Planning for the big day is a stressful time and finding a wedding venue is one of the hardest decisions a couple has to make. Finding a location for the event that accommodates the perfect theme, achieves the desired look, and provides the necessary amenities is tough. Here are five tips to help narrow down the venue list.
Figure Out a Budget
Picking a place to host the ceremony without having a very firm budget is never a good idea. Before touring spaces and meeting with owners, the bride and groom need to figure out how much they can afford to spend. Venues’ costs vary greatly, depending on location, amenities, and included rentals-think tables, chairs, and linens.
Date or Location-Which Matters Most?
Some couples select a wedding venue based on available dates. If they have a specific date in mind, or are working around other commitments, the times available matter more than the space itself. Before deciding on a location, figure out if the date of the wedding or the location of the ceremony is more important. The more flexible the couple can be on their date, the more choices they’ll have.
Pick a Location Before Choosing a Theme
One of the most common mistakes engaged couples make is picking a theme before finding a place for the ceremony and reception. The space for the ceremony often dictates which themes are appropriate. Remember, most spaces are unwilling to change the paint color on their walls or the underlying decor of a room just because the bride has already chosen colors that clash with their facility’s design. Know the space before deciding on wedding colors and themes. That way, the location will enhance the theme rather than detract from it.
Don’t Be Afraid of the Outdoors
Decorations and flowers are one of the more expensive parts of a wedding. Choosing a place for the ceremony that makes use of landscaping and natural views can dramatically reduce the cost of decorations. Well-designed courtyards, gardens, and natural areas provide a beautiful backdrop full of elements that naturally draw the eye. Rather than spending hundreds on floral arrangement, make use of these elements.
Know the Guest Count
Don’t worry about turning guests away because the space is too small. Before committing to a wedding venue, have a firm idea of the number of guests that will be attending. Some locations can accommodate hundreds of guests, while others can only accommodate 20 or 30 people. Your chosen place does not always set the numbers; the local fire marshal determines how many people can safely occupy a space at a given time. Anything over that amount makes the space uncomfortable, puts the venue at risk for fines, and, in the event of an emergency, can make the situation more dangerous.