The first thing couples do after their engagement is look for wedding venues. Sometimes this can be tricky because you aren’t exactly sure what you are looking for or what venue best fits your needs. Well here is the ultimate guide to choosing the perfect wedding venue for you and your fiancé.
1. Choose the location
The first thing you need to do is decide what city, town, or state you want your wedding to be in. Do you want it close to you or close to where most of your family is located? Do you want it to be a destination wedding or a local wedding? Sometimes you know exactly where you want your wedding to be, but it is important to sit down and weigh all your options. What is best for you financially and also what have you always dreamed of? Make sure wherever you decide the location to be, you and your fiancé are on the same page.
Do your research. Don’t waste your time setting up tours to venues that don’t fit your needs. Once you figure out a location then go online and start searching. The Knot and Wedding Wire are great resources for helping you find a wedding venue, but even doing a simple google search will do wonders. Once you find wedding venues online that are in the location you are wanting, then check out their websites. Look at their gallery pages, their pricing, their packages, and everything that they have to offer. Read reviews that other couples have written. By reading reviews you will be able to hear firsthand experience about the service that each venue provides. Even check out their social media sites to see if they have any specials or offers. Sometimes wedding venues will promote a deal on their social media sites, and you definitely would not want to miss out on that. Their social media sites will also provide more updated content from recent weddings, and behind the scenes action that you may not have found on their website.
3. Narrow it down
Once you have chosen a handful of wedding venues that offer what you want and appear to be in your budget then set up tours. Set up multiple tours of the venues that you have narrowed down, but make sure these venues are realistic to ones you might book. Don’t waste your time or the venues time by touring venues that are extremely out of your budget and you would never book. Tours are fairly easy to set up so this is not something to stress about. You can either look up the wedding venue’s number and call them or fill out a contact form on their website. Either way this is a simple step, but should be well planned out.
4. Tour the venues
The next step is to tour the venue. Try to have an open mind when touring, but come prepared with questions. After doing your research there should be some questions you have for that venue that maybe was not provided on their website. Sometimes you aren’t sure what questions to ask and that is okay too. Just make sure to listen and take as many notes as you can so later on you can refer back to them. It is easy to forget details when touring because you are so caught up in seeing everything instead of listening to what your tour guide is saying.
5. Make a pros and cons list
As soon as you get done touring then make a pros and cons list for that venue. Write down the things you liked about it and things you weren’t so fond of. Refer back to the notes you took during the tour and also the information sheets they provided to you (if any). Be as thorough as possible with your list and you will thank yourself later. This will help you at the end of all your tours to look back at and see what you are primarily looking for in a venue and which venue out of all the ones you toured will be the best fit.
6. Narrow it down again
After analyzing your pros and cons list then narrow your choices down to a select few that you think outweigh all the rest. Then set up a second tour for those select few. When you tour the venues a second time, bring along someone else like your mom, best friend, or even your fiancé if he/she did not see it the first time. This way you will be able to get another opinion on whether or not this venue is what you are looking for. Having an unbiased outside opinion on the matter will always help your situation regardless of the circumstances. At your second tours set up holds on the date you want your wedding to be. Sometimes venues allow you to do this for free, but sometimes they do not. If they allow you to put a hold on a date for free then take advantage of it. Dates can move fast for venues so make sure to stay on top of it. If the venue requires you to put down a deposit for a hold then I would recommend waiting until you know for sure your final decision. Just know that you are on a time crunch because your date is not being held.
7. Make the final decision
Once you have toured the venues for the second time then weigh the pros and cons again. I know it’s a lot of work, but this is a fool proof way of choosing the best wedding venue that is right for you. Once you have analyzed all of the good and bad for each venue then decide which one out of the bunch you think is the perfect fit. Which one can you tolerate the cons over the rest? Usually by this point you will know which venue your heart is calling you to. Make that final decision and continue moving forward from there.
8. Set up a booking
Call the venue you want to book and set up a booking time and date. Be ready to put a deposit down. During your tours make sure you find out how much money they require you to put down at the booking so you aren’t taken off guard when they ask for your payment. After you sign the contract and pay your deposit then you are set to go. You have now chosen and booked the perfect wedding venue for you. Congratulations!
Comment below any questions you have for any stage in your wedding planning process. We would love to help you through this wonderful time in your life. Couples who read this also enjoyed Why You Should Hire a Wedding Planner!