When you get engaged and begin planning your dream wedding, so many ideas spin around your brain it can feel very overwhelming. With so much to plan, wedding preparation can turn from a joyful experience into a source of stress, leaving you financially drained, worried, and not enjoying the process one bit. However, it doesn’t have to be this way! When it comes to picking your venue, there are ways to logically, calmly decide on the perfect place to get married.
So put away the stress ball and have fun picking the perfect place to get married with this step-by-step guide to choosing your wedding venue. Let’s get started!
Step 1: Budgeting
The first step to choosing a wedding venue is, of course, the budget. When you begin scouting for the perfect venue, you need to arrive prepared; this means you need to have a fully costed wedding plan that has a venue budget clearly marked out. Budgeting a wedding is tricky business, and can even cause arguments, upset and stress at times, but it is the crucial first step to planning the specifics of your big day.
How do you start budgeting for your wedding venue? Firstly, begin by discussing how much you are able and willing, to spend on the wedding openly with your fiancé and your respective families. When these conversations are over you will have more room to establish what percentage of your wedding budget should go towards the venue itself.
Step 2: Location
With the budget set in stone, you can go ahead and start the fun part: the location! This isn’t yet the stage where you begin looking at specific venues, but rather discussing and deciding on the general location of your wedding. Many people like getting married close to home, perhaps in their local church or other religious venues; others, however, prefer to go further afield. Deciding whether you will marry in your city or state, or go abroad for your wedding, is a crucial initial stage that will determine the rest of the wedding plans.
When deciding on a location, ask yourself where your priorities lie. A destination wedding will be magical – marrying at sunset on a beach in Barbados doesn’t sound bad, does it? – but could complicate things when it comes to having your guests spend a lot on flights, hotels, and taking time off work. On the other hand, your wedding is the biggest day of your life, and having a local wedding might not fulfill your wildest dreams. Whatever you decide, you need to know your wedding’s location before you get to the next stage.
Step 3: Theme/Ambiance
Next up: the theme! Most weddings don’t have a distinct theme, but rather a general ambiance, that sets the tone for how the day will look. Deciding on this will help you hone in on the kind of venue you want to host your wedding in.
For example, if you want your wedding to be a high-class event, with a black-tie dress code, a seven-course dinner, and a classy swing band performance, this theme will inform the kind of venue you want to have. The appropriate venue for this occasion might be a five-star hotel, a stately home, or a beautiful city center landmark wedding venue in Kansas City, MO, for example.
Alternatively, if you want your wedding to be a relaxing, fun, summery event with a food truck and barefoot dancing, this type of wedding also warrants a specific type of venue. You could host this type of wedding on the beach, on a farm or even in the grounds of a friend or relative’s home. Whichever theme or ambiance your wedding has, it should be decided before you go ahead and choose your definitive venue.
Step 4: The Venue’s Vibe
Now, the moment you have been waiting for: the venue itself. When you are touring venues as the wedding approaches, it is important to come prepared with a set of questions, priorities, and intentions before the tour. Some of these could include:
How will the venue be laid out on the big day? In venues like museums and hotels, the tour won’t necessarily show you exactly how the place would look on the day. Try to envision it, and ask questions if necessary.
How will it look in pictures? Your wedding pictures are important; they’ll be looked at by you, your potential kids, and grandkids for years to come.
Is this place me? Sometimes, people become bowled over by the beauty and grandeur of an amazing venue, without really asking if this place suits them. You want your venue to be beautiful, but you also want your guests to feel comfortable and able to relax. If you go too grand, you might feel intimidated or drowned by the space – not ideal for the best day of your life.
Is this place accessible? The logistics – such as parking, travel to get there, nearby hotels, etc – are important to consider, particularly if you plan to invite a lot of guests.
Is it available at the right time for me? If your dream venue is going to make you spend four years on a waiting list, is it really worth it?
Step 5: Seal the Deal!
Finally, when you have decided on the perfect venue for you, it’s time to seal the deal. Popular venues require you and your fiancé to move quickly by making a deposit before another couple tries to book your ideal date. Most venues have a waiting list, so it is important to plan far ahead; if you feel the right vibes and your logistical questions are answered, it’s time to go for it.
Picking your perfect wedding venue is a big task – perhaps the biggest task out of all your wedding preparations – but with this step by step guide, you’ll feel organized and confident when tackling the challenge.