July 19, 2019
Now that you have decided on a wedding budget, you can start looking at venues. The venue will be the largest portion of your budget, not to mention where all of the magic will take place. Here is kind of an “umbrella tip”, do your research and choose wisely! Here are 10 tips for booking a wedding venue!
Let’s be real, 20% of the people you invite will decline. If there are limits to the number of people can physically fit in a room, venues are going to enforce that due to fire codes, so don’t try to squeeze in an extra table or ten. If you want an epic dance floor, book plenty of space. Take your walk-through seriously, snap photos and take lots of notes.
Get the biggest bang for your buck! About half of your wedding budget will be spent on the reception. Say you have $15,000 to spend and the venue charges $200 per person, you won’t be able to invite many guests. Gather sample contracts from each site you visit and use them in considering your options. What, exactly, is included in their wedding package? Cake cutting, champagne toast, gratuities? Know what you are booking before you sign!
For more tips on budgeting and planning check out, “How do I start planning a wedding?”
This is huge! There is nothing wrong with wanting a beautiful, warm, summer wedding. However, if you want to go this route, consider the 90-degree temps and high humidity. Having the ceremony at 1 PM may not be the best idea if you can avoid it. You will be miserable and so will your guests. The last thing you want is for the hair and makeup investment to be a waste!
In the same respect, you don’t want to have an outdoor wedding in January, unless you are in an awesome climate! If you book in the rainy season, or even if you don’t, know what the venue’s backup plan is for an alternate location.
Season will affect availability. Dreaming of a sunset wedding on the water? So does every other summer bride. Cast a wide net to get the event you want. Lakes are water too, and there may be a lakeside venue you never considered. On that note, a mountain wedding can be gorgeous in the spring and summer months, even without snow. Think outside the box.
This is something you may want to consider before booking your venue. If you are wanting a modern styled themed wedding you may not want to book a rustic barn venue, and visa versa. The venue needs to fit the theme.
If you want a beautiful, modern, yet kind of industrial style wedding, then I may want to book somewhere like Noah’s Event venue. Or maybe you do like that rustic barn look, you may want to consider somewhere like Happily Ever After at the Barn.
Sometimes places that bring back memories, such as a childhood farm or backyard seem like picturesque locations to tie the knot, but you have to consider the whole picture. If you have to provide everything yourself, such as china, silverware, generators, lighting, etc. it gets a bit pricey.
Tent weddings can be super romantic but can cost a fortune. Buying your own alcohol is much less expensive…. always, so be sure to ask your prospective vendor if they allow it and if there are corkage fees. These fees may be a deal breaker. People drink a lot at weddings!
This is an important point if you are considering a wedding in a barn, a field or some other rustic venue that doesn’t have facilities. There are such things as luxury porta-potties these days, but they can be pricey.
As a wedding photog writing this blog, this is a very personal preference. Book a venue with a bridal suite! All of the hours getting ready is a mess, so when it comes time for “getting ready” pictures, having all the clutter in the background can kill the photos!
You need a place where you can migrate to once you are ready to get those gorgeous bridal party shots. Having a bridal suite can solve these problems and simplify your life. Your photographer will love you for it and you will love the results!
Just like any vendor or person you will cut a check for this wedding, you need to do a background check on the venue. What do other couples who’ve gotten married there say? Check reviews on Wedding Wire, Google,Yelp, and Facebook and ask to see up-to-date photos from their past events. Referrals and online reviews are very telling – if you read comments about the staff being unfriendly, the manager being flaky, the food being bad, the final bill coming with surprises, or anything else that will cause you headaches during planning and a bad time on the big day – just walk away.
This is one of my biggest tips for booking a wedding venue!
Some venues have absolutely stunning views just right outside. Others May be gorgeous on the inside, but no real scenery. The last thing you want is a huge crane or construction dumpster in your wedding pictures! That could be a deal breaker. This is also why you don’t want to skimp on hiring a professional wedding photographer that can work magic with unforeseen circumstances!
If your “dream” venue is booked or out of your price range, ain’t no shame in looking elsewhere. Choose a venue that makes the most logistical and financial sense. With the money saved, you can deck it out with gorgeous decor and a top shelf bar! No one will notice that this was your second choice venue.
Don’t worry about the opinions of your guests! This is your day make it everything you have dreamed of. A wedding is a party and if the venue is a one-stop-shop for ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception, it may be a much better and more logical option then a way over priced venue. Get the most bang for your buck! Ultimately, the experience and memories will be all that matters at the end of the day.
The last thing you want after your wedding day is regrets. To further help your wedding planning checkout, “Wedding day regrets to avoid”. I hope you have enjoyed these tips for booking a wedding venue. For more tips check out other pins on my Pintrest board! Happy planning!