One of the first steps, and biggest steps, in the planning process is choosing a venue. Well, not just choosing, but getting a date booked and signed for. It's a daunting task with so many options out there!

I don't even know my theme yet...how do I possibly choose a venue?

Everywhere seems far too pricey for me...I'm never going to get married!

If either of these thoughts have crossed your mind or you're just altogether scared to start your venue search, don't worry, you'll get through it! You'll find a beautiful place that fits your budget and you'll make your theme shine wherever it may be!

But before you say "I Do" to that special place and sign on the dotted line, make sure this venue is right for you!


Guest Count

Jay Dixon Photography

Jay Dixon Photography

If you are inviting 200 guests and the venue only holds 150, then this isn't the venue for you. While everyone tells you that about 15-20% of your guests will RSVP with a no (which is usually the case!), there are always exceptions to the rule. And that exception may be you!

So make sure you find a venue that will hold every single guest you are planning on inviting...just in case!

And in reality, you don't want to max out a venue anyways :)



You may be able to afford the price per person at your dream venue, but because you've done such a great job at narrowing down your guest list, you may not be hitting the minimum required spending that the venue has set! And if you sign on that dotted line and send your deposit on it's way, then be sure that you're okay with spending at least the minimum plus tax and service charge, no matter what your guest count ends up being!



While the theme isn't imperative to decide on before the wedding, make sure it somewhat matches your personality. If you two are the outdoorsy type, then a hotel ballroom is probably not going to match your bohemian-style wedding. You get my drift?


Your Must Have's

dog ring bearer bow tie

There are so many items that brides and grooms place on their "must have" list and many of these relate to your venue!

- You don't want your guests to have to drive from ceremony to reception. The venue doesn't have a ceremony site!
- You don't want guests to have to drive anywhere at all, even from the hotel! The venue isn't a hotel.
- You want to get ready at your venue. But there is no bridal suite!
- Having a priest marry you is a must because you're both Catholic. You're going to have to get married in a church!
- The best food you've ever tasted is a must on your wedding night! But they don't offer a food tasting.
- You already have your caterer set in stone. But the venue doesn't allow outside catering!
- You want to get married in the middle of winter. But the venue is outdoors!
- Your son (who turns out to be a dog) is going to be your ring bearer. But the venue doesn't allow dogs on site!

If any of these fall on your list of "must-haves" or there is anything else you just cannot live with or without having on your wedding day, make sure that venue you choose fits your criteria. Because after you sign, there's no turning back!


You're in Love

And most importantly, choose a venue that you can see yourself saying "I Do" at. If you can stand at that ceremony site and picture your wedding day, you've got a great venue! Don't choose the venue that your family and friends love, but the one that you and your fiance love and would like to call YOUR wedding venue for life! You're going to have some of the best memories of your life at this place, so make sure you love it!