Booking the Venue: How to Choose and What to Consider

Planning a wedding takes a lot of time and consideration. You have to think about what you’ll need on your big day and what will make it perfect. It all depends on your personal tastes and what kind of wedding atmosphere you want to have.

Booking your venue is one of the most significant wedding decisions you’ll make, which can intimidate some brides. While you check out different places you’ve seen in pictures online and around your city, you’re probably wondering how to decide which is right for your wedding.

Instead of spending hours stressing out over your options, follow these tips on how to choose your wedding venue and what to consider after you tour each one. Once you’ve seen the places in person and learn more about what they offer, you can use these suggestions to narrow down the list and find the perfect place for you and your future spouse to start your married lives.

1. Check Your Guest List

Venues can be gorgeous, but you need room for your guests. A lakehouse with a dining hall lined with windows might be romantic, but will your 200 closest friends and family members fit inside?

It’s smart to make your guest list first and tour venues later. Fill your list with everyone who “has to” be there along with your dream guests, too. This way, you’ll plan for the biggest crowd possible and end up with extra space in any venue you choose when a few people inevitably can’t make it.

2. Consider Your Travel Dreams

Are you one of the many brides who dream about having a destination wedding? Where you want to go greatly affects your venue options. Research some of your favourite vacation spots and read reviews on local venues. Other brides will share their experience and point you in the direction of places with better rates or trained staff members.

Destination Weddings

Remember that once you find a destination venue you love, you’ll need to tour it before making your final decision. That adds extra travel costs to your wedding budget, which some brides may not be able to afford.

3. Go Back to Your Budget

Your budget plays a huge role in which venue you pick. Some places have all-inclusive packages that provide you with tables, chairs and possible decor. You could also end up with a venue that charges for liquor, requires you to pay for their catering services or forces you to pay extra if your guest list goes above or below a certain number.

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Brides are often surprised when they discover hidden venue fees, so prep for them ahead of time by reading through each contract for the venues you like. You’ll quickly find the best one for your budget once you understand the financial requirements.

4. Think About the Seasons

Another issue brides encounter is how the weather affects a venue. The beach resort you have in mind may only have room for an indoor reception and an outdoor ceremony, but that doesn’t guarantee sunshine on your wedding day. Consider the time of year you’ll get married and how that affects the venue. Don’t wait until the last minute to find out something critical — like how your renovated barn chills quickly when winter weather arrives.

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5. Figure Out Your Dealbreakers

You know what you would love in a venue, but do you know what you don’t like?

Before you sign on the dotted line, figure out your dealbreakers by thinking about what could complicate your plans. You might include something like renovations leading up to your wedding day that could run long. Maybe a venue won’t have enough electric outlets or the lighting is bad. These will all make your wedding difficult when it should be a lovely experience.

6. Think About What You’ll Need

Once you book your dream venue, your work isn’t over. Every bride has to think strategically about their wedding. You’ll want to consider which supplies don’t come with your rental and which vendors you can book if any in the area have a reliable history with weddings. There are plenty of ways to get started with post-venue planning so your big day is a success, depending on how far in advance you book your date.

Take Your Time

The best thing you can do for yourself is to take your time. Figure out what kind of style you want for your wedding and which types of venues would be the best fit. You’ll narrow down your list by considering fees, packages and travel costs, along with what you’ll need after you make your decision.