One of the first things that you do right after you get engaged will probably want to choose your venue! Your venue is the center piece of the wedding planning that follows. Also, it can significantly impact your date and budget! Choosing the venue that fits the best for you and your fiancé is incredibly important.
“Jordan, there are so many wedding venues to choose from… how will I ever sift through all of this information?” Girl, I totally understand! This is your first glimpse into how stressful planning a wedding can be. Maybe you already have your dream venue in mind. But if you don’t, here are some key things to consider when you’re picking the perfect place to host your wedding.
Time of the year
There are certain months of the year that book up faster than others. Prime wedding season is April-June and September-November. If you’re having a short engagement and plan to get married during one of these months, your choices of venues might be seriously limited. If your dream venue is booked on your ideal date during one of these months and you don’t want to wait longer or change the season you envision getting married in, one alternative is to get married on a Friday or Sunday. Another alternative is to get married right before or after these busy seasons. For example, if you wanted to get married in September but realized your date was booked, try to see availability for the end of August! There’s a chance it might be open! If you do plan on getting married in one of these months, you might consider extending your engagement to ensure that your ideal date is secured.
The average cost of a venue is $5000 but can cost upwards of $15,000! It’s important to remember that you have so many other factors to consider when breaking down your budget. Don’t be tempted to overspend! I would recommended to allot no more than 40% of your budget towards your ceremony and reception space. Like I mentioned earlier, one way to reduce cost of your dream venue is to have your wedding on a Friday or Sunday. Most venues offer special discounts because those days aren’t considered “prime” dates.
Depending on the style that you’re going for, you might justify spending just a little bit more for a venue that is naturally beautiful and doesn’t need a lot of decorations to “help dress up” the space. Decorations are often a forgotten cost that is associated with ceremony and reception costs but can quickly add up! Remember to account for this when your choosing your venue!
Finally, you’ve found a venue that you like and now it’s time to think about your guest experience and the logistics behind that. How far will your guest have to travel between ceremony and reception locations? Are tables and chairs included in the venue cost? Are there enough chairs provided that guests won’t have to relocate their ceremony chair to the reception (yes, it’s happened before!)? Definitely ask your venue all of the tough questions associated with the logistics. If you need help determining what these questions will be, ask your wedding planner! They know all of the unthought of questions to ask!
Picking a venue isn’t just about choosing the most Pinterest worthy location. There are so many more factors to consider in addition to just looks. My hope is that you will find these four categories helpful as you narrow down your options, making the planning process a little easier (: