Updated: Aug 2, 2020
Picking out the location for your special day is not an easy task. For some, they've dreamt of the place they want to get married since they were little, and every time they pass it they envision their future wedding taking place. For others, location has not been their main wedding concern, or they just haven't found that oh so perfect spot. Whether you fall into the first category or the latter, there are some insightful things that you'll be able to take away from this blog post. In today's post, I will outline some guidelines that your location should follow, as well as flag some things that you should look for or ask about when touring and confirming your venue. This post will help ensure that either, 1) your venue really is the ideal site for you, or 2) that you find the venue that is as wonderful and unique as you deserve.
When researching venues...
You'll want to think of your wedding theme. Are you going for rustic? Industrial? Elegant? Traditional? Modern? Beachy? The venue you pick should help convey your theme to your guests. There are different venues for each type of theme:
Rustic: Try looking at more country-style venues. Barns, outdoor countryside areas, vineyards, orchards, spacious backyards, and large country-style houses are perfect for a rustic wedding.
Industrial: You might want to look at more unconventional spaces like warehouses.
Elegant: Places with grand architecture are ideal for elegant weddings. Gardens and certain event venues also lend themselves to being very elegant.
Traditional: Churches are usually the more traditional venue route, and they are ideal for couples to pay homage to their deeper spiritual connection as well.
Modern: Try looking into having your wedding at a modern art museum! Or an event center that is more modern in technology and feel if that's more the vibe that you are going for.
Beachy: I think the answer to this one is obvious. Look into beach houses, private beach areas, and private dock areas for your ceremony and reception! Something with a great view overlooking the ocean would be amazing too.
Once you figure out your theme and start researching venues in that category you're already halfway there! All you have left to do is whittle your list down to your top few venues, and that comes down to personal preference (which I cannot help you with) and what features the venue has (which I will help you with in just a minute!)
Here's what you need to look for in a venue...
How many electric outlets does the venue have? Are they properly spaced throughout the venue? If not, can your vendors provide their own power? Will it be an additional cost?
If you're having a summer wedding: Is there air conditioning? Is it central or local? Does it work well enough to keep your guests cool? How much power can it handle on hot days? Will older guests be comfortable?
If you're having a winter wedding: Is there heating? Is it central or local? Does it work well enough in winter months to keep your guests warm? Is there a back-up plan in case it goes out?
Is there storage space? Your vendors might need this to store boxes of equipment or decor. It varies from vendor to vendor
Is there house sound? And do you have access to it with the room rental?
Do you get setup and tear down hours included with your rental?
Are there any restrictions on decorations?
Is there any signage which overtly displays the venue logo or sponsors? Are you able to cover it up if needed?
Are there any spots that you might need to rent draping to cover?
If the venue is all (or mostly) outdoors, what is the contingency plan for if it rains?
Does the venue have tables and chairs, or will you need to rent them? Does the venue offer glassware, flatware, china, linens, etc, or will you need to rent them?
What is the alcohol policy? Are there any licenses you might need to obtain? Are you able to provide your own liquor? Do you need a licensed bartender?
Does the venue require a licensed caterer, or can you provide your own food?
Is there a kitchen that you will have access to? Is there refrigeration and a place to store ice? Is there a place to reheat or cook food?
Is this venue decorated enough on its own or will you have to spend more on decorations?
The average couple tours 3 or less wedding venues when researching for their wedding, and it is not uncommon for couples to only tour 1 venue. For as much extra work as it is, I urge you to visit all of your top venues to really get a feel for it. Choosing a venue is a big decision and is not something that you should take lightly. The more work you put into it in the beginning will surely pay off in the end. Site tours are also a great way to visualize what decorations you may need and what you want to place where.
I HIGHLY recommend you also schedule a time to do a walkthrough of your venue with your vendors also! Each one of your vendors will have individual needs for things like power, parking, setup and storage, etc, and it is imperative that all of these elements of your venue come together to give your vendors the best conditions that they can have.
Until next time,