If you’re newly engaged and are searching for a wedding venue, you’ve come to the right blog. Finding the perfect wedding venue is a task on your wedding to-do list that can be a bit daunting. Don’t stress though! I’m here to help you. When searching for a wedding venue, you want to see what amenities are offered. Make a list of pros and cons for each possible venue and base your decision off that list. Below is a list of the most important things you should consider. This is how I determined where to have my wedding and reception. I know these tips will be helpful for you!
Set a budget and try your best to stick to it. When you have a budget and begin to research different venues, you know you can immediately eliminate those places that you cannot afford. When researching, you may not know the exact final cost for the venue, but the venue manager should be able to give you an estimate of cost based on the number of guests, how long you will rent the venue space, food selections, etc.
Determine where you would like to have your wedding. Some people opt for a destination wedding, while others prefer to celebrate their special day in the city they live in. The choice is up to you. I chose to have my wedding and reception in the city I live in and it was important to have everything (wedding and reception) at the same place. I didn’t want the wedding one place, and the reception another.
When considering the location, I also wanted a venue that was easy to access and had ample parking. At one point, my husband and I considered a venue downtown. I’m so glad we didn’t go with it because parking and traffic would have been an issue. We don’t live in the biggest city, but it can sometimes get busy downtown, which could have posed a problem. Also, although there were parking decks near by, I didn’t want my guests (elderly family and ladies in heels) to have to walk from the deck, then a few blocks down the street to get to our wedding. We ultimately chose a place that was not in a busy area and had ample parking with a short walking distance.
It’s important that your wedding venue be large enough to accommodate your guests. You want your guests to be comfortable in the space and you want to be comfortable too. I chose a venue with a maximum capacity of 180, which was not a lot (in my opinion). Since I fell in love with this particular space, I had to cut my guests list so that I could have the venue I wanted. It was imperative that I had a venue that was large enough so that it didn’t feel congested at anytime during the ceremony, cocktail hour and reception. I also wanted to make sure that the bathrooms were sizeable. There’s nothing worse than your guests needing to use the restroom and having to wait in line to do it.
Everybody wants the food at their wedding to be amazing, right? That was number one for me! I’m a picky eater, so I was a little nervous about how the food was going to be. I didn’t want any nasty, boring food. Fortunately, the food was far from nasty and boring. It was so good! In fact, to this day, we’re still getting compliments on how great the food was.
I also wanted to ensure that my guests received a nice sized portion of food. I’ve gone to weddings for hours, and left hungry! I didn’t want my guests to experience that. Honestly, I think it’s a bit tacky to not provide an adequate amount of food for your family and friends. It’s one thing if they don’t like everything provided (everybody has different tastes and you can’t please everyone), but it’s a must to have good portion sizes. If your reception will only consists of finger foods, I think it’s best to mention on the invitation that there will be a “cocktail” reception following the ceremony so people like me can eat before they come (lol).
It’s important to offer food selections that most people will like. As I stated earlier, everyone may not like everything but there should be something in particular that everyone enjoys! Lastly, I didn’t want to have to find a caterer that would have to come to the venue. I preferred to have that in-house. That’s exactly how it happened. Selecting a venue that offers catering was so helpful and knocked one more thing off the list for me!
When finding the perfect venue, you want to make sure that the design and aesthetic of the space goes with the theme and style of your wedding. You could also consider something that coincides with your personal style. If your style or theme is more traditional, perhaps you may want to get married in a church. If your style is rustic, you may want to get married on a beautiful farm. Choose something that is reflective of your personality and style. The possibilities are endless!
Selecting a venue with dressing rooms is something you may not necessarily think about, but it’s very important to have. There needs to be a designated area where the bridal party can get dressed and where they can safely keep their belongings during the ceremony and reception. This a must!
A few years ago, I traveled out of town for a wedding, and like most people, I needed to use the restroom when I arrived to the venue. When I asked where the restroom was, the hostess said that the bridal party was getting ready in the restrooms so I wouldn’t be able to use it. WTF! I was really surprised that there was nowhere for the guests to use the bathroom. That was a first for me! I ended up holding it for a while. Shortly after, I asked a venue worker if there was a restroom I could use. Fortunately, she allowed me to use the ‘employee’ restroom, which I had to access through the kitchen where the caterers were preparing the food! It was then that I realized the importance of having a designated space (other than the community restroom) for the bridal party to get dressed.