This post is sponsored by WeddingWire.
Choosing your venue is one of the first steps you take towards planning your wedding, and arguably one of the most important. Aesthetically, it sets the tone for your wedding, and from a more practical standpoint it helps you decide on important factors like budget, number of guests, and location. To make choosing your wedding venue a little bit easier, I’m sharing my six tips for choosing the perfect wedding venue.
1. Choose your city.
There are so many different venues in the world, so make your life a little bit easier by starting with a city. Since Matt’s family is from Philadelphia and mine is from New York, this was a very important question right from the start. Before ultimately deciding on New Hope, we took a few things into account. We thought about the distance we (and our guests) would have to travel, the weather, and if the city fit the environment we were looking for. New Hope is *almost* exactly between our hometowns, making travel pretty easy for everyone, the weather in the spring is beautiful, and it fit the bill as far as aesthetics.
2. Know your budget.
I know it’s not a fun topic, but before you start researching venues, it’s important to have a budget in mind. There’s nothing worse than falling in love with a venue completely out of your price range. This will also help you narrow down venues in the area you’re searching.
3. Have a guest list.
Another important factor that will help you narrow down your search is number of guests. Venues have maximum capacities, but they also have minimums. If you’re only inviting 100 people, you don’t want to be stuck guaranteeing a venue 150. When Matt and I were looking for venues, we wanted to find a space that could fit all of our guests, without being too big. We want our wedding to feel as intimate as possible.
4. Know your must-haves.
Make a list of everything your venue must-have. It can be so easy to walk into a venue and be swayed by the beauty of it, but stick to your list. One thing that was really important to Matt and I was onsite accommodations for our immediate family and bridal party. It’s definitely a very specific must-have, but it led us to our perfect venue quite easily.
5. Start searching.
Now that you know your city, budget, guest list, and must-haves, it’s time to start researching venues. My favorite tool for finding venues is the WeddingWire Wedding Venue search tool. It’s actually the tool we used to find our perfect venue and set-up our initial meeting. The tool provides reviews, pricing, FAQ, and so much more, for over 22,000 venues. You can search by zip code and then narrow it down by availability, maximum capacity, settings, amenities, and more. Being able to read reviews for our venue from past brides was one of the most helpful tools in helping us make our final decision.
6. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
This is a big investment, and an important day, so don’t be afraid to ask any questions you may have. I’ve always been someone who felt like they were bothering people by asking too many questions, but during this wedding planning process I learned the importance of asking.
Be sure to check out “25 Important Questions to Ask Your Potential Wedding Venue” before heading to your first venue meeting! I hope this list is helpful for you when you’re finding your dream venue!