Eeek! It’s time to start looking for your wedding venue. It’s so important to pick somewhere that’s right for you.
You’ll remember this day for the rest of your lives. Your guests will remember the venue, the food, the drinks, and the overall feel of your wedding.
And it has to fit into your budget.
We know that’s a lot of pressure…but don’t stress! We’re here to break it down for you.
First Things First
We’ll list these in order. If you find that one of the below items at a particular venue doesn’t work for your wedding, cross that venue off the list!
Your Style and Aesthetic – From the moment you started planning your wedding, you’ve been curating a certain vision for your big day. Your venue should match that aesthetic! Don’t be afraid to stay true to your vision and incorporate your personal style into your wedding. Search for a venue that meshes well with it.
You can also build your aesthetic around your venue, and many brides and grooms do! Just make sure your venue doesn’t actively clash with the look you’re aiming for.
Budget – Many couples allocate around 15% of their budget to their venue. But keep in mind that you can allocate more than that if your venue is inclusive (meaning your venue provides food, beverages, chairs, tables, or decorations – and the best venues do). Don’t keep a venue on your list if it’s out of budget. It’s not worth the heartache or your time, we promise.
Availability – Is this venue available on your wedding date? If it’s not and you’re not willing to change your date, cross it off the list right away. If you haven’t set a date yet, this part is easy. That will give you more flexibility to choose a date based on what the venue has available.
Estimated Guest Count – It’s so important to choose a venue that’s the right size for your expected number of guests. An easy mistake to make is choosing a venue that’s too large for your expected number. If you have too much space and too few guests for the space, you’ll end up needing more decor to fill it up.
But keep in mind that if you want to have interactive entertainment at your wedding – like a coffee truck, a photo booth, or a champagne wall – you’ll need the extra space! If a venue passes the four tests above, it’s time for a visit! Reach out to the venues on your list to schedule a tour and speak with their team.
Other Things to Consider
Our best tip? Print your list of questions (feel free to print a copy of this post too!) to bring with you to your site visits. Here are a few to keep in mind:
What’s Included – Many venues offer in-house catering, beverages, and service staff. This can be a big factor in your budget, as these types of venues are often much more cost-effective than hiring an outside caterer. It’s also one less thing for you to worry about if you don’t need to coordinate the caterer, the bartenders, AND the venue. All-in-one is a wedding dream come true!
Weather Issues – Is your venue outdoor only? Indoor and outdoor? You should consider the possibility of rain or other inclement weather. With an outdoor only venue, you should leave room in your budget for rentals needed the week of your wedding, like tents or heaters. If your venue is a combination of indoor and outdoor or indoor only, you won’t need to worry about added weather expenses.
Alternate Ceremony Location – Prefer to say your vows inside a church or at an intimate setting? Remember to consider transportation time to your venue. You may want a venue that isn’t too far from your ceremony location (or vice versa). If you have your entire wedding (ceremony and reception) at one venue, you can check this one off your list!
Parking – Does your venue have adequate parking for guests? Sure, lots of guests might utilize a rideshare or taxi to attend your wedding, but many guests will drive their own vehicles. Make sure your venue has parking to accommodate a reasonable number of guests.
Restrooms – Look, we know this sounds like a no brainer. But there are venues out there that only have two small restrooms – or even just one restroom – for guests. When you’re touring, make sure to check what facilities are available.
ADA Accessibility – If you know you’ll have guests who require accessible entrances or restrooms, make sure your venue can accommodate them. This is a vital part of planning any event (and especially your wedding)!
Noise Restrictions – If your venue is outdoor only, ask if there is a curfew. You’ll want to plan your wedding’s end time to align with city noise ordinances.
Contract – Ready to sign? Don’t be afraid to ask questions! The right venue will be happy to answer all your questions. Communication with your venue is key! If there isn’t good communication at the start, there may not be good communication during your planning phase or even on your wedding day.
And Finally, The Most Important Factor
The Overall Feeling – If the venue meets all the above criteria, ask yourself these questions: Did you get a good vibe? Does it feel right? Does it feel like you?
If yes, you found the right venue!!! Hooray! Don’t forget to celebrate with some bubbles.
And remember: the best venues get booked up 12-18 months in advance. Start searching now! If you have a dream venue, lock it in as soon as you can. The peace of mind that comes with having your venue selected will make it all worth it!
The Sadie Jane is here for you, and we might just be your perfect venue! Inquire about more details, date availability, or set up a tour today. We want to help you plan your big day!