First off, a huge congratulations to the both of you! If you’re reading this article, then the chances are you haven’t chosen a venue yet and we truly believe this is such an important step in the entire process. After all, how you make decisions in the beginning of wedding planning is going to set the tone for the rest of it! That being said, we always do our best to give our couples who read these posts the most honest and vital information that will encourage them to make the best decisions for themselves. So we put together a short but sweet list of the five most important tips on choosing a wedding venue! Happy wedding planning!
1. Visualize the experience you and your guests want to have!
One of the most important steps in wedding planning is to really think about what type of experience you’re trying to have! After all, you’re spending a considerable amount of money on this celebration and the venue will lend to the overall experience and vibe you’re going for! We also always encourage people to think about their own personalities, likes and dislikes when it comes to choosing a venue. Maybe you really love to spend time outdoors. If that’s the case, an industrial or ballroom type venue might not be the best fit for you.
2. Ask what the venue includes!
Every venue is definitely different from the next in terms of what each includes. For instance, some venues include rentals such as tables, chairs, linens and other various items while some are a complete blank slate. Neither is necessarily better than the other as a blank slate gives you the option to completely customize the experience and a venue that comes with rentals built into the price will give you one less thing to think about. However, if you’re going with more of a blank slate, when it never hurts to hire a wedding planner to make sure all of your deliverables (tables, chairs, rentals etc) are on schedule and set up correctly!
3. All inclusive vs. Partially/Non Inclusive
Similar to our last point, it definitely helps to think about whether or not you want an all inclusive venue or a venue where you can bring in your own vendors. Inclusive venues will be ones that have their own catering, deserts and sometimes even their own florist. You’ll still have options to use other vendors that you want to such as your photographer and videographer as well! Some all inclusive venues even come with a wedding planner that works with the venue. It truly just comes down to how much personalization you want in your wedding day! We’ve found most of our couples go with a venue that offers the event space and rentals (often times the rentals look great with the space as is!) and then customize their wedding from there. For instance, they’ll choose their own catering, florals, photographer, and even bring in external decor rentals! The possibilities are endless but it’s always smart to be aware of these things when venue shopping!
4. Rain backup plan?
Concerns about the weather can definitely be a big factor in choosing a wedding venue. If you’re like us and live anywhere that isn’t Southern California or anywhere else in the American Southwest, then you’re probably going to need to consider a rain option. This is usually a surprisingly overlooked variable to couples when they are booking a venue. Some venues will offer a rain plan option such as a barn, reception space or a tent. Some places will even do a flip of the reception space and let it double as a ceremony space. Whatever the case, make sure you have a rain or bad weather plan! However, if you’re one of those couples that really wants to jut brave the storm (lol) and go for it, you can also get married outside with tons of umbrellas and just let it happen. What a way to remember your wedding, right?
5. Stay true to yourselves.
If you’ve already started this process of venue searching, you’ll probably notice a lot of your favorite venues are booked up. But let us tell you a secret, don’t settle! You deserve an experience that matches the love you’re celebrating and while it can be hard to find the “perfect” venue that aligns on the perfect date, don’t give up! Even if you have to get a little creative and go a more DIY route (for instance, a backyard wedding at a family estate, a state park, or even a venue that’s a little outside the city you’re going for), there are still ways to have a celebration that completely speaks true to the both of you. Also, make it easy. Go with your gut on every step of wedding planning and watch things just become a little easier in the process, including choosing your venue!