You and your significant other now wear an engagement or a promise ring, and marriage is on the horizon. Among all the decisions you must make in preparation for the big day, choosing a venue is arguably among the most important. Where you decide to take your wedding venue significantly impacts how you remember what could be the most important day of your life.
Does the wedding venue need to be perfect?
Just like there is no objectively perfect wedding dress or suit, there is no ideal wedding choosing a venue. Every venue will have its own pros and cons. However, it’s important to find the best wedding venue for you. What kind of tone do you want your wedding to have? What do you want your guests to feel when they arrive at the location? How do you want to remember your wedding? The answers to these questions are entirely dependent on you and your partner’s preferences. The challenge is to find a middle ground.
If you’re not a multi-billionaire, you most likely need to choose a venue based on a budget. Of course, the bigger your budget is, the more options you will have. But you don’t need to despair if you don’t have a huge budget because finding the perfect venue for you doesn’t depend on how expensive it is. Instead of blowing your budget on a venue that you can barely afford, you’re better off settling for a venue that fits your budget. This means you can allocate more of your budget to other things, such as decorations and performers that can elevate the venue’s ambiance. Lastly, following a budget will save you from a lot of stress.
How big does your venue need to be? If you have a big family and an equally big circle of friends, you need to find a venue that accommodates everyone. However, keep in mind that a bigger venue means a higher price tag, and a lengthier guest list means a more expensive wedding. Depending on your budget, you can either choose a venue based on how many people you want to invite or adjust your guest list based on the capacity of the venue you have chosen.
Think thoroughly about the general location of your venue. Will you look for a venue in the city? Or do you want a rural location? Consider how far you and your guests are willing to travel. Is it accessible? It is in a safe community? You may have to find a compromise between your location of choice and its distance from the majority of your guests.
When? Not all venues will be available at all times. Ideally, you want your wedding to be on a weekend, but take note that most venues will be fully booked for the weekends. You can opt for a midweek venue if your guests can make room in their schedules. This allows you to avoid peak times and save money. Another consideration is the season as it will affect the tone of your wedding, especially if it’s outdoors.
The style or theme of your wedding must mesh well with the venue you choose. If you opt for a classic-style wedding, you have less work to do as most venues will already fit classic weddings well. On the other hand, you will need to get creative with your venue of choice if you want an out-of-the-box wedding that follows a distinct style. You also need to consider style when deciding whether to go for an indoor or outdoor venue.
Some venues offer full service (catering, bar, and staffing) while others don’t. Availing of a venue’s full service is more expensive but offers convenience. On the other hand, partial service can save you money since you can opt for outside vendors and service providers to complete the package. This is perfect for couples who have a smaller budget. To make sure you’re getting your money’s worth, inquire with the venue about all fees associated with food and drinks, services, and other billables.
Does the venue have a parking space that can accommodate your guests? If the venue doesn’t have its own parking, is there a nearby alternative? Wherever you choose to be married, you must ensure your guests won’t have trouble finding a parking space.
Curfews don’t have to dictate when the post-wedding party stops, but they can affect when the party needs to slow down. Learn about the location’s curfew or noise ordinance restrictions before you commit to a venue. If you want unrestricted partying, then you should consider renting an exclusive-use venue.
Any plan needs a backup. Does your venue provide a backup location in case of emergency? Inquire about the venue’s cancellation policy, especially if the venue’s location is prone to natural disasters. If you’re doing an outdoor wedding, what’s the plan when it rains? Some outdoor venues will have a rain plan, but you should discuss the plan with them to ensure they can execute it smoothly.
Depending on the style and size of your wedding, you will have fewer or more things to consider. Make sure you plan your wedding and discuss every decision with your partner. Ultimately, the best wedding venue for you can depend on your gut feeling. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.