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Sometimes wedding planning starts with the dress. But it’s really the wedding venue that sets the tone of the whole day. After you’ve had some time to enjoy the bliss of being newly engaged, start to think about where your perfect day will take place. We recommend you start thinking about your budget, guest count, ideal location(s) and date. Those are the biggies that will help you decide on other details. And remember, your day should be all about the two of you. To help you narrow your search, follow these four expert tips for picking the perfect venue for your special day!
1. Guest Considerations
First and foremost, consider your guest count. Do you want your wedding to be small and intimate? Or large enough to accommodate a major crowd?
Either way, it’s important to think of how convenient it will be for guests to get to the venue. Will they have to travel extensively (and expensively)? Is parking doable? Do you need all areas of the venue to be accessible? An impressive flight of stairs might be straight from a storybook, but might be difficult for grandparents to navigate. If the ceremony and reception location is a considerable distance from hotel accommodations, see if a shuttle is available for guests.
2. Scope it Out
Look for a venue with a lot of natural light. This will be a dream feature for your wedding photographer to capture beautiful photos. Take it one step further by looking at photos of other weddings that have taken place at your venue, ideally during different seasons. This will help you get an idea of how the location will photograph throughout the year.
Definitely, visit the venue in person to make sure it aligns with your vision and theme. You’ll want to consider how your wedding decor and color palette will look with the venue’s decor and coloring. If you have your heart set on a bold, jewel-toned color palette but it doesn’t mesh with the ballroom’s wallpaper and carpeting, consider what you’re willing to compromise.
3. Price and Perks
Of course, you should dream big, but keep your budget in mind. Some venues are more generous than others with what’s included. Do they provide catering? What about linens, chairs, silverware and other table planning accessories? The extras add up quick so make sure to ask what’s included and check it against a list of day-of necessities. You might get a better deal elsewhere.
4. Outdoor Contingency
If you’re planning to have your ceremony and/or reception at an outdoor wedding venue, consider what the backup plan would be for inclement weather. If you simply can’t live with the indoor option, that might be a dealbreaker. How will your outdoor wedding accessories look inside the venue? Is a tent available if necessary or will that be an additional rental fee?
Once you have your venue chosen and set for the big day, we think everything gets a little easier. Until then, do you homework and try to enjoy the process. You know what they say: location, location, location!