plan your décor, hire a caterer, etc. until you have a place to gather with family and friends on your wedding day. Finding the perfect wedding venue is definitely easier said than done.
Finding a venue with everything you are looking for can be super challenging. There are so many different styles of venues from elegant ballrooms to a rustic vineyard or even a secluded beach. The options are endless and there are so many to choose from in each category. What steps should you take to find the venue that fits your wedding perfectly? Let’s talk about it!
Steps to take when finding the perfect venue
Find venues that align with your vision
I know that this may seem obvious but it’s true. Only seek out venues that have the look and aesthetic that you hope for at your wedding. When wanting a modern wedding, look for places that match the modern theme like an art gallery, a vacant warehouse building, or even a modern decorated restaurant or hotel. If you are looking for a rustic wedding, maybe find a local winery, a local barn, or an outdoor venue in the country. If you are searching for an all out glamor and elegance fest, check out hotel ballrooms, local museums, or even country clubs! No matter what venues you end up touring, if they don’t feel right for the style you are trying to hit, then maybe you should look at a few more before making a decision. Do not pick a venue out of necessity or because your mom liked it. You should choose a venue based on your love for it, its aesthetic, and how well it fits with the overall style of your wedding! Sometimes it takes getting creative to find the right venue. Maybe you are looking for an outdoor wedding with a woodland feel but have yet to think about your neighbors backyard that is littered with redwood trees and would be the perfect venue! Just know that sometimes it takes a while to find the perfect spot but you will find one that you will absolutely fall in love with and it will fit your vision perfectly!
Remember that you have a budget
It is extremely important to keep your budget in mind at all times! There are other things besides just the space rental to keep in mind. Does the venue have other amenities that they can offer? Do they include tables and chairs or are they additional? How about linens? Do they provide the staffing to set up or is that something you have to provide? Do they allow you to bring in your own vendors or do you have to use theirs which can sometimes cost more? These are all questions that will affect your venue budgeting as well. Make sure to know how much you can spend at the maximum so that you don’t go in and overspend. Categorize each of your expenses specifically so that you know what you can spend on each category. If you categorize by priority, then you can also move some money around when needed. If a wedding priority of yours will cost more than you budgeted for then you can choose to spend less on another category that may not be as important to you. This could be that you found the venue of your dreams but it may cost a bit more than you planned for. You haven’t found any other venue even close to this dreamy venue and now you are unsure what to do. Maybe you also budgeted for hiring a photo booth but it isn’t as important to you, so you can take some of the photo booth money to help pay for that venue without going over budget. There are a lot of budgetary things to keep in mind when searching for a venue.
Remember your guest list
Before you look at venues, you should have made a guest list. This will first let you know the size of venues that you need to look at. If you have 150 people, you can’t look at a venue that would only hold 100 people because that obviously wouldn’t work. You also have to be careful when searching for a venue and dealing with a maximum capacity because you don’t want to choose a venue that is too small. If you do this then you may be in a bit of a sticky situation. What would happen if you invited and get RSVP’s from 150 people but again your venue only fits 100 people. What would you do? You would likely have to uninvite people and that can make for a lot of drama and it will be crazy uncomfortable. When you initially invite somebody to your wedding and they RSVP, they generally get excited to share that special day with you and to then uninvite them is rude. Be sure that your venue is going to be large enough to accommodate your guests. You also want to think about the people who will be attending and think of their special accommodations as well. Is there older people who maybe can’t make it up stairs? Is there an elevator instead? Will you need a larger number of handicap spots for specific people? Make sure that your venue can accommodate those special guests who may need a bit of flexibility. When looking at venues, just make sure to keep your guests list in mind, especially those who may need special requests to be fulfilled.
Think about your guests and their experience
It can be difficult to remember your guests in the midst of hectic and stressful wedding planning. When looking at venues it is important to remember your guests and their comfort with the venue. Make sure the venue is large enough to accommodate all of your guests easily and comfortably. Even though the venue capacity may say 200, it may not be comfortable to squeeze 200 people into that space. You also want to be sure how many guests will be put at each table maximum because even though squeezing 12 people at a 72″ table is possible, it will not be comfortable at all. You want to ensure that their capacity of 100 doesn’t include putting 12 people at a table. It is these small and tedious details that are often forgotten when looking for a venue but they are extremely important! You also want to ensure comfortable seats for your guests, especially the older people. Ask the venue when touring what types of chairs they use. If those won’t work then ask if you can bring chairs in or if they have any other options, even if it costs a bit more. Then at least you know. Lastly, make sure that there is nice lodging nearby so that your out of town guests can easily get a hotel room or an Airbnb. If there isn’t lodging near your venue, then you may find that some guests won’t be able to attend. Guests comfortability is important to remember!
Stay true to your vision
It is so important not to lose yourselves in the wedding planning process. Though planning can be stressful and at times overwhelming, you need to remember why you are there in the first place. You need to remember that you are the couple getting married and should only do what you want. You had a vision going into your wedding of the perfect venue that would represent your love for each other effortlessly so you should stick with that! The venue you end up choosing should be able to fit your love story and your theme. Though a certain venue may have looked amazing with a modern theme, it may not look as great with a boho theme. It is extremely important not to stray from the path you so badly want to take for your wedding. Stay true to yourselves, stay true to your vision, and stay true to your love story! It will be worth it!
There are so many factors that go into finding the perfect venue for you. Even if it takes a while to find that perfect venue that will fit your wedding seamlessly, don’t give up! Get creative with your ideas and everything will work itself out! Remember to keep your vision in mind, know your budget, remember your guest list and your guest comfort, and always always always stay true to yourselves! By following these steps, you are sure to find the perfect venue for your wedding day!
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