One of the first major decisions a couple must make for their special day is the wedding venue. The venue sets the tone of the entire wedding and can narrow down other options and choices. At Party Rental Depot, we want to make sure planning your special day is as stress free as possible. Here is our guide to help you choose your wedding venue!
First: Figure out your budget
Make a draft budget before making any decisions. The last thing you want is to fall in love with a venue only to find it doesn’t fit within your budget. Talk to everyone financially involved in the wedding and come up with a total budget. Divide that number in half and you’ll have roughly your venue and catering budget (keep in mind some venues will include catering).
Choose a general location
Whether it’s one of your hometowns, the current city you live in, a favourite vacation spot, a place that means a lot to both or either or you or a place you have yet to visit, now’s the time to decide what general area you want to get married in. Keep your budget in mind with this step. Certain options can be much more expensive than others (destination weddings and venues in big cities are going to cost more than a smaller town location).
Come up with an estimate guest count
Check out our article on making your wedding guest list and come up with a fairly accurate guest count estimate. Every venue has a capacity limit that will be inflexible. You need to make sure you aren’t looking at venues that will hold 100 when you’re planning on 250.
Think about your priorities
Choose 3 features your ideal venue would have. Some examples include: outdoor space, a rustic feel, convenient location, pet-friendly, in-house or out of house catering. This will help narrow down and limit the venues to research!
Narrow down dates
Pick a few dates before you start your search. Make sure they work for you and your closest loved ones.
Start researching and reaching out to venues
Your initial venue research will be the most frustrating part, so we’ve created a whole guide just for that! Venues and their websites are all different and will have different information available. Use a spreadsheet to keep track of all the different information and any questions you have for each venue.
Visit your favourites
This step is incredibly important. You always want to see the space in person. Photos could look a little different and rarely ever give a complete view and feel of the space. Meet with a coordinator and any staff you would be working with while there to make sure you get along and have a good feeling about them. Make sure you ask any and all questions you have. This is your day, there is no such thing as a silly question!
Weigh the pros and cons
Even if you have fallen head over heels in love with a venue, do not feel pressure to sign anything immediately. Tour a few places, make notes of all the pros and cons you can think of. Use these notes to figure out the best overall option. The venue influences the entirety of your wedding so both you and your partner should be happy with it!
When you have decided on the perfect venue, ask for a contract and make sure you read through it. Ask about anything you don’t understand. When you’re comfortable, sign, return and then….
CONGRATULATIONS! You just made a huge decision and took an enormous step in planning your wedding. Go out for a nice dinner, open a bottle of wine and take a minute to breathe and get excited!