Location, location, location; everyone knows this is key, whether you're talking real estate of where you're going to host the most amazing party celebrating your happily ever after!
As you begin the planning process, you'll quickly realize that there are a plethora of venues to choose from. While this is exciting, it can feel overwhelming as you wade through the avalanche of options trying to find the best fit for your wedding. To help, here are some things to consider that can simplify the process and help point you in the right direction.
Ambiance - Your first consideration should definitely be what backdrop you envision yourself saying "I Do" in. Mountain backdrops, ocean views, an elegant city-scape, or vineyard, there's endless possibilities. The vibe of a location and the feeling you get as you picture your wedding unfolding in a space is a huge part of the process. Narrowing down what appeals to you, and fits the look of your wedding is key. The closer a fit you can find to your inspiration, the less changes and extra decor work you'll need to do as you prepare for your celebration! The feeling you get when you do a walk through should be excitement and recognition. Having a good gut feeling about a venue is the best sign.
Usability - Is the venue set up to provide a good flow of events? Do they have designated, comfortable spaces for you and your wedding party to prep? Be sure to go over backup plans for intemperate weather if the ceremony or reception space is outside and what type of contingency plans the venue has laid out for unexpected events. It's also good to asses the location for different backdrops, having a variety of places to do portraits will add depth to your wedding images.
Location - Whether you're considering a destination wedding or looking for a venue in your backyard, making a list of possible venues, doing a breakdown of pricing and options offered can be extremely helpful. You should also think about your guest list and how far people will need to travel to attend. It also doesn't hurt to cross reference your list with Google Reviews and reviews from other couples on wedding websites like The Knot.com This can give you a clear picture of what the venue offers and what kind of experience you can expect with each location.
Budget - Always a consideration it helps to have a realistic idea of what you want to spend and what services you'd like to have included in your price point. This is where research into a wide range of venues can help! Having a good grasp on what venues offer and a general idea of pricing brackets will give you the info to know if you're finding a good deal. One good comparison marker can be finding info about in house services - What's included in your venue cost, does the location have a team that coordinates to cover all your event needs from catering to break down and set up? Are there options for linens, tableware etc or will you need to source necessities like these through a third party? You can also ask vendors like your photographer, or planner for recommendations. Usually these vendors will have a wide range of experiences (and have been able to see how well venues function behind the scenes), they can often offer knowledgeable recommendations.
With these starting points, finding your venue can become a much easier process and save you from countless walkthroughs and web searches! Happy hunting!