5 steps to finding a wedding venue

January 03, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

5 steps to finding a wedding venue

 

For the recently engaged finding the perfect wedding venue is often the first step in your planning process. Your wedding venue often dictates the tone, the theme and the date of your wedding. The venue you select also has a HUGE impact on your budget, so it's important to make a selection early! If you are recently engaged, the hardest part is finding the perfect venue for your wedding day. Searching for venues doesn't have to be hard, start with these 5 tips and find the perfect venue with ease. 

Whispering Tree Ranch 1. Start online

Start your venue search online. There are hundreds of choices, so it's important that you start eliminating venues early.  You can easily eliminate venues that are too big, too small, too far or too expensive. If your guest list or budget changes you can always revisit venues that you eliminated earlier in the process. Just start crossing names off the list early, trust me, too many choices is not a good thing! 

McCormick Ranch

2. Ask for recommendations

Ask your friends and family for great (and not so great) wedding venues in your search area. Friends are more than happy to tell you about Amazing weddings that they have experienced recently. Equally important, they are happy to tell you about bad food and bad venues that you should avoid! If you are going to use a planner, now is the time to have your consult. Planners have the inside scoop on the best wedding venues and will steer you in the right direction to get the most bang for your buck. Check out some of my favorite planners HERE. Wedding planners can also get you discounts at some venues, saving you money too. Regardless of your budget, I highly recommend getting help from a planner! 

Grayhawk Golf Course

3. Pick 6 Favorites

Pick 6 of your favorite venues and look at photos online. Don't just look at the venue website, those photos may be outdated or misleading. A better reflection is to find a real wedding from the venue so you can see what the experience will be like for you AND your guests. I have found that there are many venues that have not been diligent in updating their website, which can make great venue look bad. Looking at real weddings lets you see what a skilled photographer can do at that venue. This can make a huge difference! 

Boojum Tree

4. Pick your top 3 Venues

Cut your list down to your favorite 3 venues and visit in person. It is important that you limit the number of site visits that you do. Otherwise you will become overwhelmed with choices! Trust me, wedding overwhelm should be avoided at all costs! While you are doing your site visit, consider the time of year you will be hosting your wedding. What will the weather be like? Is there a back-up option for rain or extreme heat? Also consider the sun position during your ceremony. I highly recommend using the Sun Seeker App to determine the sun position at the ceremony site. The 3d view lets you see the sun on a specific time and date, letting you see how the nearby buildings might affect the sunset. This is my all time favorite app!  I frequently do venue walkthroughs with my clients to determine the best time and location for their ceremony using this app. This can make a big impact on you wedding images and your overall wedding day experience. 

McCormick Ranch

5. Book it! 

Once you have found your perfect venue, don't wait to book! Your venue choice and date need to be locked in before you can book any other vendors. Waiting and looking at too many locations will only delay the process. Don't risk losing your chosen date or location by procrastinating. Once you have found "the one" sign the contract and work on selecting your next "in Demand" vendor, of course I recommend booking your wedding photographer. But, I am completely biased. :) 

Sanctuary Weddings


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