With an abundance of options and so many details depending on your venue, choosing one can be overwhelming.
First, find the perfect venue. Then choose your date.
This is slightly counterintuitive. Like many of us, you may have been imagining the perfect wedding in your mind’s eye for quite some time: the perfect dress or tux, the perfect colors and wedding party outfits, the perfect season… Once engaged, you and your fiancé likely had a wonderful time dreaming about your big day and choosing the perfect date for it to occur.
Then you started searching for a venue.
Unfortunately, unless you are considering a date two years out, what you will likely find is that many dates are already contracted. In this instance, oftentimes a couple will rule out a venue and move on in their search.
It’s understandable if you chose a specific date for a very special reason – maybe your brother is home from deployment then – but if there isn’t a compelling reason then consider being flexible on your date; it will open up a lot more options for you and take a lot of the headache out of searching.
Without the restriction of date availability you can compare venues based on qualities important to you such as type, season, services and amenities, rather than choosing between a limited pool of places that has your date available.
Tips on how to choose the perfect venue.
Urban? Suburban? Mountain? Search by location first.
Decide on your ideal location. Venues are all over the place – you’ll have plenty to choose from once you narrow down a search based on location.
Another aspect to consider when thinking about location is proximity to the nearest airport. If you have a lot of guests coming in from out of town, think about how far they would have to travel to the venue, and if that is feasible for your guests.
Atmosphere: further narrow your search by paring your list based on ambiance.
You’ll find that venues in different locations have different atmospheres. Are you going for contemporary? Rustic? Elegant? Do you want classic elegance or rustic in a mountain setting? Do you want contemporary or elegant in an urban setting?
Time of year
Specific dates aside, consider season. This is important because venues don’t always host weddings year-round. If your dream is a winter wedding in the mountains, venues can be closed for the season, so make sure you check into any seasonal requirements as soon as possible.
Create a table of services you require and check off which venue has each. This will give you a good visual to compare how they stack up against each other.
Consider including as many services as are available for each venue, even if it makes your table really big – this way you can get an idea of value. You may find that one venue includes a lot of services that initially don’t seem important to you, but when listed out compared to other venues, it may become apparent that the little things add up to create a fantastic offering.
Amenities vary as widely as you may expect – if any particular amenity is important to you, don’t assume a venue offers it just because others you have looked into do.
Reviews are a fantastic way to find out what it is really like to hold a wedding at a venue. Look for a venue that has a lot of good reviews. As with any other product or service you are researching, there is truth in reviews. Skim through them and consider what you read to help you pare down your list further.
Finally, meet the staff
A good final step is to meet the staff at your top-choice venues. Get to know the individual who you will be working on the details of your wedding day with, the head server, the bartender, the event coordinator, etc. Having a good rapport, if not simply getting along well with the staff, is important. Your wedding day will be full of emotion and you need to work with a group that you get along with and feel respected by.
Good luck and happy hunting!
Blog provided by Wild Basin Lodge and Event Center