{wedding wednesday: the venue}

Aren’t you excited?! We’re getting to the good stuff in this Wedding Wednesday series. Last week we talked about the first few steps in the wedding planning process. This week, we’re talking about something even more exciting.

The Venue


Once you set your budget and general location, the venue is the next big thing. You probably want to book it even before solidifying a date, especially if you don’t have your heart set on a date but love a venue.

These days it seems as if the venues we see on the big blogs are all the same: vineyards, country clubs, a barn in the middle of nowhere. Not that there’s anything wrong with these.


Venue Options


Don’t feel bad if you want to get married in a church {I did}, or have your reception inside. We don’t see these things, but they can be just as beautiful as the faux-nontraditional wedding venue {i.e. the beach house or rooftop garden}.

Things to Consider

Your Budget

Obviously, the most important factor to consider when choosing your venue is your budget, which you should have already set before booking the location. Like I said last week, many venues give a discount if you get married in an off-season, or any day other than Saturday. If you’re on a tight budget, I would highly encourage you to ask about the discounts that they offer. You might be surprised.

The Season

Backup PlanIf you’ve always envisioned a beach wedding, then November through February are  probably not the months for you. Any outdoor venue, really, should only be used when you are fairly certain that the weather will be nice or if you have the option to rent a tent, which can be excessively expensive.

Alternatively, if you get married in the middle of summer and have your sights set on an indoor reception in a barn, you probably want to make sure that there is some type of ventilation. Cooking your guests while they sit at your ceremony is never a good idea.

Guest Count

The number of guests your expecting should also be a big consideration when choosing your venue. A good tip is to keep things at least ten percent under capacity. A crowded reception is never a good idea.

Theme and Decor

Blank Slate

It’s really important that you choose a venue that goes with your vision. For example, you really don’t want to get married in a Spanish style villa, if you’re all about the mason jars and peonies.

I would also highly recommend looking at the details of the venue and taking them into consideration: the carpet, the ceiling height, the layout, etc. All are small components that make up a big picture. You may not notice some of these things when everything comes together, but then again, gold chairs with burgundy seats are pretty noticeable if they don’t compliment that hot pink vision you have in your head.

Ceremony and Reception

A lot of weddings these days have both the ceremony and reception at the same location. It can be more convenient, but it’s not absolutely necessary. Guests can drive to a reception location, especially if that small garden on top of a mountain is really your dream ceremony location.

inclusive vs

This can be a tough one. Some venues require that you use them for everything: food, alcohol, rentals, even the cake and DJ. It can be cheaper {in some ways} to do it this way, but may not be as satisfying. You really need to evaluate what is important to you, and if you’re alright with someone else dictating the quality and type of vendors that you use.

Choosing an all inclusive venue can be a really good option for some, especially if you’re getting married quickly or don’t really have the time to figure out every detail. It’s really all personal preference. But if you do go with someone who provides everything, you’ll want to know about everything up front: hidden costs, possible options, etc. And definitely request a tasting {both food and cake} before you book.



Whatever venue you choose, here are a few other tips for you:

  • Make sure there is plenty of parking for your guests.
  • Walk the pathway between the ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception. You don’t want the distance to be too far.
  • Before you book the venue, ask when you would be able to have the rehearsal.
  • If you’re booking a hotel, ask if a room for the bride and groom are included in the cost, and if you can get a discount on rooms for your guests.
  • Some venues require a coordinator. Be sure to clarify what their requirements are prior to signing the contract.
  • Ask what rentals are included with your venue {tables, chairs, linens, etc.}.


Link Up

The color



Jenna said...

Great post! I feel like each week I'm learning so much :)


Jill @ ACharmedLife said...

so many smart, great tips in this post joelle- well done!! if i hadn't already gotten married, i would TOTALLY use this as my guide ;) if i can only convince my hubby to let me plan our second wedding HAHA!

Miranda @ All Things Lovely said...

Hey Joelle,

Just recently stumbled across your blog and cannot express to you enough how darling I think your blog is! I'll definitely be stopping by on the regular :)


nadalia smith said...

This venue keeping all point like budget season,decor,theme.A couple always appreciate such type of venue for their wedding reception venues.