1. Decide on a Budget + ROUGH Guest Count
You can’t walk into a venue and have a guest list of 100+ when they have a capacity of 50. Make sure you have a rough estimate of a budget, guest count, and (if you can) research what your desired venue’s capacity would be.
2. Hire a Wedding Planner
You’ll thank me later. This is one of the BEST things you can do for your wedding planning process. Hiring a planner doesn’t mean you’re not involved in planning your wedding, it just takes the stress out of literally everything.
And better yet, the day of your wedding will go off without a hitch because you have a planner to take care of any hiccups.
3. Create a Spreadsheet
Inside the spreadsheet, here’s a recommended list of things to add! This will eventually make it easier to narrow down your choices if you have all information laid out in front of you.
- Capacity: Make sure the capacity fits your event.
- Type of Venue: Such as hotel, outdoor, historical, restaurant.
- Layout: Note if it has space for all aspects of your wedding (ceremony, cocktails, reception). Sometimes this isn’t clear till a site visit.
- Rates: Enter the rough info available online.
- Website: You can easily go back and remind yourself of photos on the venue’s site.
- Restrictions: Does the website have any restrictions, such as a definite end time or rules about sparkler exits, that would affect your decision?
- Parking/Transportation: Make any notes regarding free parking, public transit, or any details related to transportation.
- Facility Extras: List here any items included with the venue: A/V equipment, chairs, tables, linens, etc.
- Caterer/Bartender: See if they have restrictions on catering, such as an in-house caterer or a preferred list of caterers you are required to work with.
4. Stay True to Yourselves
I totally get it, friend. The Pinterest boards of the world are looking upon you with their DIY and luxury boards. No matter which side you’re on (whether that be rustic barn wedding or high-end country club), make sure your wedding venue speaks to who you are and what you want on a wedding day. I know it’s easy to dream big and realize you need to go all-out for this day. BUT, if the idea of a larger wedding/venue is causing you more financial stress, I’d suggest pairing down your vision and looking at something more attainable. It’s still going to be a beautiful day, I promise!
Answer the following questions to help you narrow down your choices:
Can we truly afford this venue?
Are they available on our desired date?
Does this venue’s layout fit my needs/vision?
Does this venue fit my overall vibe?
If you liked this, then you’ll love:
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