When it comes to selecting the perfect wedding venue that reflects your personality, there are many important factors to consider. Today we’ll share some of our best tips to help you make the perfect choice:
Determine how much of your wedding budget will be designated for the venue. Most planners will tell you to allocate 40% for your venue and catering. This breaks down to about 20% for each category if you split it evenly. Keep this number in mind as you search for options. If you spend too much on the venue you’ll have to cut back somewhere else. Some venues may have hidden fees, such as service charges, taxes, and cleaning fees, so be sure to ask about these when you visit. For example, if the venue cost is $6500, does that mean it’s $6004.62 + $495.38 tax? Or, is it $6500 + $536.25 tax for a total cost of $7036.25? Maximizing the amenities offered and asking the right questions can help you avoid surprises when the bills start coming in.
Consider the location of the venue in relation to your ceremony venue. Many couples these days opt to have the ceremony and reception at the same venue. You may also want to consider how accessible it is for your guests, particularly if they’re coming from out of town. If the venues are more than 30 minutes apart you should consider transportation options, such as a shuttle service.
Number of guests
Make sure the venue can accommodate your entire guest list. Be mindful of the number of guests you plan to invite, as well as the type of ceremony and reception you want to have. Most wedding venues can tell you their maximum capacity which may change depending on your floor plan. The last thing you want is for some friends and family to have to stand because the venue is too small.
Style and ambiance
Think about the style and atmosphere you want for your wedding. The ambiance should reflect your personality as a couple and the venue can play a big part in that. Do you want a traditional, elegant venue, or a more relaxed, outdoor setting? Is your style more dark and moody or or sleek and modern? Whatever your style, there’s a wedding venue for that!
Consider what amenities are included with the venue, such as tables, chairs, linens, and lighting. Be sure to ask about audio and visual equipment, as well as on-site parking. Some wedding venues have a restricted list of specific vendors allowed to work on their expensive audio/visual equipment. Others only allow certain caterers or bartenders. Each wedding venue will have rules specific to their own space. Most likely, the rules were put there for a reason. As in, something happened in the past and the venue had to add a rule to protect their property from future incidents.
If you’re planning an outdoor wedding, it’s important to have a rain plan in case of inclement weather. Many venues offer indoor backup options, so be sure to ask about this. If indoor is not an option some wedding venues only allow certain tent providers. Again, these rules are there for a reason and you will need to work with an approved tent company.
In addition to the previous examples, some venues may have restrictions on which vendors you can use. Make sure to ask about these restrictions, and if they align with your preferences. At the very least, all your vendors should have general liability insurance and be able to provide a certificate (COI) to the venue upon request. They may also want key vendors to add the venue to their insurance policies as an additional insured party. Vendors with a higher than average likelihood for damage or injury, such as caterers, staffing companies, and florists, fall into this category and should be happy to provide you with the relevant COI. And, FYI: all bartenders in the state of Texas are required to have TABC certification so it’s best to hire out. Most couples use their caterer or a designated staffing agency to handle beverage service.
Before making the trip out to tour the venue, check their availability on your wedding date. If your dream wedding venue is booked, you may want to consider changing your wedding date. Since the pandemic, a lot of couples are choosing a private legal marriage ceremony. They can then take advantage of all the great things that come with marriage immediately. Then, when their dream venue is available, they can gather all their friends and family for a more public celebration.
Finally, be sure to visit the venue before making a final decision. This will give you a better idea of the overall layout, scale, and ambiance. It’s also a great opportunity to ask questions and get a feel for the staff.
By keeping these considerations in mind, you can find the perfect venue for your special day. Don’t forget to take your time, ask lots of questions, and trust your instincts.