I’ve finally done it! I’ve finally booked my wedding venue and we finally have a guaranteed wedding date. The wedding planning process consists of making decision after decision. Choosing your venue is one of the first big decisions that you have to make. Your choice of venue kind of dictates everything else. Your wedding date, your vendors, your honeymoon, your dress, etc. Everything begins to fall into place once you book your venue. Since I’ve finally done the deed, I feel like I should share my most helpful tips for choosing your venue.
Narrow your search down BEFORE you start visiting venues
There are a lot of ways to filter through the long list of wedding venues. You can save yourself a lot of headache and confusion by getting your list down to no more than FIVE venues before you start making tour appointments. The more tours you do, the more all of the venues start to become a blur. You want to try to avoid being overwhelmed, especially since this is just the first of many major decisions to come. You can narrow your search down by price, by location, by whether you want an outdoor or indoor wedding, by theme, by availability, etc. There are numerous ways to try to pinpoint the perfect venue. I narrowed down my own search by location, theme, price, and responsiveness from the venue.
Visit the venue that you think you like the most FIRST, then visit a few more
I was able to narrow my search down to just three venues that I felt the need to visit. They were all about the same price, they had all been very friendly and responsive but they differed in “vibe” and they were all in different parts of the same city. Before my search really began, I was set on having my wedding at one particular venue. It was a super glamorous and kind of modern upscale hotel that I loved. So I visited that venue first, thinking that this was probably where I was going to end up having my wedding and reception. After the tour of this particular venue, I was honestly ready to stop looking. But my mother and fiancé, who also loved the venue, insisted that we see other spaces just to be sure. So we saw two more venues and… I did not end up choosing the first venue like I had previously thought I would. So I think it’s a great idea to see that venue that you’ve been dreaming of and then look at some others. Sometimes the venue that you didn’t expect to be great can really exceed your expectations and end up topping your number one pick.
Pay attention to what is included in the price
I cannot stress this point enough. If the cost is important to you, which I’m sure it is for most people, make sure you’re looking at the big picture. Sometimes what seems like the least expensive option ends up costing way more than you think due to things not being included in the rental price and extra fees. PAY ATTENTION. Two of the venues that I was considering where hotels and while their rental fees were the same, one of them was including the bridal/wedding night suite and dressing rooms in their fee and the other wasn’t. Based on the prices of the rooms at the hotel that wasn’t including this in their fee, I calculated that we would end up spending another $1000-1200 just on hotel rooms and dressing room space. Things like that are what brides and grooms need to keep in mind when looking at the overall cost.
Choose what feels right
When I turned down the street that the venue that I ultimately picked was located on, I just knew. I felt that it was the one before I even stepped foot inside. My fiancé felt it too. And the craziest part was this was the last venue we saw and we were really considering cancelling our tour because this was our “last resort” venue. I know we both left that tour feeling crazy because we had been so wrong about what we thought we wanted. The venue that we were so nonchalant about ended up being the one that we fell in love with. Sometimes you just know, you feel it in your spirit that this is the venue that you want to celebrate the beginning of the rest of your life in.