How to find a wedding venue is one of the most crucially important decisions you’ll make when you’re planning your wedding! The venue is going to determine the atmosphere of the day. It’s going to influence most of the decisions you make when it comes to vendors and decorations, too – in fact, I’ll often tell couples that once they’ve chosen their wedding venue, everything else starts to fall into place.
With so much hanging on your choice, the process of how to find a wedding venue can feel pretty overwhelming. It doesn’t have to be that way, though! In fact, hunting for a venue can be so fun. Think about it: you’re touring beautiful venues with the love of your life, being treated like royalty and dreaming about your wedding day. Does it get much better?!
How to Find a Wedding Venue (& not feel overwhelmed!)
These tips for how to find a wedding venue are going to help take the stress out of searching for a venue so that you can truly relax and enjoy the process!
Decide on Your Non-negotiables for your Wedding Venue
When you’re figuring out how to find a wedding venue, one of the things that can make it feel overwhelming is the sheer number of options! Here in Boston, we have literally hundreds of amazing wedding venues. Where do you start?
Well, that’s where non-negotiables come in. If you have a firm set of things you and your fiance aren’t willing to budge on, it makes it so much easier to filter out different wedding venues. If you start out the process of how to find a wedding venue with clear must-haves and absolutely-nots, it’s going to save you a lot of time! Here are some of the most common and important non-negotiables to consider for how to find a wedding venue:
This is very significant – you want to search for venues with a clear idea of the maximum you want to pay. Keep in mind that some venues will appear to cost less, but may not offer the amenities other venues do. Things like renting your own tables and flatware and bringing in your own caterers could end up costing you as much as an all-inclusive package at a wedding venue that looked initially like it would cost more.
The key thing is to start your search to find a wedding venue with a clear idea of the total cost you are willing to pay, and to be very clear on what the quotes you are offered include.
When you’re figuring out how to find a wedding venue, it’s important to have an idea of how many people you want to invite to your wedding. Now, I get it – your guest list is going to morph and change multiple times throughout the planning process. That’s okay! You still need a rough idea of your guest-list. Are you picturing an intimate celebration with 50 of your closest friends and family, or do you dream of something lavish and wild? That’s going to have a huge impact on your wedding venue choice!
Make sure you know what your absolute minimum guest capacity is as you’re looking for venues. Knowing that from the beginning is going to mean it’s easy for you to filter out the venues that won’t work for your wedding.
Every couple has different non-negotiable details that they absolutely must weave into their wedding. Maybe your wedding absolutely must have impeccable wheelchair access. Perhaps you’ve always dreamed of a ceremony by the sea.
Maybe you absolutely need your pet to be there for the ceremony, so you need a pet-friendly venue. Whatever these details are, make sure that you are very firm and clear about them while you look for a venue. Nothing is worse than falling in love with a wedding venue and then realizing you can’t book it!
Lockdown Your Location for your Wedding Venue
Crucially, you need to know what region or city you are going to get married in. Dreaming of a destination wedding? Thinking about getting married at home? Location is the number one thing that will influence you in how to find a wedding venue, so make sure you have clear boundaries for where you’ll look, and where you won’t.
Remember that you’ll have guests coming in from all over the place – maybe even internationally. Proximity to airports and accommodation is going to be so important for them. So, definitely don’t forget about your guests’ experience when you’re learning how to find a wedding venue!
Set a Date (or two!)
Find a few different dates that work for you to hold your wedding. Then, call the venue ahead of making an appointment with them to compare your dates with the venues’ availability. If they are already booked over the different dates you had in mind, that’s an easy way to filter down the list and make the process of how to find a wedding venue that much simpler.
Don’t Just Search for Venues, Search for Weddings, Too!
This is one of my top tips for how to find a wedding venue. You’ll probably have an idea of the kind of atmosphere you’re looking for in your wedding; or maybe some specific things you know you want to include. Start looking for photos of weddings in your area!
For example, you could Google ‘Elegant wedding in Boston’. Look through the results to find the actual weddings – most often, they’ll be galleries on wedding photographer websites. The vast majority of these gallery posts will link to the venue where the wedding was celebrated, so this is the perfect way to see what venues look like with a wedding party actually using them and decide if you like what you see. If you do, add the venue to your shortlist!
Go Visit your Wedding Venue in Person
So, you’ve searched for wedding venues in your decided area. You’ve filtered them down by price, guest capacity, dealbreakers, and atmosphere. Last but not least in these directions for how to find a wedding venue: go check out the shortlist! There’s nothing that beats actually seeing a place in person to help you decide how to find a wedding venue.
For more tips and tricks to make the planning process easier, check out my blog. Wondering How to Choose A Wedding Photographer You’ll Love? Let me help. And if you have any questions, or if you’re interested in working with me, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!