Choosing the Perfect Wedding Venue: A Location Selection Guide

Article Written By: Devyn Anderson, Photo By: Desert View Weddings and Events

Anyone who has planned a wedding knows that choosing the perfect venue is the MOST crucial decision in the planning process. As someone who has been planning events for nearly a decade and is currently planning their own wedding, the venue really does set the tone for your special day. By following these tips and guidelines, you will be able to confidently choose the perfect wedding venue that reflects your style, personality, and love story. This may feel like a lot of pressure (because it is), so let me help you navigate the process of selecting the perfect location for your wedding!

Define Your Vision: Before you start searching for venues, take some time to envision your ideal wedding. From the theme, to atmosphere, and size of your wedding, you need to create an ideal picture of what your wedding will look like. Do you want a rustic barn wedding, a glamorous ballroom affair, or an intimate garden ceremony? Make mood boards and utilize Pinterest! Finding inspiration through other people’s wedding photos will help you envision what you want your event to look like.

Set a Budget: When it comes to choosing the perfect wedding venue, it’s crucial to determine how much you’re comfortable spending. Think about all the different aspects that go into the venue’s cost, like rental fees, catering, décor, and any additional services you might need. Don’t forget extra expenses in mind that might come up along the way (i.e.. marriage license, officiant fees, alcohol, signage/stationary, party favors, hair & makeup, and tear down fees). It’s all about finding that balance between what you want and what you can afford, so take your time and make sure your budget reflects your priorities for your big day!

Consider Location: When it comes to choosing your wedding venue, think about where you really want to tie the knot. Are you leaning towards a local spot or are you up for a destination wedding adventure? Take into account how easy it’ll be for both you and your guests to get there, along with what accommodation and transportation options are available. After all, you want everyone to be able to join in the celebration hassle-free, so consider what works best for you and your loved ones!

Venue Capacity: Now, let’s focus on wedding capacity specifically. When you’re on the hunt for the perfect venue, one of the top priorities is making sure it can comfortably accommodate your guest list. Trust me, you don’t want to be in a position where you’re forced to eliminate your loved ones from the guest list just to fit a specific space. So, when you’re touring venues, be sure to ask about their capacity limits for both indoor and outdoor areas. You want to strike that perfect balance where it’s not too cramped or too spacious, but just right for creating the intimate atmosphere you’re envisioning. Take your time exploring your options until you find the one that feels tailor-made for your wedding day.

Visit Potential Venues: It’s essential to schedule those in-person appointments, trust me. Photos can be a bit deceptive sometimes, and may not capture the full essence of a place. Walking through the venue gives you a real feel for the space and helps you envision how your wedding will come to life there.

As you’re wandering around, pay close attention to the layout, the vibe it gives off, and any extra amenities it offers. You want to make sure it aligns with the vision you have for your big day. Oh, and don’t forget about those wedding photos! Since they’re going to be capturing those precious memories, think about whether the venue complements your photography aspirations too. You want every angle to be picture-perfect, right?

Ask Questions: Don’t be afraid to ask questions during your venue visits. Inquire about catering options, vendor recommendations, décor restrictions, pricing, and any other details that are important to you. Don’t be afraid to ask for testimonials and previous photos. Make sure you fully understand what’s included in the venue package and if there are any additional “hidden” fees like a venue coordinator or day of coordinator.

Consider Flexibility: Flexibility is key, so seek out venues that allow customization and offer choices with vendors. While all-inclusive options can be convenient, ensure their vendors align with your expectations, and inquire about their policies regarding vendor swaps if needed. By being thorough and considering both the details and flexibility, you’ll find the perfect venue that aligns with your vision for your special day.