Ultimate Guide To Finding The Perfect Wedding Venue

So you’re embarking on your wedding planning journey – you’ve drafted your guest list, you’ve set your budget, and are now beginning the search for your perfect venue. Howww excited are you?! I’m going to share a few bits of wisdom with you about what to keep in mind during your venue tours. Grab some coffee and let’s jump in!

Winter wedding ceremony at Lake Tahoe

Why to Book Your Venue First

I’d actually like to back up a bit to talk about a few key reasons that it’s so important to book the venue before any other vendors first.

Your venue determines the following:

  • Guest Capacity: Every venue will have a certain amount of guests they can accommodate.
  • Vendor Options: Vendors need to know where they’re working. The price of their services may be influenced by which venue they are working at. If they have to travel outside of a certain distance to get there, they might need to charge a travel and/or lodging fee. Not to mention, the available vendors can change depending on the venue itself.
  • Bar Policies: There could be restrictions on the type of alcohol permitted or even the time the bar can open and close.Bride and groom drinking beer at wedding
  • Timeline: Noise ordinances may require the end of the reception to end at a certain time for example.

Booking Time

Next, venues get booked up the furthest out. In an average year-long engagement, I recommend booking the ceremony and reception venues within the first 2 months. And even then, there is a chance that your desired venue may not be available for your date (depending on the season). If you have your heart set on a particular date, get a jump on this process early. And if that date is during peak season in your area, you definitely need to. In most areas, venues book up a year out, and up to two. If your engagement is longer than a year, booking the venue should happen first thing.

How to Find Your Wedding Venue

Now let’s get into how to actually find your wedding venue!

Know Your Budget

First, know how much you are willing to spend on your venue. This will help you narrow down the options that fit your needs. You will be ready to ask the right questions as well! The rental cost of the venue is only the start. Be sure to ask these questions during your search:

  • Do you have liability insurance? If the venue does not have insurance, you will want to remove the option from your list. In the case something goes wrong, you could be financially responsible. Be sure to ask if the venue requires you to have your own wedding insurance ask well.
  • Are any rentals included? This can help cut down on costs if any rentals are included!
  • How does parking or transportation to the venue work? If the venue is in the heart of downtown in a city where Uber, Lyft, and taxis are available 24/7, providing guest transportation isn’t a necessity. If not, though, arranging shuttle service to ensure guests get home at the end of the night safely is crucial. Or, if parking is available, you need to know this in advance.

Chat with Your Wedding Planner

Be sure to rely on your wedding planner during your venue search! They will understand your style preference and budget! The wedding planner most likely has experience working at vendors in your desired area so they can provide you with some reliable options.Wedding planners researching wedding venue for clients

Know Your Location 

Speaking of location, be sure to know this before beginning to look at venues! Narrowing down the location in your search is so helpful. It is okay if you don’t know the exact city, but at least know the state. 

Start Searching!

Once you have your basics down, it is time to start searching! While your wedding planner might also be looking for options, it doesn’t hurt to search on your own. We love Instagram and Pinterest for finding the best venues. Search your location and then the phrase “wedding venue”.

If you loved this blog, be sure to read about what to look for when booking your wedding vendors next!

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