When you first get engaged, there are two things you’ll find yourself doing: staring at the sparkly rock on your finger and dreaming up every possible vision for your wedding. While it may be tempting to start pinning every centerpiece you can find, there’s one puzzle piece that you need to put into place first: selecting your venue!
Your venue will be the foundation for every aspect of your wedding, from the overall theme to the team of vendors you choose. Understandably, it is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make in the wedding process, so it’s not one to take lightly.
Here are some tips to help you pick the venue that will create your wedding dream come true.
Know your limits
When you start shopping for venues, it’s important to be armed with the knowledge of your boundaries – namely, your budget and your guest list. Neither have to be set in stone just yet, as they’ll likely change as the process goes on. However, it’s important to start out with a ballpark guest count and estimated budget. Those figures will help you find venues that can accommodate your wedding – it’s a waste of time to look at a space that holds 75 when you’ll have at least 150 guests and there’s no point falling in love with a $10,000 venue when your total budget is $15,000.
photo by Liz Cook Photography at West Manor Estate
Have a list of must-haves
Before going on tours, be sure to create a list of must-haves with your partner. Whether you need the space for a 10-piece band or you must have a bridal suite to get ready, it’s important to have these on the top of your head so you know what to look out for as you shop for the right venue.
Don’t go too big
We all know that selecting a venue that is too small for your guest list is a no-no, but not many realize that booking a space that is too large is also discouraged. If you plan to have a total of 100 guests, a venue that can fit 500 people will feel too empty and open. You’ll want a venue that hits the sweet spot right around your estimated guest count for it to feel just right.
Consider what is included
While the cost is certainly important, you’ll want to weigh it against what is included in the package. It may seem like the cheaper venue option is a better choice for your budget, but take a look at what else is included. If the more affordable space comes only with the bare minimum but a more expensive property includes rentals and lighting design, you may find that choosing the pricier venue will be more cost-effective in the long run.
With all of these considerations in mind, don’t forget the most important question to ask: Can you picture getting married there? Trust your gut and choose the venue that speaks to you and your partner – you won’t regret it! PS. Check out our list of preferred venues here.