The step by step guide to choosing a wedding venue
Planning,  Weddings

The Step By Step Guide To Choosing The Best Wedding Venue

When it comes to planning your wedding you will quickly discover that there are multiple options for everything.

There are themes, flowers, cakes, dresses, rings, & the list also includes venues. Which obviously is key to the entire wedding.

Don’t freak out because I used the word “key”. But at the same time, you can’t diminish the importance of a wedding venue.

It will be the place of your ceremony or reception, sometimes both & will set the tone for the rest of your wedding.

Once you decide on a venue then the other details will start to come together.

You’ll know,

  • How much of your budget you have left.
  • Can determine the best decor to fit with your theme & venue.
  • Where to book hotel blocks for guests.
  • Timing of the ceremony & reception
  • If there are other vendors that you’ll need to find.

Before Beginning Your Venue Search

Before you jump into your wedding venue planning there are a few things that you need to consider. This will also narrow down your options.

  • What’s the size of your guest list? Can the venue accommodate?
  • What is your budget compared to the venue price? (The venue should not be a majority of your budget).
  • Does it align with your wedding vision? Is it your personality?
  • What will be your guest experience there? (Is it close to a hotel? Is there enough space or bathrooms? Is there enough parking?)
  • Think about what’s included.
  • What’s the layout of the venue? Can you have both the ceremony & reception there?

Types Of Wedding Venues

This list of venues includes both traditional & non traditional wedding venues.

Everything you need to know about wedding venues

Barn/Farm

If you love being outdoors & want more of a rustic feel to your wedding then a barn or farm wedding is probably for you.

Don’t let the phrase “barn wedding” fool you. These weddings are beautiful & be designed to be as classy or as laid back as you desire.

Your step by step guide to choosing a wedding venue

House Of Worship

House of Worship weddings are generally more traditional & usually only hold the ceremony. The phrase “House Of Worship” is encompassing of any religious building such as a:

  • Church
  • Synagogue
  • Mosque
  • Temple

Your guide to choosing the best venue for your wedding.

Banquet Hall

Banquet halls are great open floor plan venues. Especially if you have a large number of guests.

Most banquet halls are only used for receptions but creativity you can also combine the ceremony into it.

Your step by step guide to all things wedding venues

Hotel

Hotel weddings are extremely convenient & usually all inclusive. Meaning, you’ll get a ceremony & reception space along with a caterer all in one.

Plus your guests can stay right on site (with usually a discounted rate).

Everything you need to know about how to choose the best wedding venue for you.

Vineyard

A vineyard or winery is a beautiful venue for outdoor weddings.

They’re especially great for amazing picture backdrops.

Quick tip: Most vineyard wedding venues require a minimum dollar amount of wine to be purchased.

Your guide to choosing the best wedding venue.

Garden

Garden weddings are gorgeous. There’s no need to spend extra money on florals when they cone built into the landscape.

If you don’t have a local garden or arboretum you can look at parks in your area.

Your step by step guide to all things wedding venues

Country Club

Country clubs are another awesome all inclusive venue. If you want to have your ceremony, reception, & caterer all in 1 place then this is the route for you.

Your guide to all things wedding venue

Historic Homes

If your local area has some historic homes then you can check to see about wedding rentals.

You can add a touch of history to your tale.

Just like this beautiful wedding at the Biltmore Estates in North Carolina.

Your guide to choosing the best wedding venue.

Industrial Buildings

Industrial buildings seem to be on the rise. More & more old buildings & warehouses are being revamped as the perfect blank canvas.

Usually in these buildings when you go to tour them you’ll just see an empty floor. But with vision for the blank canvas you can create a masterpiece.

Your step by step guide to all things wedding venues

Museums

Museum weddings give a special touch to the things that are interesting to the couple. Plus how cool would you Wedding be in a plane museum or among dinosaurs.

Your guide to choosing the best wedding venue.

Aquariums

You can’t get more “under the sea” than by having your wedding surrounding my millions of fish.

After seeing several aquariums weddings, like this reception set up in the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, GA; I’ve even found myself wanting one.

Art Galleries

If you want more of an Art Deco themed wedding then art galleries are the answer to your venue problem.

Your guide to choosing the best wedding venue

Zoos

Yes, you read it right. I said the zoo. This is very out of the box. But it’s the perfect venue if you love animals.

This ceremony setup at the Nashville Zoo in Nashville, TN is simple, elegant & will give guests an unforgettable experience.

Everything you need to know to choose your wedding venue

Theaters

If entertainment is what you have in mind. Then what better venue than a theater. Theaters & opera houses provide built in beautiful decor, seating, & a stage for your big day.

Your step by step guide to all things wedding venues

Restaurants

If you’re a foodie couple then a restaurant venue is your cup of tea.

Check with your area restaurants for ones that have private dinning areas.

Every restaurant offers different accommodations & packages but then all have 1 thing in common. Awesome food!

Everything that you need to know to choose the best wedding venue.

Stadium

For the true sports enthusiast having your wedding at a stadium will truly feel like a dream come true.

Your step by step guide to all things wedding venues

Backyard

Don’t frown at the thought of a backyard wedding. Saving money on a paying for a venue doesn’t mean you’ll miss out on amazing decor, food, & especially fun.

Your step by step guide to all things wedding venues

Beach

If you want a wedding with a few then beach weddings are your ticket. Whether it’s a destination wedding or a local lake/beach, sand & water make for a beautiful backdrop.

Your step by step guide to all things wedding venues

Boat

Provide your guests with a truly unique & beautiful  experience with a nautical wedding boat ride.

You can choose to have your wedding as a part of a cruise, a steamboat, a riverboat, or a yacht.

Just imagine saying “I do” as the sun sets over the water.

Your step by step guide to all things wedding venues

City Hall

There are many benefits to having a city hall wedding.

It’s an intimate space for the couple & a few of their close family & friends.

It’s extremely budget friendly.

You can allow more focus & budget on the reception.

Questions To Ask A Wedding Venue

It’s important to have all of the facts about a venue before signing any contracts & making payments.

While checking out a particular venue be sure to ask the following questions:

  • Do you require that we use your preferred caterer?
  • If we have to use your preferred caterer, is there a minimum dollar amount that we must meet?
  • If we can bring in our own caterer, are there any restrictions?
  • How many hours is the contract for? Including setup & cleanup time.
  • What part of setup & cleanup will we be responsible for?
  • Is a ceremony rehearsal included in the fee?
  • Are real candles allowed? If so can they be open flame or do they need to be enclosed?
  • Are there any supplies included in the closet? (Linens, tables, chairs, dinnerware, A/V equipment)
  • Can I use outside vendors? (DJ, coordinator, cake vendor, florist)
  • Are there decorating restrictions? (Can we hang decor? How can it be hung? Is tape allowed? Is confetti allowed)
  • Is the lighting able to be dimmed?
  • Are there other events allowed to be held on the same day?
  • Are there any hidden fees? (Moving furniture, ceremony/reception reset)
  • What is there cancellation policy?
  • Is alcohol allowed?

Remember, you need to physically go visit a wedding venue before you sign any contracts. That way you can see it in person to see if it truly fits with what you want. Pictures aren’t always the best thing to go by.

If you’re planning a destination wedding & can’t visit a venue before hand then ask for specific details. Don’t be afraid to ask for dimensions, photos that aren’t on the site, even references from other brides.

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Everything you need to know to choose wedding venue.