If you’re newly engaged (congrats!), the first thing to do after you drink champagne and tell your family + friends is to choose a wedding venue. If you’re thinking to yourself, how do you pick a wedding venue, you’ve come to the right place.
Booking your perfect venue just got sooo much easier because we’re walking you through it. Here’s how to choose the wedding venue of your dreams and, while we’re on the topic, we’re also sharing some creative venue art from handmade artists who are seriously talented. Enjoy!
How do you pick a wedding venue?
How do you pick a wedding venue when you don’t even know where to start?! Don’t fret; it’s really a lot easier than you think.
Pick a wedding venue you can decide on together.
Discuss what kind of wedding venue you are envisioning with your partner.
Do you dream of an elegant ballroom? Does your partner want a modern art gallery space? Do you both want a traditional buffet style dinner at a banquet hall? Would you like to get married in a rustic outdoor space? Will you get married in a church, synagogue, or other place of worship? Or will you get married on-site at the same place as your reception? Communicate to each other about what kind of wedding you’re imagining; and together, figure out a space that will work for the two of you.
Estimate your guest list to help you choose a wedding venue
Get an approximate size of your guest list before you visit venues.
Your guest list is a huge factor in the size of venue you’ll need. You don’t need a final guest list just yet; this is more of an estimation.
Every venue will ask the same question first: “how many guests are you inviting?”
If you know a general number ahead of time — i.e. 50 guests maximum versus a possible 175 — you’ll know how to pick a wedding venue best suited for the size of your party.
Decide on a budget before you pick a venue
Consider your budget when you choose a wedding venue. You do not need to reveal your budget just yet to the coordinators of the venue; in fact, we think it is a good idea to visit venues and then find out the pricing directly from them.
This is because a) pricing online is not always accurate (you’ll get exact figures from the wedding venues themselves), b) you don’t want to miss out on a venue because you assume it is too expensive, and c) you also don’t want to skip a venue because it doesn’t look a certain way on the outside, or it’s a blank canvas that needs your awesome touches to make it your own.
Walk through many venues before you decide
The best way to pick a wedding venue: do a walk-through! You can schedule one by calling them on the phone and scheduling a visit. Coordinators are happy to show you around the place, give you estimated pricing, and help you envision what your wedding will be like at the venue.
It’s true that you really need to walk through a wedding venue and meet with the coordinators to get a feeling about a place. You’ll know upon walking in, taking a look around, and of course, discussing budget, whether to pick that wedding venue.
Find out everything included in your wedding venue before you choose
When you do visit the venue, bring a notebook with you and jot down notes. Be sure to ask what is included in the pricing, if it is buffet style dinner or family-style, what is not included, how much it costs for food per person, the cost of your bar, how long your wedding reception will last, and what time it begins. Also find out what dates are available to book (and how quickly you need to put a deposit down to book it, if you decide to pick that venue).
Another big question to ask your venue is about rentals. Do chairs and tables come with the price? What kind of linens are included, and what items are up-charged? Some places provide the standard dining chairs in the price, but will charge more if you want Chiavari chairs. This is considered an upgrade and some venues up-charge many things (like any color other than white for napkins). Ask what is included in the standard rental and then decide on any upgrades, if you wish, and what those costs may be.
That’s not a list to overwhelm you; most venues will have everything in writing to give you upon a walk-through and, if not, they should be open to any questions you may have.
Pick a wedding venue that you absolutely love
The bottom line? You should only pick a wedding venue that really inspires you; a venue should make you feel excited about the day, yet relaxed knowing it is the perfect venue for you. Discuss the venue with your partner before you put down a deposit. If you are unsure on which venue to pick, use this as an opportunity to compromise. Perhaps you scale back on your decor budget to allow for that particular venue; or, maybe your partner gets to pick the venue and you get to select the music.
A little give-and-take never hurt anyone!
Now that you know how to pick a venue, book it as soon as you can! Once the venue(s) for ceremony and reception is/are booked, the fun begins: all the details! And you know we’re here to help you with every last one. Make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss a thing!
Have questions on how to pick a wedding venue?
Just ask us in the comment box below + we’ll swoop in to help. If you prefer, you can Ask Emmaline via email and we’ll chat with you soon.