“This one is too big. This one is too small. This one can’t seat more than 100 guests and they don’t have wheelchair accessibility for Great Aunt Mille.” Searching for that perfect wedding venue?
Just like Goldilocks in the beloved childhood bedtime story, you are no doubt searching for that place that is “just right.” With so much to consider and so many options to choose from, it helps to break things down to examine pros and cons.
Indoor versus outdoor: This will have a lot to do with what city, state and country you are getting married in. Make sure you research the seasonal weather for your location, because you don’t want to be planning a lovely garden wedding during the rainy season. Outdoor weddings can be fine in hot places during summer months, but may be more suited for an evening versus midday wedding, so your guests don’t cook in their fancy clothes.
If the venue is in a windy location, this may be troublesome if you’re setting up tents of tablecloths for your reception.
If you are leaning toward an outdoor venue, call and ask what the weather tends to be like during the timeframe you are considering. Also, never assume an outdoor venue will have infinite space for guests: always ask.
When considering a wedding to be held indoors, things to think about are time of day and lighting: what is the interior going to look like with the natural light? Will you need candles or more artificial lighting so the bride and groom can be seen from the back? Capacity, like with an outdoor venue, is important. You don’t want any guests literally left out in the cold.
Site Types: Winery, ballroom, church, gallery, garden, hotel, boat, ranch, park…even when a couple puts their heads together and narrows down a list, the site types are boundless. When choosing a site type, the above suggestions around indoor and outdoor venues can help pinpoint what you’re looking for. If you are a couple who loves being out on the open seas, getting married on a lovely boat might be your way of sailing off into the sunset.
Enjoy Friday night happy hour celebrations? Perhaps a winery or quaint brewpub is the way to go. Even if you adhere to religious tradition and choose to get married in a church, these choices will still be facing you for your reception.
Style and Décor: Depending on the venues you are considering, some might be stricter about how you are allowed to bring in any decoration on you want to put on the walls, floors or ceilings. If you are working on a Celtic-themed wedding and are hoping to hang a tapestry featuring a wedding-oriented Celtic knot, you will have to double check to ensure that the venue will permit that.
If you come across a great site that is ascetically pleasing from the outside but the inside looks straight out of a 1970’s disco, you might want to keep on looking. Choose a venue that you can literally picture your wedding taking place in, one that reflects your style and taste preferences as a couple.
Catering and Food: You may have found the venue of your dreams and months ago you found a caterer whose food you loved, but the venue only allows caterers from a very select, sometimes in-house only, list. This is a common problem many couples bump up against when trying to pick allocation as well as someone to feed their guests.
To help avoid this, prioritize. If it’s more important to you to have a venue overlooking the water, hold firm to that and try and work with the catering options they suggest. However, if you have strict dietary needs or have a friend who wants to cater your wedding, make sure you pick a location where that will be permitted.
Choosing the site for your wedding does take time and careful consideration, but it’s worth it. It’s your wedding day, after all; a day to remember for the rest of your lives.