You found the love of your life. You have had the proposal, the excited phone calls to family members and finally settled on a date. Now, how the heck do you decide on a wedding venue? When trying to find a location for what could be the biggest day of your life, things can get pretty stressful. But don’t worry, we made this helpful guide to get you through the rigorous ordeal of finding a venue and bring you that much closer to happily ever after.
First things first, the guests
If you have your heart set on that tiny mountain chapel you saw in the hills of Bavaria, you probably won’t be able to invite all of your extended family and coworkers. Figuring out how many people are going to attend your wedding is the first step toward narrowing down your list of potential venues. If you don’t want to leave anybody out, a large barn or hotel ballroom might be the perfect place for a crowd. If you are considering an intimate wedding, you are going to want the space to match the size of your wedding party, so that it still feels intimate. Once you have a rough idea of the size, it’s time to think about the look.
Going glam or keeping it casual
When choosing a venue, it is important to visualize the overall look, or theme of your wedding. If you are thinking about making your special day a rustic homage to the old west, it will probably work better in a barn or an open field than if you had the ceremony at a temple. While some locations are more flexible than others, knowing what style you want will help eliminate some of the venues that don’t match up and focus on the ones that work best.
All-inclusive or extra exclusive
Now, that you have the relative size and feel of your venue dialed in, it’s time to start thinking about what creature comforts come with each venue. A hotel ballroom might have lights, tables, a sound system and a full bar, while that gorgeous lakeside pier on Tahoe might have absolutely nothing. Knowing what you are getting with the venue might be one of the most important factors in making your final decision, but don’t forget that, with the right vendors, you can turn any location into the wedding venue of your dreams.
Lights + cameras = satisfaction
Perhaps one of the first things on your mind when thinking about a venue is the wedding day photos. Not every venue is picture perfect right away, but adding lights is a surefire way to make your venue shine. There are all kinds of lighting options to go along with your theme of choice, but no matter what you choose, it’s important to check out the venue before hand and get a sense of how many lights you might need, and where they might go. While this might seem like more of an afterthought, visualizing your venue with lights will really give you a firm grasp on the end result, and help you decide on a venue that will show off all your best angles.
Ready to start looking?
Once you have a rough idea of what you are looking for, the next step is to make a list of all of the must-haves. While you are at it, you should also write down any questions that come to mind. Then, when you are talking to the venue owner or manager, you have a cheat sheet of what to ask! While this is not an exhaustive list, hopefully it puts you on the right track to finding your ultimate wedding venue.