When you’re focusing on how to choose the perfect wedding venue for your wedding, there are a number of things to take into consideration, like the venue’s size, location, distance from guest accommodations, and so much more! Finding your dream venue can be a precarious process, so we have put together our professional advice on what things you should consider when selecting the spot that’s just perfect for your special day. Don’t forget to download our comprehensive list of questions to ask your wedding venue, as you start your site visits!
Get a free venue site visit questionnaire below
Know Your Budget
It’s best to create your wedding budget before you start your search for the perfect wedding venue. If you select your venue first, and then you realize it’s more than you expected or have allocated to spend for your venue, the remainder of your planning becomes an uphill battle. You will have allocated too large of a percentage of your budget to the venue, and booking your other suppliers with the remaining budget may be more difficult. Break down your overall budget by category, and prioritize a higher allocation to your vendor.
Not sure how the costs break down in North Carolina? Consult a local wedding planner to get more specific information on average costs.
Select a Venue That Aligns With Your Vision
Once you know how much you can allocate to the venue, start your search by seeking locations that have the type of aesthetic that you envision for your special day. If you are dreaming of a wedding in a beautiful, lush outdoor setting, you make research parks and vineyards. On the other hand, if your personal style is more on the modern side, consider looking at art galleries, or warehouses with exposed brick.
Selecting a venue that fits well with your personal style and theme will enable you to create your wedding with the look and feel that is not only connected with the space but that will enable you to feel more connected. Choosing a venue that’s a good fit with the aesthetic you envision, will also make decorating easier.
Consider The Venue Packages
What’s included? Be sure to ask questions such as, “am I allowed to bring in my own caterer?” “are there exclusions to the type of décor I can bring in?” It may seem obvious, but a venue with tables, chairs and linens may not necessarily include those items in the package for free. Also, a venue that does include these things, may charge more than a venue that allows you to rent your own. So, check out the costs of renting and compare. And remember, typically a venue that does include linens and décor will have limited options on style and color.
What’s the Availability?
If you have already selected your wedding date before you start searching for your venue, or you are dead set on a particular date, start your search very early. 12-18 months is not too soon. If you don’t have that much lead time after you get engaged, we recommend keeping the date more flexible until you find your perfect location.
Know Your Guest List
You should have some idea of how many guests you expect to come to your wedding before you start looking for a venue. If you choose a venue too small and you get more RSVPs than you expect, you could be in a sticky situation.
Ask the venue what the maximum capacity is and if they have floor layout examples.
Also, as you are sizing up the venue, having an idea of guest count will enable you to get a better idea of how you can use the space. A wedding planner can guide you through creating a guest list, and figuring out how to arrange tables and chairs for the best configuration
What are the Options?
If you are planning an outdoor wedding, it’s a good idea to only consider venues that have outdoor and indoor options. As the weather goes, it is very unpredictable. You never know when you will need a plan B and it’s best to be prepared. Selecting a venue with indoor and outdoor options for both the ceremony and the reception will make things a lot less hectic in the event you need to make a last- minute change due to inclement weather. It’s also a good idea to ask questions about the venue’s policies on the plan A and Plan B options, such as “what’s the latest time before my wedding day do I have to decide which option I want?” What happens if I choose plan A and the weather changes last minute?” Be sure you understand all of the venue’s policies.
Research The Venue
To get an unbiased assessment, make sure you do your research. You want to know what other couples have said about their experience with the venue. You might even get a glimpse of how other weddings looked. Focus on the most current reviews and be sure to notate both the positive and the negative feedback from various review sites. You can always ask the site for reference
Take a look at the photos from other weddings. Be sure to notate both the positive and the negative feedback from various review sites. You can always ask the site for references of past couples and wedding planners that you can contact.
Contact the site and plan a site visit and prepare a list of questions for the day of your visit.