The Ultimate Guide to Selecting Your Ideal Wedding Venue
Posted on December 18 2017
Your wedding venue is one of the first decisions you will likely make and it will set the tone for the entire event. We've put together this ultimate guide to selecting your ideal wedding venue in one easy to understand list.
Before you start looking, draft a budget and designate an amount to be spent on your venue.
Know the size of your guest list so you can ensure your venue will be able to accommodate your family and friends.
Is there a specific location you want to have your special day take place? Knowing this in advance will help narrow down the choices.
What date(s) will work best for you and those closest to you?
Now that you've come up with some of the major details, you're ready to start officially looking. Here are the main areas you'll want to address with your potential venues.
You've selected your preferred date(s) and you'll want to be able to address availability right away. Many venues book up months, sometimes, years in advance. If you have some flexibiity, that's great! You'll be that much closer to getting your ideal spot.
What size of a group will you need to accommodate? Can the venues you are looking at handle this comfortably?
You'll likely need multiple spaces such as the area for the ceremony, a dressing area, the reception area, some great spots for photos, etc. Make sure your facility has multiple areas or spaces that can can accommodate more than one need.
What kind of a feel do you want your wedding to have? Have you selected a theme? You'll want to make sure the venue will enhance your desired style.
What is their policy around approved vendors? Are you allowed to bring in your own photographer? Caterer? DJ?
What packages are available? What do they include vs. what's extra? How many hours do they allow you to be in the space?
DEPOSITS, CANCELLATION POLICY & REFUNDS
Know what you need to provide financially up front and when any remainder is due. Be clear about their cancellation policy and refunds in the event you need to cancel or reschedule.
HOW MANY WEDDINGS IN A DAY
This may seem like an odd question but many venues book more than one wedding in a day. This can affect the time you are able to get into the facility, how long you have to clean up, parking, hotel and transportation availability, etc. It's a good idea to know what to expect in advance.
You'll want to be sure all your guests can get where they need to be to celebrate your special day. Identify stairs, elevators, distance for parking, etc.
Does this venue have any restrictions? Noise, decorations, etc.?
PARKING & TRANSPORTATION
What do they have for parking? Is there enough? Is it close? If you have guests coming in from out of town or plan on serving alcohol, you'll also want to check on what kind of transportation is available in the area or even consider offering a shuttle of your own to and from a nearby hotel, if needed.
A lot of guests, whether they are coming from out of town or not, enjoy staying in a nearby hotel. It makes it easier and less stressful to be close by the venue for all the festivities. What hotels are nearby? Do they allow you to book blocks of rooms for your guests? Are they affordable for your guests?
Now that you've got a great list to get you started, it's time to go out and start scheduling tours at venues that look like they fit your needs. Have fun with it. Remember to ask questions and get things in writing so everything is clearly spelled out in advance. And, most importantly, enjoy your special day!