When my husband and I began planning our wedding, it was important for us to have an event that represented both our styles. Above all, we wanted a night our family and friends would enjoy and remember fondly.
Here are some things to keep in mind while you’re trying to decide on your venue…
Be realistic about your budget. Don’t let your wedding budget become an issue between you and your fiancé (it will never be worth the five hour party). Speak to your partner and decide on a budget you’re both comfortable with and stick to it. You can have a luxurious experience at any budget…you just have to be more creative.
What’s your style? Do you want a relaxed breezy affair? Do you want to dance the night away in a ballroom?
Think about your style as a couple. It will help you determine the venue, time, food, music and décor. We naturally gravitate towards the things we love, so make note of the things you keep pointing out…that’s likely your style. The Knot offers a ton of quizzes to help you figure out everything from whether you’re being a bridezilla to your hairstyle.
The time of year, day of the week, and time of day affects cost so bear that in mind. If you select your venue first, then you have to choose your date around what’s available. If you determine the month you want to be married first, then it may narrow the pool of venues with available dates. Decide which is more important to you, the date or the venue, and get to work! Venues book up months or even years in advance.
The venue should accommodate all of your guests comfortably. You don’t want anyone bumping elbows as they cut into their food. Once you have figured out the maximum number of guests you can host, determine which will be allowed to bring a plus one.
- Guests with spouses get a plus one.
- Everyone else? Consider how many people they will know at the wedding. Also, someone who has had a partner for several years should probably be given a plus one even though they’re not married.
- Children? This can be a delicate situation, if you rather not have children at your event. Consider all of the variables (are they family? how many does the guest have? the location? etc.) then make your decision.
- Vendors? There may be a vendor rate to provide food for the photographers, DJ’s, wedding planner, etc. Check with the venue and include that as part of your budget if applicable.
When you visit venues ask lots of questions; you want to know exactly what you’re getting. Use my free printable to get started!
I once visited a venue that exclusively worked with two florists, which meant I couldn’t hire anyone else with a better bid. Ask about their restrictions and cancellation policy.
Live Beautifully Tip: Stay organized to help things running smoothly. Keep all receipts, ideas, and "to do" lists together. If you do this, you'll only have to look in one place for anything wedding related.
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