Whether your wedding is a casual affair with sandals and jeans, or a more formal event complete with tuxes and tails, location of the wedding venue is everything. A cursory internet search will reveal a plethora of wedding venues, all offering different things. Here are some tips to help you choose the perfect wedding venue. Consider the following:
1. How many guests do you want? How mobile are they? Are there any special considerations?
This should be your first question when looking at wedding venues. Just by asking yourself this, you’ll narrow your search exponentially. If you’re looking for a smaller wedding (25 guests or less), you probably don’t need an entire ballroom. What if you want a production worthy of any theatrical stage with hundreds of guests? These are important to know before you start planning. What if Grandma Sue has a health condition that prevents her from traveling? Do you really want to have a destination wedding in Bora Bora? Yes, it’s your big day, so what you and your future spouse want is most important, but often times, weddings are shared with our nearest and dearest. You aren’t going to be able to please everyone, but if you want your loved ones to attend, then consider making a few concessions.
2. What type of wedding ceremony are you looking for?
Consider this, if you want a religious ceremony, it may have to be held in a house of worship (i.e. church, synagogue, temple, etc.). Find this out up front. Also keep in mind that some religious establishments frown on elaborate decorations or too much skin showing—which can impact later decisions such as what dress to wear or how you decorate your wedding venue. Do you and your fiancé have different religious beliefs? Some religious establishments require the partner who is not of that faith to convert or become a member prior to allowing the wedding ceremony to be hosted there. Does the religious establishment have a hall to host the reception? If not, you may need to marry in one place and look at alternate wedding venues for the reception. If organized religion does not play a role in your life, you many consider having your wedding ceremony and reception combined at the same wedding venue or in a neutral place.
3. What aesthetic would you prefer?
Some couples prefer a more natural and simple look for their wedding venue. For that reason they may choose to get married outdoors. Others prefer something more elaborate. Do you prefer something unique or themed, such as a steampunk motif or a Roaring 20s theme? Perhaps you want a full on Sydney Opera House worthy production. It’s important to envision what your dream day looks like prior to beginning your search of wedding venues.
4. How much can you afford?
When taking into account the total cost of catering, decorations, garments, etc., how much venue can you afford? Does your budget allow for a grand, tented outdoor event, or something simpler?
Just considering these four things will help you narrow down your search and find a wedding venue in half the time. In part two, we’ll explore what to look for in finalizing your choice of location.