For most engaged couples, finding the right wedding venue isn’t so easy. After all, it’s one of the most important spaces you’ll ever choose—and there are so many options.
So what’s the best strategy for finding a wedding venue that’s right for you? Take a look at a few tips from Elite.
Talk To Your Wedding Planner First
If you’ll be working with a wedding planner, it’s a great idea to talk to him or her before you begin your wedding venue search. This will help you find the right place for your big day. Why talk to a planner right off the bat? Because it’s the job of a professional wedding planner to know and understand the capabilities of a venue, how its layout and “flow” will affect your vision, and what you will need to bring everything together.
A good wedding planner should also be familiar with the wedding venues that your city has to offer, and probably their owners as well.
Get A Guest Count Before Booking
This might seem obvious, but you’d be shocked at how many couples book a wedding venue and then make their guest list. This can cause problems, since the venue may end up being too large or small for the final head count.
Before you fall in love with a wedding venue, get an idea of how many guests will be attending. Be sure to include “extra” guests, such as add-ons from your parents and uninvited plus ones.
Consider What Comes With The Venue
Ideally, your wedding venue should be a full-service place that provides tables, chairs, tableware, and flatware. However, some venues won’t include these things, which will need to be separate wedding budget items.
The same goes for décor. Some wedding venues include décor (such as centerpieces) within the venue booking fee. But others only provide the space, and no décor at all. Be sure to speak with the venue manager about this, and budget accordingly.
Keep in mind that an all-inclusive wedding venue that comes with tables, chairs, dishes, and linens may cost more up-front than another space that requires you to bring in your own—but then once you rent all those things for the cheaper venue, it may end up costing even more. It’s important to compare pricing.
Ask Plenty Of Questions
If there’s ever a time to ask “too many” questions, it’s when you’re looking for a wedding venue. There’s no such thing as too many. Ask everything that’s on your mind:
Can this venue provide spaces for both the ceremony and the reception?Can the flower girl toss real flower petals? Is there a bridal suite? Is there valet parking available? Do you provide a contract? Can you recommend vetted wedding vendors? Are there corkage or cake-cutting fees? Can we have a taste testing? Do you serve food in a buffet style or sit-down service? Is there a place designated for a cocktail hour?
This is just the tip of the iceberg. It’s your wedding—ask away! Your questions are important.
Make Sure The Wedding Venue Matches Your Style
If you want a more sophisticated, modern wedding, don’t have a barn or ranch wedding. Try a gallery, an industrial loft, or an upscale banquet hall. But do go with a barn or ranch if you want a rustic, romantic wedding. Make sure the wedding venue you choose reflects and enhances the style you’re going with.
If a big, energetic party for the reception is important to you, make sure the wedding venue you book has the requirements you’ll need for that—such as a good sound system, a large dance floor, lighting, etc.
Choose the things that are most important to you and double check that the venue you select has them.
When it comes to finding your perfect wedding venue, it may be frustrating, but don’t worry—it’s out there. Stick to these tips, do your research, and be true to your vision.