Photo via The Engine Room
A lot comes into play when you are on the lookout for your perfect wedding venue. Budget, location, capacity, style, and more will influence your decision, and it can be overwhelming keeping track of all of that information! If you are planning your wedding and looking for your dream venue, follow these tips to make the process as easy and successful as possible.
Meet With Your Planner Before Looking at Venues
If you are working with a wedding planner, meet with them before going to look at places to discuss your options. A planner will have a better idea of the pros and cons of certain places (especially if they’ve worked with some of your venue options before), and may have insider insights that can help you decide if you even want to consider a certain venue. They’ll also have an idea of how they can transform certain spaces, so they can help create the vision if you are having a hard time imagining the potential of each venue for your big day.
Know Your Style
Before you start researching venues, you need to know what the style of your wedding will be. The venue plays a huge factor in creating the ambiance and aesthetic of any event and should be considered an extension of the style of your wedding. For example, if you are planning a country chic celebration, a modern city loft won’t best complement your vision. Define the style of your wedding first, and then look into different places that best enhance that aesthetic.
On that note, you should also go for a venue that has a style you truly love. Your wedding decor should enhance the space, not hide it. You don’t want to try to mask the real look of a venue by going overboard with decorations—that will only drive up your budget and stress you out! Go for the venue that excites you, not the one that you are only okay with.
Stick To Your Budget and Guest Count
Another factor you need to get clear on before looking at venues is your budget and approximate guest count. Any spaces that don’t fit your budget or guest amount aren’t worth wasting your time on, so make sure all the venues you plan on looking at fit your criteria before scheduling a tour.
Keep in mind that your decor costs are also tied to the space. Certain venues may cost more to decorate. For example, a larger venue will cost more, as you’ll need to cover more space. As you are looking at venues, decide how much will be necessary to really deck out the space—and check with your planner or vendors to see if that will send you over your budget.
Ask What’s Included—and What’s Restricted
When looking at certain venues and your budget, you’ll also have to keep in mind what is included in the cost. For example, a venue may charge higher prices if their package includes rentals of tables, chairs, and more. This may mean that, while a venue might be on the higher end of your budget, it could eliminate the need to budget out money for other factors.
You should also see if they have any limitations, such as needing to use the in-house caterer or only working with a list of preferred vendors. If these vendor prices don’t match with your budget, you may need to keep looking.
If the venue isn’t available on the date of your wedding, there is no need to waste time touring! Check that the venue is available on your date (or preferred dates, if you haven’t locked it down yet) before scheduling a meeting—and check again after if interested to be completely certain.
Keep Location in Mind
You’ll need to keep the actual location of different venues in mind. If a venue is a bit more remote or doesn’t have easy parking, you may need to provide guests with transportation to the location. If you are having a destination wedding, or have a lot of guests coming in from out of town, you may want to pick a location that is close to where everyone is staying for ease of accessibility.
Look for Spaces with an On-Site Coordinator
An on-site coordinator can make the planning process a lot easier, especially if you aren’t working with a wedding planner. A coordinator will be able to answer all of your questions about the space and help with any logistics that need to be worked through. If certain venues don’t have an on-site coordinator, you might need to decide if they are worth pursuing.
Break Out the Spreadsheet
A spreadsheet will help make your research process a lot smoother and will allow you to more easily narrow down your choices and pick your perfect venue. Create columns for capacity, location, venue type, availability, rates, parking or transportation situation, extras included with the venue, and restrictions, as well as a column for additional notes.
If you are in the process of planning your wedding, come to the next Georgia Bridal Show near you. You will have the chance to meet with professional wedding vendors from Georgia and the Southeast who can help bring your vision to life!