You've said "Yes!" - now where will you say "I do"?
One of the first stops on the journey to marrying your bff is choosing the date and the place. Sometimes the place comes first and you choose your date based on the availability of the venue or, vice versa, you choose your date and see what venues can host you.
For many people, their knowledge of wedding venues begins and ends with the ones they have visited as guests. Outside of that, it can feel overwhelming when you plug "wedding venues near me" into Google. From restaurants to golf courses, vineyards to orchards - there are so many options! Luckily, you can quickly narrow them down once you've decided on your budget and how far you are willing to travel. I highly recommend deciding on your budget before you start looking at venues - it can be heartbreaking to fall in love with a venue only to find out that it's out of your price range.
Here are 3 things to consider when shopping around for your venue:
1) Is it a "one-stop shop"?
Some couples love the convenience and flexibility of being able to host all (or most) parts of their wedding on one property (getting ready, ceremony, photos, reception). This limits travel for you and your guests and may eliminate the need for transportation (ie; limo or party bus for the bridal party). Choosing this type of venue may also keep you on schedule since you won't have to worry about traffic or any other hiccups that may arise when traveling. It can also save you money that you might have spent on a hotel room (or Airbnb) to use for getting ready.
2) How much of your wedding does the venue take care of?
- Do they provide a wedding planner and/or day-of coordinator? *These are two very different roles*
- Do they have décor you can rent? Do you love the look and feel of the venue that you don't feel it needs much décor?
- Do they have an onsite caterer or a list of caterers you can choose from? Choosing your own caterer could be another overwhelming choice.
- Do they have a list of preferred vendors? This can narrow your search for other services and save you quite a bit of time (ie; photographer, DJ, officiant, florist)
- Do they provide setup/tear down on the day of? (ie; setting the tables, putting out your wedding favours and décor)
Never underestimate the value of time saved! The less work you have to do in the planning process (and on the day of) will save you some stress and allow you to enjoy the process. Choosing a venue that goes above and beyond with customer service will not be something you regret.
3) Is it important to you that your wedding is private?
If you and your honey choose to get hitched at a golf course, a restaurant, or a venue that hosts multiple weddings a day, your wedding won't be as private as a stand-alone venue, or private property. What does this mean? It could mean that:
- You run into another wedding party on the day
- You're limited in your use of locations on the property (for example: no photos are allowed on the green at a golf course, another wedding party might be utilizing a space you would like to access)
- The bathroom your guests use will also be used by the patrons of the venue
- There is little flexibility in your timeline (for example: a venue that hosts multiple weddings can be very strict when it comes to your allotted time for the ceremony, as well as cocktail hour and dinner service)
This being said, choosing a venue that hosts multiple weddings are often priced lower than wedding only venues.
I know how tempting it is to choose a venue based solely on aesthetics - but by keeping these tips in mind, my hope is that you'll find a venue that's beautiful and customer experience focused ❤