One of the most important items you’ll need to think about when planning your wedding (besides the dress, of course) is the finding the perfect wedding venue. WHERE are you going to get married? A church? A bed and breakfast? Your backyard? While you may think that it’s not a big deal, choosing the right venue is extremely important and quite possibly the most important decision that you’ll have to make about your big day.
So I’m here to help. When I got married (I promise this will be short), we looked at all kinds of places. Churches, halls, banquet facilities, my parent’s backyard…and we finally settled on a quaint little church that belongs to the historical society and (coincidentally) seats a MAXIMUM of 50 people. See why the venue is important? What if I had an enormous guest list and had to settle for my second favorite? Or what if the venue was WAY too big for my guests?
So how do you find the perfect wedding venue? It’s actually pretty simple:
Make your guest list.
How many people are you inviting? This will help you to narrow down seating and the necessary room needed for everyone to fit comfortably.
Decide whether you want the reception on site or off site.
If you’d like to get married on the beach and have a party at the local bowling alley, that will influence your decision. If you want to use one room, you need to make sure there’s sufficient room for everyone you’re inviting AND the entertainment, food, etc.
Decide on a budget.
Sure, I could have put this first, but I really think that this is the third most important item on the list. If your perfect venue is thousands over what you an afford, then it’s not really perfect, is it?
Do some digging.
Go online. Talk to friends. Call a few of the couples that were married there recently. How was their experience? You may fall completely head over heels with a beautiful building, only to find out that they don’t allow the sand that is critical to your ceremony, or candles are taboo (true in both cases for my little church). Or that they are notorious for not opening on time or not allowing decor to be attached to the chandeliers.
Schedule a walk-through and meet with the manager or event planner.
Before you plunk your money down, go in person. Take your time, look in the corners, make sure that your aisle will look the way you want it and there’s plenty of room for all 20 of your bridesmaids. Then ask for a few minutes alone. Check under the table linens. Look at the windows. Is it clean? Are the colors going to clash horribly with your peach and brown?
Now that you’ve got your perfect wedding venue, it’s time to start planning the rest of your wedding.