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Day 4: Choosing Your Wedding Venue

Every wedding-related decision plays a part in crafting your big day, there are a few choices that make a bigger impact than others. One of the biggest? Your venue. Your party space has the ability to set your wedding’s tone, which is why choosing your site wisely is absolutely imperative. No pressure, right?

Talk to a Planner First

Yes, before you start looking at spaces. Planners are much more familiar with the capabilities of a space, the layout, and the time and items you’ll need to really transform it. If there’s a creative way to make it unique or a quirk about the space that could make your vision hard to accomplish, your planner will know.

Choose a Venue That Aligns With Your Vision

This might seem obvious, but seek out venues that fit the aesthetic you have in mind. If you’re planning a modern wedding, look at art galleries, well-designed restaurant spaces, or warehouses. On the flip side, a wedding incorporating more natural elements works well with outdoor venues such as parks, backyards, and ranches. Choosing a venue that fits in with (and enhances) your theme will enable your wedding to feel more connected to the space.

Photos at Blue Harbor Resort in Sheboygan, WI

Know Your Guest List

Knowing how many guests you’re expecting to invite before you go looking at venues will help save you from headaches and heartaches down the road. If you choose a venue that is too small for your guest list and more guests RSVP ‘yes’ than you can fit in the space, you might be in a tough situation. Couples often underestimate how many people they will invite (or how many their parents will want to add), so have that conversation early to know what numbers you’re really working with. This will also help you break down your budget, as some costs are very dependent on the number of people you’re inviting.  

Remember Your Budget

Know how much your total budget is, as well as, approximately what your design and decor will cost. If adding that on top of the cost of using the space blows your budget out of the water, you’ll either need to scale back your design or look at more affordable spaces. Break down your overall budget by category and prioritizing funds for vendors that are a higher priority. 

“Can I afford this venue? (See what we did there? We mentioned budget again. ’Cause it’s important.) Don’t torture yourself and keep a $12,000 venue on your list when you can really only afford $4,000. It’s just going to waste your time and make your heart sad. .”

Consider Your Guests’ Experience

If you’re inviting a lot of out-of-town guests or having a destination wedding, look for a venue that’s near (or connected to) a hotel to make it easier for your guests to find accommodations. And remember their comfort within the venue, too. The maximum capacity of a room isn’t often a comfortable amount of space, so ask the venue how many people they can fit comfortably, as well as what is allowed according to the fire code.

Bride and Groom celebrating after saying I do.

Think About What Is Included

If you’re looking at some venues that are full-service, and somewhere you can bring in your own vendors and décor, be sure to price everything out, A venue with tables, chairs, and linens included might cost more upfront than a venue where you need to rent your own, but you should get an estimate from a rental company to see how they compare when you’ve added on the price of renting things for yourself. And remember that the included rental items are often more basic (white linens, standard flatware, banquet chairs, etc.), so you may still end up paying more to rent items that fit your vision better. And if you’re working with a venue that has in-house catering with a food and beverage minimum, be sure to include the tax and gratuity in your calculations. 

Day 4:  Conclusion – Stay True to Yourself

With the influx of Pinterest weddings, a lot of couples choose venues based on the style of a wedding they fell in love with online,  But it’s important to ask yourselves what feels authentic to you two as a couple, and to choose a space and a design that’s a representation of who you are.

It’s an incredibly overwhelming process. How can you possibly find a venue that A) you can afford, B) you actually like, C) is convenient for your guests, and D) isn’t already booked? (Hint: it is possible.)

We have put together a checklist as you gather information for potential venues.  If possible,  take your time om making this decision. 

If you have any questions or need some guidance with your wedding planning.  Please contact us below.

Happy Planning,

Marsha

Day 4:
Choosing Your Wedding Venue

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    Marsha VanArk, Wedding Planner at Distinctly Yours Wedding & Events