You already found the right partner. Now it’s time to plan your wedding, and you want every decision you make, from the dress to the napkins to be just as perfect. One of the most important decisions that couples need to make first is the venue. Believe it or not, deciding your venue, in more cases, will even have to come before choosing a date, since the date of your wedding may end up being dependent upon the availability of the wedding and reception location. When it comes to deciding on this crucial, cornerstone wedding decision, we’ve compiled the best advice that will help you ensure you’re able to pull off the wedding of your dreams. Follow our tips below to find the venue that will make you say “I do.”
Establish a Budget
You’re getting married, which means finances are about to get real. Have an honest sit-down with your fiancé and discuss how much you really want to spend on your wedding. You’ll want to take into consideration support you may be receiving from your families. Your budget will shape such decisions as your guest list, local or destination venues, and if you splurge on a reception dress. The biggest ticket item in your wedding budget will be your venue, so understanding your bottom line will help you create a list of venues that may fit your needs.
Decide on a Theme
Even though the venue is arguably the most important, and leading vendor decision you’ll need to make, you’ll first need to determine what type of wedding you want. What’s your vision? A rustic barn wedding with lanterns and daisies? A sophisticated beach wedding with vows made alongside the setting sun? A floral garden wedding with elegant chandeliers, crisp white tablecloths, and a foxtrot-worthy dancefloor? Once you have an idea of what you see when you envision walking down the aisle and celebrating your I Dos, you can start researching venues that can make your dream a reality.
Determine Your Scope
Intimate or lavish? 200 of your closest friends and family plus guests, or only your immediate family plus your #squad? The scope of your wedding, and your guest list, will impact how much space you need, which will impact the venue you choose. You may fall in love with the banquet room at your local art gallery, but if it only fits 50, and you’ve got more cousins than that on your Mom’s side alone, you’re going to have to think bigger, and consider other options.
Consider What’s Included
Before you let yourself fall veil over heels for a venue, ask what’s included (and what’s not). Some venues will allow you (or require you) to choose your own caterer. Others will require you to use theirs. Some may itemize the cost for tables, chairs, linens, and other décor, or charge an additional fee for more high-end options, which may ultimately lift a location out of your price range. Also, be aware that some venues may require a food and beverage minimum, so calculate your estimated grand total accordingly, and remember to include gratuity and tax.
Consider Working with a Wedding Planner
If you’re a DIY-er, be prepared to spend time researching venues, scheduling appointments, meeting with caterers, and keeping a binder of brochures, business cards, and menus. If just the idea of covering a wide territory to find the right venue is making you nervous, consider working with a wedding planner. Once you explain to him/her about your vision for your wedding, in basic terms like “fall,” or “outdoors,” or “rustic,” a reputable planner with experience working with venues in his service area will be able to narrow down the options, and guide you toward venues that will fit your budget and your vision.
No matter the venue you choose, we always recommend making your reception a memorable event your guests will never forget with a custom candy buffet or dessert table from Sweet by RSVP to me. Click here to see our photo gallery, or contact us to learn how we can take your reception vision to a delicious level!