When you find the perfect place to tie the knot, you definitely want to have that “this is it” feeling. But remember to think logically about this decision, too. After all, it’s a big line item on your wedding planning checklist—and a big part of your budget!
First, consider the season of your wedding date. If there is a chance that it will be hot or cold outside, you’ll need to consider whether the venue has adequate air conditioning. If not, ask how past brides have dealt with extreme temperatures to spark some creative ideas. Additionally, how does the venue photograph during your preferred season? Ask the venue if they have real wedding photos from couples that have gotten married in the same season as you. Read reviews from these previous couples, too.
Although no one wants to admit it, there’s always a chance of rain on your wedding day, and that’s something you should be thinking about. What do the venue’s rain plans look like? Ask how you and your wedding party might move from the space where you’re getting ready to the ceremony site if you need to walk outdoors in the rain and think about the guests’ experience if it were raining. You might enjoy reading reviews of couples who had a rainy wedding day or checking out the photos they were able to capture despite the weather.
If you’ve already started inquiring about or touring venues, you know that comparing venues is not like comparing apples to apples. This is because every venue offers different package options. Before ruling out a venue because of its price point, make sure to do a thorough inspection of what is included in the venue’s package. Some venues are very hands-off and might just give you the space, which means you will have to rent a tent, chairs, tables, linens, bathrooms, and more. These rentals can add up quickly, so do some price-checking before going this route.
Other venues may include a ton of amenities, expanding as far as décor options or even a day-of wedding coordinator. Although these venues might seem pricier, you’ll often get an overall discount without having to go through the hassle of purchasing these items or booking these vendors separately. Don’t forget to clarify what is included and what might incur an additional fee through the venue to avoid confusion later. You definitely don’t want to be surprised by any additional fees as you get closer to your wedding date.
What about the venue’s preferred or required vendors? Don’t let this scare you off too quickly if you want to go a more DIY route for vendors, catering, or DJ services. If the venue has a list of preferred or required vendors, it’s probably because this option actually benefits you as the bride or groom! Ask about the discounts you might receive by using the venue’s vendor recommendations, and see what other perks you might get. Oftentimes, these vendors have ample experience at that particular venue, which will create an even more seamless experience for you throughout the planning process and give you and your guests the ability to be more hands-off on the big day. Who doesn’t want to feel like a guest at their own wedding?
Lastly, make sure you enjoy being around the venue staff. Was your tour guide friendly and inviting? Did they congratulate you and make you feel special? Did they answer your questions with clarity and respect? These things might seem trivial, but they are super important. As you build your vendor team, you’ll want to book people that will bring you joy throughout your engagement and on your wedding day. A great team of great people will help you feel less stressed and more confident throughout the planning process and on the big day, which can really feel like a dream come true.