Choosing the Perfect Wedding Venue!
Before planning a wedding, you might think there’s really nothing to it. Pick out a few of your favorite things, your favorite colors and you’re good to go, right? Not so fast! SO many details go into planning your big day. Picking the perfect wedding venue is a great place to start. It doesn’t have to be stressful if you prepare yourself on the front-end. Here are a few things to think through before you tour venues:
1.Know your budget
Setting a budget is one of the first things that Nathan and I did when we got married. It was a very important component for us, as I’m sure it is for you. Knowing your budget before you start making decisions is a smart idea, as it allows you to rank the importance of things you will need to pay. All of that being said, our venue was our biggest cost and you’ll probably have a similar story. Even if you plan to get married in a church, you might need to consider what space you will use for the reception. Set a price range and shop around online to see what venues might fit your budget before you reach out to schedule a tour.
2.Find Out What’s Included in the Cost
Not all venues were created equal! You might find that one venue is very affordable, but they do not include chairs, tables, or table linens. Hiring another company to bring those things in will be another hit to the budget. Some venues require you to use their Preferred Vendor List, while others will let you hire whoever you want for things like your photographer, cake, and band/DJ. If you are planning to have alcohol at your reception, it would be a good idea to ask about the cost per person or if you are allowed to bring in your own alcohol. Knowing these things ahead of time will allow you to make an informed decision.
3.Talk to other Wedding Professionals
These people KNOW weddings & they’re happy to help! They attend one almost every weekend and they’ve probably seen it all. I personally love when our brides ask me for advice regarding their big day! If you have booked your photographer before your venue, ask them what venues they love to shoot in. Ask which venues have great light and opportunities for great photos. You’ll be glad you did when you sit down to look through your wedding gallery after the big day :)
4.Style of Venue
Venues definitely have a style and you need to know what you like. Know what type of theme or vision you have for the big day before you look at venues. That way you can easily rule out ones that don’t quite fit with your vision. Many brides’ minds go straight to a romantic, dreamy setting, and maybe lights are strung in the trees with a beautiful garden or lake as the backdrop. You might envision a large indoor industrial space or a restaurant space overlooking the city. Whatever it is, your photos will reflect this style, so be sure to really think about that aspect when it’s decision time.
5.Does this venue have a back-up plan?
Mostly for peace-of-mind! Knowing that your venue has a rainy-day plan is important, if for no other reason than to put your mind at ease! 😉 You’ll have so many things on your mind leading up to the wedding day, and wondering about rain shouldn’t be a huge stress for you. Also know your venue’s cancellation/refund policy. If something goes wrong with the venue, do you get a percentage of the deposit/amount paid back? It’s always better to ask than be sorry later on.