You’re engaged! Yay! Congrats! Now what? First take a moment to enjoy it! Then, one of the first things on your planning list should be picking a wedding venue.
1. Consider your Budget
What’s your total wedding budget? Before even beginning your wedding venue search, consider your wedding budget. Wedding and event venues will likely be the largest chunk of your budget. Ask about pricing before you go tour a venue so you don’t get your heart set on something that is unattainable. And don’t forget to ask about seasonal pricing, a lot of wedding venues will get you a price break on weddings during the off season! You could also consider a sunday or weekday wedding to stretch your budget as these are typically lower in cost.
2. What’s Included in the Packages
Right along the same lines as Budget, you also need to ask what is included in the wedding venue’s price/packages. Some wedding venues are “all inclusive”, other wedding venues are more of a “blank slate” and do not include anything other than the venue. Things can add up quickly if you have to rent everything or do it all yourself. Make sure to ask if the wedding venue includes both a reception and ceremony space or if there is an extra fee for an on-site ceremony.
This one may seem obvious but it’s important to consider what type of wedding you would like before starting your wedding venue hunt. If you’ve always dreamed of a romantic countryside wedding then it probably doesn’t make sense to look at the new downtown Columbus wedding venue. Have fun with it! Pick a style/vibe/theme for your wedding that represents you and your partner before starting your venue search.
In addition to the ambiance of a location, you also have to be practical in your wedding venue search. Consider the parking situation. Will there be enough room for all of your guests to park their vehicles? Is it a long walk from the parking to the venue? You might not care but your elderly guests would appreciate some close handicap spots and your friends in heels may not want to walk a half mile.
What’s the bathroom situation? Are there easily accessible toilets or is this a very rustic venue/location? You may have to consider renting portable toilets for a very rustic or beach venue. Make sure there are enough stalls for the size of wedding you are planning. A 300 guest wedding will likely need more than just one toilet.
Is the wedding venue climate controlled? That rustic barn may be beautiful but if it doesn’t have air conditioning/heating, it may not be comfortable for guests. These are just some details you need to consider when looking at venues.
5. Guest Count
How many people can the wedding venue accommodate? If the venue can only hold 50 people but you want a traditional larger wedding, then it may not be a good fit for you. Think about how many people you’d like to invite before you go wedding venue searching.
6. Your Intuition
The best way to see if a venue fits your vibe is to visit in person! You also can get a feeling the workers there and if your personalities blend well together. Are they accommodating to your needs? Always go with your gut!
Other Tips to make the process easier:
- Start looking for a venue 12- 9 months before your big day (or sooner if you can!) Lots of venues book up 12 months in advance, although sometimes you get lucky especially if you have some flexibility with your date.
- Consider accommodations for your guests. Make sure there is somewhere close by for your out-of-town guests to spend the night. Some wedding venues have on-site lodging available which makes the process even easier!
- Consider Indoor/outdoor space. You may plan on an outside ceremony but make sure your venue has a backup option if the weather should turn!
- Make the most of your venue tours! Come prepared with questions. Bring along anyone whose input is needed – a lot of venues don’t do second showings. But try not to bring the whole family, too many opinions can make things complicated. Most tours are a half hour – hour long.
As you begin your wedding venue search, consider us here at The Haven. We are located in the beautiful Hocking Hills, just a half mile from Old Man’s cave. We are the perfect backdrop for nature lovers, boho chic, modern rustic or woodsy weddings! For more information explore our ‘About Us’ page or click below to get in touch with us.
Photo Cred: 1) Elizabeth Nisher Photography, 2) Lunar Pine Creative 3) Lunar Pine Creative 4)Lunar Pine Creative 7) Wandering Woo