This is the biggest decision of your life. No, really, it isn’t but still. It’s likely the biggest decision you will make during your entire planning process. To put it simply, choosing a wedding venue is the meat and potatoes of wedding planning. It’s about 50% of your budget and really the main event. In this post, I’ll give you 5 tips on choosing the right wedding venue for you.
After getting engaged, Nate and I immediately made a promise to not jump into wedding planning for at least two weeks. We wanted to bask in the the cloud that was being newly engaged. We did so effortlessly. BUT at the week two finish line I was itching to get started. We got engaged on September 15th and two weeks after that was the beginning of October. Our gut feeling was that we wanted a late September, early October wedding in 2018.
When we arrived at our first venue we knew it was the one. I was never the girl to have a dream wedding all mapped out before meeting my prince charming. I just knew that I would fall in love with the right venue for me. After going on the tour at our (now) venue we knew we had to have it but at the same time be smart and keep our options open (we didn’t want to look too thirsty lol).
After taking the tour and speaking with the sales rep we quickly realized that we were not early on the wedding venue hunt and that 2018 was almost fully booked. It was so disheartening to know that we couldn’t get our initial first date that we wanted.
In shopping around for venues, I quickly realized that there are some tips and tricks to securing the venue that is right for you and your partner.
1.Don’t go with the first offer on the table
We were blown away when we visited our first venue but after going to other venue’s and speaking with other representatives you start to realize the questions you need to ask and the flexibility you need to have to save a few extra coins. If we would have secured the date with the first venue on the first visit we would have been paying thousands of dollars more than we are now.
2. Ask a lot of questions during the tour
This seems like a no brainer but after going on a tour of a venue you feel like they told you everything so what’s the point of asking questions, right? WRONG. Ask every question that comes to mind. If you do this you will be able to weed out the venues that aren’t going to meet your final expectations. For example, something as simple as confetti being thrown as you exist the chapel might be a request of your’s. You might not think to ask if confetti is allowed on the property because who thinks to ask that? BUT, be warned that most venues do not allow certain items, whether that be confetti, candles or sparklers. Ask so that you aren’t disappointed in the end.
3. Be flexible with your wedding date
This was a big one for us. Since we didn’t have a specific date in mind, and we were more so working with a range, it was important for us to make that very clear to the venue. A venue loves nothing more than a flexible couple. Once you share this point with them they will do almost anything in their power to accommodate you on their calendar. Maybe consider a Friday, Sunday or Monday wedding. These days are usually open on venues calendar because most couples want a Saturday wedding. Just know that picking an off peak day will be rewarding in the end because you will save on the budget.
4. Ask about twilight options
Twilight options are basically dates on a venue’s calendar where you are the only wedding that day. Most venues have multiple weddings per day and some only have one per day. If you are considering a venue that hosts multiple weddings per day then inquire about their twilight dates. Twilight dates will ensure that that you are the only wedding that day and you get the entire venue to yourself. You also get the flexibility of choosing your ceremony and reception time. What a treat! We are having a twilight wedding. Exclusivity was very important to us and we didn’t want to be one of two weddings in a day.
5. Ask to speak to the owner(s)
If you love a venue and you are absolutely blown away, I would ask to chat with the owner of the venue just to tell them how in love with the property you are. Most times, the owners are on the premises depending on what venue you are visiting. Both properties we considered we met the owners. If you choose a place that is as family oriented as ours, the owners might throw in some complimentary additions to your package. That happened for us and we were so grateful. Sometimes being complimentary and grateful pays off.
That’s it guys! I hope you enjoyed this post and good luck venue hunting if you are at that stage in the planning process. If not, these are amazing tips to keep in mind for the future. I’ll leave you with one final piece of advice. Just know that this is one of the most stressful parts of wedding planning. Go into it knowing that and you will trick yourself into not being stressed about. Everything will work out in the exact way it is supposed to. It is written. Having anxiety about the wedding venue and the budget it takes to secure a place you love will send you into a spin of anxiety. Just take a deep breath, keep your priorities in mind and PRAY! Things will work out.
Is anyone out there currently venue shopping? Leave me a comment below and tell me about your experience. I would also love to hear about prior experiences in securing a venue as well.
Are you considering making a bridesmaid proposal box? Check out how I did mine here.
Images: Photographer Lisa Poggi, Florence, Italy