The Wedding Venue 101 (Part 1): 4 Questions to Ask When Searching for a Wedding Venue

wedding venue

If you’ve ever been around a near and dear one who has been engaged, it becomes clear pretty quickly that wedding planning is not easy.  For something that looks so effortless the day-of, a lot of planning comes into play.

So, with that being said, we’d like to take the load off of one of the major pieces that will have to be planned for your wedding day, and that’s the venue.  Where, darling, oh where will you get married?  We’ve assembled a list of questions to ask (Part I) along with possibilities for venues (Part II) to make planning for the venue a little easier to do.

  1. What do you want from your wedding venue? Answering this question will help to determine your priorities. You’ll want to make sure that it can accommodate the expected number of guests, and if it has enough rooms for different capacities.  Find out pricing information as far as what comes with the cost.  Determine if catering is in-house or if they accept private vendors.  Find out what will the lighting look like, because the wedding photographer will need to know what to leave at his or her studio, and what items he or she will need to bring to make the bride, groom, supporting cast, and guests look their best.  Is there parking or access to public transportation?  This site has many questions to get your mind running as to what to ask when trying to find a place that accommodates your needs.
  1. What kind of venue am I looking for? Venues range from non-traditional to traditional, and local to exotic.  The question is a good one, because it sets the stage for deciding on who your guest list will be, and how far in advance you will need to invite guests to the wedding.  Bali is beautiful, but, for anyone to attend, it would take knowing well in advance to plan for the time on a person’s calendar and in one’s budget.  Second, selecting a venue will also determine the tone of the wedding.  An at-home wedding in the backyard, at least by appearances, will seem much more casual than, say, a wedding in a church.   Ask yourself this question, and the answer will guide the direction that your wedding—from invitations to the setting’s décor—will take.
  1. Have you drafted a list of options? Your list doesn’t have to include too many venues; maybe three to five to start.  After you’ve whittled down your list to a number of different places, if they are within reach, meaning not a long flight or boat ride away, visit each and every one of these places on the list.  A good idea would be to type up a table with the different venues in one column, with the different amenities and features in the other.  An example would be a row listing “Cost,” “Catering (Yes or No),” “How Many Guests,” etc.  After you’ve visited the places, checking off the various items. You will have a better idea, if not a winner or two altogether, of what venue(s) will work well for your wedding.
  1. Did you commit to one venue? Well, don’t; not yet, anyway.  Now that you have your list, start reviewing it to see how all of the different venues match up against each other.  Does one have the perfect interior, but not enough rooms to accommodate all pieces of the wedding ceremony?  Is another one a bit out of your range, but makes up for the cost in terms of what is offered?  These are questions that you might have after reviewing the checklist from #3.

Questions are great, and will bring you closer to choosing a destination that will be a great fit for the wedding ceremony.  Before committing to a venue, we would also suggest speaking with your wedding planner if you will be working with one, or a trusted advisor, often in the form of a close friend or family member.  A number of valued opinions rather than just one will probably be more helpful in this particular situation.

Choosing a wedding venue can be a tough job when you don’t exactly know where to start.  Well, we hope that you’ll start with these four questions, and, once you do, look to us for a personalized Save the Date Card.  Stay tuned for Part II of this piece, which will include ideas for wedding venues.

Wedding Venue 102 (Part II): Ideas for Wedding Locations

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