Planning a wedding can be an overwhelming and complicated process because of the many different details involved. You can, however, make the process easier on yourself by accomplishing certain tasks right away and checking them off your list. One of those things is selecting a venue.
Selecting a venue early on in the planning process is important because there are many factors to consider when choosing your venue. Before you even start looking at venues or putting down deposits, sit down with your significant other and discuss priorities. Make some lists (I love making lists), and call one “Must Have” and one “Can Live Without”. Be sure to keep this with you while visiting your venues.
After you’ve decided on priorities, be sure to really discuss what you and your husband or wife-to-be both envision. There are many venues out there, and more and more as time goes on. You don’t need to settle for anything, but you also don’t need to go into debt just because you fell in love with one particular location. There will always be others!
Next, you should begin scheduling site visits to check out all the different venues you are interested in. Some venues will be so busy that they are unable to book private tours, in which case they typically host an open house. You can usually find this information on their website or on other bridal forums. Be sure to mark all of your appointments and important dates (bridal shows, open houses, tastings, etc.) on the calendar so as not to forget! If you have to add multiple reminders for yourself, do it. You will be glad you took the time to check out each place in person because pictures can be deceiving.
Visit your venue during the appropriate time of year. If you are getting married in the fall because you love foliage and want to feature it in your wedding photos, you should schedule your site visits during the fall a year or two before your wedding. This will help you to envision what your wedding would look like if you hosted it at that venue during that time of year. It will also allow you to note the most vibrant colors that surround the venue which will assist you in choosing your colors. Additionally, it will be easier to know what will match and what will clash your surroundings if you select your venue before you decide on your wedding colors.
Pick a place that really represents you as a couple and that brings your theme to life. By selecting a place that you love and dressing it up with your colors and decoration, you are creating a night that your attendees will always remember. Do you have a favorite place to watch the sunset, or maybe a specific mountain that you have hiked up together? If you’re not planning to get married in a church, there are tons of non-traditional options to choose from just by remembering intimate spots you’ve visited with your honey.
Don’t forget to compare prices and packages of all the venues you visit and be sure you select the one that gives the most value for what you are spending. This is where that list of priorities will help you out. If you know what specific details you are looking for in advance it will be easier to make a decision later when you are torn between two venues. Some venues have equipment on site and will include the use of things like tables, chairs, linens, and sometimes tents within their packages. Rental inclusions can make what seems like a more expensive venue a much more reasonable deal once you know total costs.
Lastly, enjoy yourself. Looking at venues can be fun, but it can also be exhausting and disappointing. I know this first hand from experience. I recently visited some local venues and though they were beautiful, neither were exactly what I had expected. Pictures can be deceptive, as venues only display the best possible photos on their websites so as not to show any sort of minor flaws. Stand where your ceremony is going to be, look around and observe everything. These are the surroundings you will be seeing on your big day. If it seems too crowded or to have too much distracting or unattractive background, note that. Pay attention to whether there will be room for your photograph to move gracefully. If your camera man does not have access to you from many angles, you may miss out on tons of different shots you initially hoped for.
Don’t give up!! I know visiting venues is tiresome, especially when you’ve been to a bunch and still haven’t found what you were looking for. But when you finally find the right one, you will be more than happy and ready to book it. And if you need any help, I’m here.