How to Select Your Wedding Venue

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Kyle John Photography

It’s often the first step in wedding planning for any newly engaged couple. Not only is it fun and exciting, but there are so many specifications that come into play when browsing around! If you are feeling overwhelmed with options and unsure where to start, shoot our team an email and we would love to assist you. For those of you diving in alone, here are our tips for selecting your venue.

Determine Your Guest Count

We always recommend that our clients create their guest list before looking at venues. After all, there is no way to know how many guest tables you need if you don’t start there! Take the time to sit down with your significant other and write out the name of everyone you want to invite. Be sure to add any plus ones that you will be giving out and count those up. Once you have a good idea of your guest count you know what size venue you will need.

Not only that, but have a general idea of your overall investment goals, the type of catering service you desire and a rough idea of your floor plan preferences. All of these are items we go over with our Full Service clients to really make sure we’re covering all the details. We say it again and again: Guest count effects everything when it comes to wedding planning!

Determine Your Investment Goals

Set a goal for the amount you want to invest from the very beginning. Before spending any money on the wedding, you’ll need to set a realistic spending limit. We recommend setting an overall investment goal along with an investment level for each wedding category. When taking the venue into consideration, know how much you and your partner want to spend on the venue, food and alcohol. Some venues will require couples to use their catering and beverage services, which is why you should have your budget for each of these categories predetermined. And once again, your guest count will come into play!

Determine Your Style

Determine what your style is and what best represents you as a couple. Would you like an outdoor or a church ceremony? Casual or formal atmosphere? Modern or garden style? Sleek and stylish, or full of detail and character? Your venue will be the backbone for the rest of your design. If a venue doesn’t fit your style, it can be redesigned to fit your style (with the help of a really great Planner and other Creative Teams) but will take a lot more work and money. Try to find something that is already representative of you. 

Once those three things are determined, you should reach out to venues. If you have a specific date in mind be sure to ask about availability for that date. Review their pricing to determine if it fits your investment level and then, take a few tours! This is the fun part where you get to really start envisioning your wedding in each different space. If you have a Wedding Planner , you’re in good hands as they will facilitate all of this. They will join you for your tours and come with a handful of questions prepared to ensure you know all the details. If you don’t have a Planner, be sure to bring a list of your own questions to ask! 

Nicole Clarey Photography

How to Be Best Prepared

When it comes down to the final decision here are a few things to think about when selecting your venue:

I. Does this venue match your overall style and aesthetic?

II. Does it fit within your investment goals?

III. If everyone on the invite list attended, would there be enough space?

IV. What time do your Creative Teams have access to the venue on the wedding day?

V. What time do you and your Creative Teams need to be out of the venue at the end of the night?

VI. Is there a space to get ready at the venue?

VII. Can you have both your ceremony and reception in the same space?

VIII. Are there restrictions on what caterers you can work with at this venue?

IX. What your plans for inclement weather?

When you find a venue that fits your needs, get that secured as soon as you can! Of course, your Planner will review any contracts or proposals before you sign the dotted line. When you get the green light, sign the contract, mark your calendar and pop some champagne to celebrate setting a date!


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