When it comes to choosing the perfect venue for your big day, there are a few things you should consider:
1. Estimate how many people you’d like to invite to your big day, since not all places can accommodate a wide variety of wedding sizes. Nearly every venue will have a guest count minimum. If your final attendance number winds up being smaller than you had anticipated you may have to pay for extra plates.
2. Sit down with your fiancé and figure out how much you are willing to spend. Do your homework and find out what the going rates are in your desired wedding location. Determining how much you can afford will help you avoid the heartache of falling in love with a place that’s well out of your price range — you don’t want to spend more than 50% of your total wedding budget on your venue.
3. Check out wedding planners’ and photographers’ blogs to see real wedding photos of venues you’re interested in visiting. Since they aren’t staged, you’ll get a much better idea of what things can (and really do) look like. It can be especially helpful if you are unable to visit the venue during the season you’ll be getting married.
4. Choose your wedding date. If you can be flexible with your date and choose an off-season month, you’ll often be able to secure the venue of your dreams at a lower rate. For example, you’d likely pay less for a Friday wedding in February than you would for a Saturday in June. Time of year, day of the week, and your engagement length will all impact your negotiating leverage with vendors.
6. The venue will play a huge role in shaping the ambiance for your wedding, so it’s important to have a vision of what you want to portray for your big day.
7. Pick your colours or theme after choosing your venue. The colours of the walls and decor offered by the venue may not coordinate with the colours you picked before securing your venue so it’s best to see what you’re working with before deciding.
8. Barns, farms, and ranches appeal to rustic-loving brides and grooms and many now include elegant touches such as chandeliers, polished floors, outdoor fire pits, and twinkle lights strung between trees.
9. An all-inclusive ballroom or hotel is the perfect backdrop for a classic fairy tale wedding. If you’re a traditionalist looking for something a little different, consider a castle or a historic home or estate, which have the ornate details you crave with a little more character.
10. A venue with an abundance of natural landscape, such as a vineyard or beachfront resort, provides a stunning backdrop while reducing how much you’ll need to spend on décor details.
11. More couples are embracing non-traditional and eclectic venues, such as zoos, planetariums, and mountaintops.
12. For a small, intimate affair, consider renting a vacation home.
13. Couples with a modern sensibility gravitate towards industrial warehouses, city lofts, and art galleries. Clean lines and bright whites offer a blank canvas with the ultimate flexibility in designing a unique wedding vision. Just keep in mind that rentals (tables, chairs, china, linens, etc.) often aren’t included in the package, so you’ll have to factor in the cost of those elements to get a more accurate sense of the overall price.
14. Use your venue to tell your love story. Couples are choosing venues that are sentimental to them, such as the museum where they first met or a private estate dating back hundreds of years because it was where the groom proposed.
15. There’s also a shift towards weekend celebrations as opposed to a singular day. Couples are choosing to take over more remote locales, where their loved ones can stay and celebrate for an entire weekend. For example, Moab Under Canvas is a collection of “glamping” tents in the desert in Utah — talk about an unforgettable experience!
Have fun! Remember, it’s your day. Happy planning!
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