Finding Your Dream Venue
I recently attended a wedding that took place at a beachfront resort. We ate fancy appetizers and then
enjoyed hamburgers and fries. Soft jazz music played in the background as we watched the sky turn to
pale red and pink hues as the sun sank into the ocean. We danced during “golden hour” and cheered
as the couple of the day departed with a sparklers exit. The wedding had a perfect mix of a formal,
laid-back, and romantic elements, creating one sweet flavor. It was an evening to remember.
From a laid-back beachfront resort to a romantic vineyard, a wedding venue can set the tone of your
wedding. One of the biggest decisions you will need to make as a couple is where to celebrate with your
guests. Here are a few important factors to consider when looking for your dream venue:
1. Venue Size
One of the first steps before choosing a venue is estimating the amount of guests you plan to invite. Write
up a guest list and make sure the venue you like can comfortably fit all of your guests.
In addition to leasing out space, many venues have administrative fees and other service fees included in
the package. Some venues include in-house catering with a price-per-plate fee, while other venues have
a kitchen you can use to your convenience. When looking at a venue, don’t forget to ask about any additional
services that are included in the package to get an estimate on the total costs for the venue. If you’re on a
tight budget, choosing a venue that has a natural landscape, such as a forest or vineyard, can provide a
beautiful backdrop without breaking the bank on extra flowers and décor.
3. What’s Included?
Many venues have tables, chairs, linens, and other optional rentals and services available on-site. Depending
on your preferences, this may be helpful if you want to go through one vendor and avoid countless meetings
with various vendors. However, it’s good to check all your options, as some vendors may fit your budget, style,
and preferences better. Decide if you want to go with a venue that is all-inclusive (includes all major services
and rentals) or if you want a venue that allows you to choose your own vendors.
4. Make it Personal
Determine your style and whether you would like the venue indoors or outdoors. Farms, barns, and ranches
are perfect if you’re looking for a rustic-style wedding. A ballroom or hotel fits for a classic, fairy-tale wedding.
If you’re aiming at a modern styled wedding, an art gallery, industrial warehouse, restaurant, or city loft may be
a good option. If you’re a down-to-earth couple, you may choose to host your wedding at a park, in your backyard,
or at the beach. Incorporate your style into the wedding venue to make it personal.
5. Do Your Research
Online venue directories such as The Venue Report or Wedding Spot offer creative ideas and locations for wedding
venues. The Venue Report and Wedding Spot both have filters you can checkmark to find the perfect venue that
fits the budget range, guest count, venue type, setting, and amenities you want included. Ask your friends, coworkers,
and family for any places they know and would recommend as well.
Once you find the perfect venue, don’t forget to ask what days are available on their calendar. Chances are, the day
you want can be booked. It’s always good to have a few backup dates to choose from.
Keep these five tips in mind when searching for a venue. The venue you choose can say a lot about you as a couple,
create a certain mood for your guests, and set the tone for your wedding day.