Finding the right venue is the foundation of planning your wedding, and sometimes it can feel overwhelming when making such a huge decision. Here are a few steps to take to ensure finding your ideal venue is not only absolutely attainable, but also stress free!

Step 1: Priorities & Research

First things first: figure out what is most important to you when it comes to the venue for your big day. Do these values match what your partner has in mind? Make a ranked a list of deal breakers (such as price, how far you want your guests to drive to the location, indoors vs. outdoors, etc…) and compare lists to make sure you both know where your priorities lie. Consider you and your partner’s sense of style, as well. Do you prefer traditional venues like a ballroom or do you see yourselves getting married outdoors in a garden setting or summery tent? Then, research potential venues that match the top three priorities on your lists – these will be the places you definitely want to tour.

Step 2: Getting Your Feet Wet

Venue tours are one of the most exciting parts of wedding planning – you can envision your wedding day in a tangible space and it makes the day that much more real! While on the tour, make sure to ask the questions that will get you that much closer to bringing your vision to life. A few basics to ask about are the capacity of the venue, package price and down payment, the number of staff present during your wedding, and the amount of time allowed for decorating. Then start honing in on the details, such as the process of laying out the floor plan, the venue’s cleaning policy, and whether there are spaces for you and your partner to get ready before the ceremony. And remember, there’s no “right” number of venues to tour before you find the one. Everyone’s search is different, whether you see two or ten venues.

Step 3: Compare & Compromise

So you’ve toured and now you have some top contenders. Great! Remember that list of priorities you made at the beginning of your search? It’s time to come back to that. When comparing venues, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of each space and make sure they each satisfy you and your partner’s top three criteria. One venue may have a fantastic amenity that excites you, but if that venue doesn’t match your priorities, chances are you ultimately won’t be happy with it the day of. It is also important to think about which services each venue offers for its price. One venue may appear cheaper initially, but not include services like table set up or day of staff in the overall price. Make sure extra fees are accounted for and that your love for a venue matches your budget.

Step 4: Making a Decision

How do you know you’ve found the one? Take note of how you, your partner, and your families feel. Is everyone excited? Does the venue match your budget? Do you have any hesitations? You want to be excited for your wedding, not stressed, and any hesitations you have now will only become more glaring as time goes on. Gut feelings are important and often lead us to making the decision that’s best for us, so make sure to listen to them! And ultimately, no matter which venue you choose, remember that you can make it special regardless.

Step 5: Booking & Planning!

Now that you’ve chosen your venue, it’s time to book! Always make sure to get everything in writing and have a detailed contract that includes all of your requests. Finally, it’s time to relax! You have your venue secured and now you can move on to planning the rest of your wedding. The fun has only just begun!

PC: Luis Hermosillo Photography