Booking your wedding venue has to be at the top of your wedding planning priority list. You can’t send your Save the Dates, book your wedding vendors, propose to your bride tribe, or really take any steps forward until you have a wedding date.
1. ENSURE YOUR PREFERRED DATES ARE AVAILABLE
After doing some research on venues in your area, select 3-5 of your top favorites to tour. Call the venue coordinators to schedule your visit. Make sure to ask if your preferred wedding dates are available BEFORE you schedule your tour. You don’t want to waste your time and emotions touring a venue and getting your heart set on it if they are not available on your preferred wedding day. If you are flexible and have several potential wedding dates, this will make your venue search easier.
2. CONSIDER THE SEASONAL TIME OF YEAR
When touring your potential wedding venues, think about what time of year you will be getting married. Will the trees be in bloom? Will the grass be green? What are the typical temperatures for that time of year? Is rain or snow in the forecast? If you are touring a venue in March and everything is in full blossom, but you are booking a wedding in November, it might look quite different. Ask the venue coordinator about this and see if you can find photos of previous weddings at the venue around your wedding date. This will save you from heart ache later when you realize what you envisioned is not reality on your wedding day.
3. DOES THE ATMOSPHERE REFLECT YOUR WEDDING STYLE?
A venue on a farm with dancing outside under the stars is quite a different vibe than an elegant ballroom, traditional cathedral, or a classy outdoor country club. All are equally beautiful, but different nonetheless. Consider your personal taste and style. When looking at venues, consider what words would be used to describe them. Styles such as: elegant, bohemian, timeless, chic, vintage, laid back, rustic, spiritual, industrial, high end, whimsical, etc. The atmosphere of your wedding day will be reflected by the style of venue you choose.
4. IS THERE FLEXIBILITY WITH VENDORS?
Your wedding vendor team is a major component in your wedding planning process. Some venues are stricter than others when it comes to working with local vendors. They may only allow specific vendors to be used based on their preferred vendor list. If you have a florist and caterer that you are set on working with and a venue you are considering requires you to use their preferred florist and caterer. Consider if this is worth the compromise. Finding a venue with flexibility when it comes to vendors will give you more options as you plan your wedding and book your vendor dream team.
5. WHAT’S INCLUDED IN THE INVESTMENT?
Lastly, consider what is included in the venue cost. Are there various packages that include different rooms on the property? Does the cost fluctuate based on different days of the week? (For example, can you save some cash by getting married on a Friday or Sunday instead of a Saturday?) The venue might offer an all-inclusive package that will take the pressure of planning off your shoulders. Is that worth it to you? What items are included in the rental cost? Are tables and chairs provided? Do they have options for centerpieces and arches? Is there a bridal suite? How many hours is included in the cost? Do you have the venue for the entire day or only a set number of hours? Is an hour for a rehearsal included?
This might sound daunting, but all of these are important questions to ask. To make this process easier, we have created a handy checklist for you to fill out as you research and consult with different wedding venues. Click the link below to download. Happy Hunting!