Updated: Dec 17, 2018
Getting engaged is such an exciting moment, and it’s easy to want to jump right in to all things weddings. One of your first tasks on your checklist will inevitably be finding your venue! It’s easy to find a venue you love the look of but make sure that you’re considering everything when it comes to your wedding day location. Here are a few factors that you should take note of when you head to those venue tours!
Is the venue located somewhere that your guests can actually get to? If you’re doing the ceremony and reception in separate venues, how far apart are they (and will your guests travel that far)? If it’s in a busy city location, will you have to cover guests’ parking or adjust your timeline due to 5:00 traffic? If it’s in a rural area, will guests be able to get a ride after a night of partying or be able to get back to their hotel in a reasonable amount of time? There are a lot of questions that come with location, so it’s important to make that the #1 factor when you’re looking around.
Have you always dreamed of an October wedding? Then you may want to make sure that venue has an October date available. Venues book up extremely fast, and book pretty far out. It’s easy to have to change your mind on a date because you can’t find a venue. You’ll also want to make note of blackout dates. If you always pictured a New Year’s Eve soirée but a venue doesn’t go for that sort of thing, then it probably isn’t a good fit for your special day.
It’s simple math. You can’t fit 250 guests into a room built for 100. Make sure you ask about the capacity of the space, specifically for a seated reception if you plan on having dinner. Numbers for capacity will vary depending on if you’re using the space for a ceremony, cocktail hour, or reception, so make sure that you’re picking a space that’s suited to that guest list you already sent Save-the-Dates to.
Is it what you had in mind? If you want a lavish, formal affair, then are you choosing a venue that will “wow” your guests – or if you want a casual party, are you looking at something that will make your guests feel like they should have worn a suit and tie? You need to pick a venue that reflects that style of the event you’re planning, and the style of you as a couple. Your venue will say the most about your wedding, and will be the checklist item that sets the tone for everything else.
By now you should have an idea of what you can afford to pay for your big day, so does this venue fit your costs? Is it in the budget you set or does it take away your whole budget (and more)? As easy as it is to fall in love with a venue solely based on its looks, you’re going to want to spend some money on other things too, so make sure that you have that money to spend.
If you’re looking at a venue that requires a certain caterer, but you already booked a caterer you’re in love with who isn’t on the list, then you have a problem on your hands. Don’t put yourself in the awkward position of trying to explain the mishap to the caterer or trying to beg the venue to let you use them. Ask about preferred/required vendors at your tour so that you have an idea of what (or who) is allowed and what isn’t.
Hope this helps! Choosing your venue is the first big step to the planning process and there’s a lot to choose from. Keep these factors in mind, and you’ll definitely find something perfect for your special day!