how to find a wedding venue

The first steps in researching a wedding venue

Photo by Jess Latos

Photo by Jess Latos

This week we're talking about all the things to consider when picking a wedding venue.

Your Budget

The first thing is: have a budget. You cannot start looking at venues without one. Do not torture yourself with venues you can't afford - it's not worth it! You will find one that's right for you and your partner, your vision AND your budget

Get Organized!

The next step in your venue search is to get organized! I love all of the various venues this area has to offer, but the unfortunate thing is, much like the college application process (!), they all provide different information, in different formats, in different locations. To avoid going crazy, create a venue spreadsheet with all the major details so you can easily see what each venue has to offer. And don't be afraid to reach out to them for more info - many offer limited immediate info on their websites, but have packets of details ready to sent you. You can learn more about what that spreadsheet could look like here.

Venue Availability

The third step when beginning your venue search is the venue's availability! Were you dying to get married in the fall so you can have the foliage as your backdrop? Make sure they're free then. Alternatively, maybe you have a venue you want more than anything, but don't mind getting married in the winter if it means you can get wed there. Keep the time of year, which year (!), and your priorities in mind.

Consider your wedding guest list

Does this venue’s capacity fit my estimated guest list? Sometimes venues stretch what’s possible in order to make themselves more attractive to all couples. So you've got to make sure your venue can handle all of your guests. One way to discreetly figure this out is to ask at the site visit: “What number of guests is most successful in this space?” Just because you CAN fit 150 people into a room, doesn’t mean you should.

Venue layout

The final question to ask when looking for a venue, is does this venue’s layout/available space fit my needs? For example, if you’re doing ceremony, cocktails, and reception all in one venue, does it have three separate spaces for all of those events? If not, do they recommend a “flip?” The typical “flip” is changing the ceremony space into the reception space during cocktail hour, when guests are in another area. Flips are a great way to make a venue work for you. However, make sure they are done at the venue often, and ask how they are done: Where are the reception tables and decor stored? Will it require renting pipe and drape (a faux fabric wall to hide these items from guests)? Does it require a space that is weather dependent (such as an outdoor space)? This is where you can recognize potential hidden costs and hidden issues.

Guest posts on A Practical Wedding

Quick blog post to update you all on a project I managed to squeeze in before Tallulah arrived. I'm super excited that I was asked to do some guest blog posts for my most favorite of favorite blogs, A Practical Wedding. I've been reading A Practical Wedding almost since it's inception years ago, back when it was on Blogger and was just Meg herself ranting about the wedding industry. It inspired my own wedding, and frankly, it inspired me to start this business. So getting to write some logistics blog posts about finding a venue and doing a venue site visit for them was a huge honor and thrill! The first one ran on February 3rd, Tallulah's birthday. So I was a little distracted and wasn't able to share in a timely manner! This post breaks down how to get started and choose a wedding venue.

The second one ran yesterday, and is all about the essential questions you should ask when doing a venue site visit

Enjoy! And big thanks again to APW for the opportunity! Now back to breastfeeding...