The ring is on, and the excitement is flowing! Your head is full of wedding plans, color palettes, cake ideas and dress designs.
But have you chosen your wedding venue yet?
Your venue can make or break your big day, so it's crucial you choose somewhere that feels right for the both of you — as well as your guests, of course!
Here is our ultimate guide to choosing your perfect wedding venue.
Set a Date and Book Ahead
Have you decided on a date yet?
Remember that some dates will be much more popular than others (like summer weekends, for example). If you're choosing a popular date and venue, you'll want to book at least a few months ahead!
Work it Into Your Budget
Saving or splashing out? One of the most important factors when choosing a venue is whether it works budget-wise. This is where a wedding planner can really help out!
If you want to know about the advantages of working with a wedding planner, read this.
If you have a planner, they can pay you back tenfold with their detailed knowledge of different venues, plus their knack for getting discounts.
If you do have a wedding planner, don't hesitate to ask them about the best venues and see whether they can save you some pennies!
One Wedding Venue, or Two?
Do you want your ceremony and reception at the same venue?
The answer is going to make a huge difference in narrowing down your venue options. Many places offer one or the other, and some offer both.
Talk this through with your partner and close guests. Sometimes, a one-venue-fits-all approach is the best when you want to minimize the stress of organizing everything!
Choose a Guest-Perfect Space
How many guests do you have?
If you're only inviting your nearest and dearest, a smaller, more intimate space will be perfect. If you're inviting your godfather's dog's mother-in-law's neighbor's stepdaughter, and everybody in between, you might just want to look at a place with a slightly larger capacity.
Location, Location, Location!
If you want to have your wedding in the treetops in the Peruvian rainforest – great!
But be aware that, while you want your venue to match your dream wedding vision, you also need to think about how easy it is for your guests to get there.
Try to find a wedding venue that's accessible to everyone you want to be there — and that means thinking about overnight stays too!
Working with a wedding planner that knows options can certainly help.
Visit, and Visit Again!
It may seem obvious, but make sure you visit your venue choices and check them out thoroughly. And visit more than once, if you can.
Yes, there may be a bar, but is there a dressing room for you to freshen up in? Don't be scared to have a really long walk to scope your venues out. It'll be worth it – after all, you'll be spending one of the biggest days of your life there!
Ask Lots of Questions
You can never ask too many questions.
First, does the venue have any restrictions?
Many venues only allow weddings to use particular vendors or specific on-site caterers, so make sure that you know exactly what restrictions and rules a venue has before setting your heart on it.
Also, remember to ask about partying hours, noise levels, vendors, parking, accommodation, and what's included with the venue costs. Don't be scared to ask a thousand questions – it's your wedding!
Know Your Religious Ceremony Rules
According to your beliefs, you may want a particular celebrant to officiate your wedding. Your chosen priest, rabbi, or other officiants may have their own rules and restrictions about where they will perform the ceremony. Make sure this is something you talk to them about before you go ahead and put down a deposit on a venue.
Think: Is This Venue Part of Our Wedding Vision?
A billion-dollar wedding may not be on the cards for you, but that doesn't mean you should just "settle" on a venue. Make sure the place feels right for you and your beloved.
Do you get good vibes from the venue manager?
Are you walking around the space happily imagining yourself speaking your vows or having your first dance?
If any of your answers to these questions is no… RUN! (Or just say no and leave politely.)
With these tips on hand, you'll find your perfect wedding venue without too much trouble.
Remember, don't just settle!