How To Choose Your Dream Wedding Venue
Key Questions To Ask Yourself Before Choosing Your Venue
Before zooming around virtually or physically to different venues, we recommend having clarity on the topics below.
1. What’s the budget?
Beginning with the budget may not be the dreamiest aspect of planning, but knowing your limitations can actually help you to dream bigger. Typically, 50% of your budget goes to the venue. Oftentimes, food, cake, and rentals are included in that 50%. And, sorry, but as long as we are talking statistics, 40% of couples go over budget by about $7,000. So best to be prudent and to consider what is in your realm of reason. Surely you will find options to your liking.
2. Who’s on the guest list?
Seriously, who? Let’s name names. We can throw around numbers like 50 or a 100, but when it comes down to writing out the guest list you may find the real list to be different than you thought. It’s so easy to get swept away with obligatory invites, but remember, you have every right to keep it to the people you really want to share your day
3. What’s the theme or feel of the wedding going to be?
Beginning with a theme helps you narrow in on what you want for the look and feel of your wedding. Modern? Consider museum or gallery venues. Perhaps even well-designed restaurants. Vintage? We love Sunago. Rustic? Whispering Oaks Weddings, Barn at Paradise, and Big White Barn are all charming options. Industrial? Monroe Pearson, On The Levee or Off The Grid are special and dear to us. Southern? Milestone Denton is high on our list. Nature-loving? What about pitching an elegant tent on a piece of expansive family land? Choosing a theme can help you with decision-making from venues to favors to color palettes.
4. What are the non-negotiables?
For instance, you might be like: there must be dancing. Huge dance floor, loud music, late curfew, gotta have it. Ok. Good. As Anna Wintour has been quoted, “People respond well to those that are sure of what they want." You may be mostly flexible, but be real with any non-negotiable before you start talking to venues.
5. What’s available?
Here’s where we can certainly help. When you register with Brideologist, which is FREE for couples, you have a tool in your dashboard where you can scan all of the venues we have listed for your ideal wedding dates. In a click, you can know who is available and when, without having to call or email around. Sweet, right?
Venues can book out years in advance. Give yourself the upper hand by being able to play a ballpark of dates. Choosing a span of a couple months and that you want it on a Saturday is a good place to start. Also, consider a Friday or Sunday, or even a weekday wedding for more options (and instant savings!).
6. Where? I know, but, where?
The same deal applies here. With Brideologist, you can enter in your ideal location, and boom, you have all the venues closest to you, in an instant.
What to Ask Venues
Ok, you know your budget, guest list, dates…your venue options should be getting more concise. Now it’s time to prepare a list of questions for them.
- Do they do more than one wedding in a day?
- Do they work with any caterer or just an in-house caterer?
- Can you bring your own booze?
- Is a sound system included?
- What options are there for rain?
- When can you set up the day of?
- Is it handicap accessible?
- Is there a curfew?
- Are there any onsite sleeping accommodations?
- What is transportation like to get there?
- What is the parking situation?
- Are they insured?
- What happens with the trash? Who handles this?
- Can you throw confetti, have candles, a bonfire, a live band?
- Will you have the venue all to yourself?
- Who will be available to set up/tear down? Do they provide staff for this?
- Can you come beforehand to take pictures?
- Can you come again when someone else is set up for a wedding, just to get an idea of the space?
- Can you move things around?
- Where are the outlets?
- How cool is the venue in the summer? How warm in the winter?
So a big perk with Brideologist, is that you can see videos and virtual tours of all the venues you are considering. When you have seen all that you can online, checked out their hashtags, and asked your questions, definitely go to the venue and check them out IRL if you can. Bring your camera and take lots of photos. Enjoy the wedding planning ride.
*Photo of Milestone Denton Venue.