Hello, nearly-weds! As you start planning your wedding, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is choosing the perfect venue. If you go with a full-service wedding planning option, we’ll help you find the best venue for you, but if you want to start this task on your own, we want to make it a little easier for you! So grab your partner and a glass of champagne and let’s dive in!
Location, Location, Location
The perfect spot should be convenient for both you and your guests. Consider proximity to hotels, airports, and public transportation. You’ll want a venue that’s easy to find, so out-of-town guests don’t have any trouble joining your big day.
Make sure the venue can comfortably accommodate your guest list. It’s essential to strike a balance between too cramped and too spacious. Remember, you’ll need room for seating, dancing, catering, and other essential wedding activities!
Style & Theme
Your wedding venue should reflect your unique personality and style. Whether you’re going for rustic charm, urban chic, or a beachy vibe, make sure the venue complements your chosen theme. While you should absolutely add your own touch, it’s also important to avoid having to cover up and recreate the space entirely.
Weather can be unpredictable, especially in the San Francisco and Seattle areas! Look for a venue that offers both indoor and outdoor options, so you’re prepared for anything Mother Nature throws your way. If there isn’t an indoor space available, keep in mind the time of year or tenting costs and availability.
Ensure your venue is accessible for guests with mobility challenges, such as wheelchair access and ample parking. Is rideshare easily accessible or will you need to provide transportation? These are the little things that can make a big difference.
Having essential amenities on-site can make your big day run more smoothly. Check for things like restrooms, a getting-ready suite for one or both partners, ample parking, a full kitchen, etc. Depending on the budget, having tables and chairs already on site can have a big impact!
Wedding expenses can add up quickly, so it’s essential to find a venue that fits within your budget. Keep in mind that some locations may have fees, such as service charges, setup fees, or mandatory gratuities. Be sure to ask for a detailed breakdown of costs before making your decision. Remember when comparing venues, not all venues include the same amenities so a line-by-line comparison might be useful!
Some venues require you to use their preferred vendors for catering, photography, and other services. This can be convenient, but it might also limit your options. Make sure you’re comfortable with the venue’s policies and the quality of their recommended vendors.
You might have your heart set on a specific date or season, so it’s crucial to find a venue that can accommodate your schedule. Personally, I like to keep a few ranges in mind so you don’t cut a perfect venue out of the running! If you are set on a specific date, book as early as possible! You likely won’t find the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend available six months out.
Last but certainly not least, the venue’s staff can make or break your wedding experience. Look for a venue with a friendly, professional team that’s dedicated to helping you create the wedding of your dreams. Read reviews, ask for recommendations, and trust your gut when deciding if a venue’s staff is the right fit for you.
There you have it, nearly-weds! Keep these top ten must-haves in mind when shopping for a venue! 🙂