I have been waiting years to write this one, guys.
Oh, the stories I could share after working for a wedding venue for six years. Maybe another time. For now, I’ll just stick with sharing the best advice and tips I collected along the way.
Choosing your wedding venue is probably one of the most thrilling parts of the planning process. You’re just engaged, crazy in love, and walking around on a cloud. However, you’re also at your most vulnerable. You’re wrapped up in the excitement of your family and friends, staring at that beautiful ring on your finger all day long, losing yourself in Pinterest boards. And that’s totally cool! Be excited. Be very excited. After all, you’re getting married! Just don’t forget to be smart.
Step 1: Brainstorm
I’m a sucker for a brainstorm. Maybe it was all those elementary school worksheets, but hey! I find it helpful to let the ideas flow freely and see it on paper (or my MacBook). First and foremost, chat with your fiancé about his or her thoughts. If you already know your family and friends will play a huge part in the planning process, seek out their ideas, too. Just remember, in the end, it’s your decision. Try to write down adjectives about how you want your wedding to feel as well as the logistics you have in mind.
- Outdoor ceremony site
- Lodging near or on-site
- 200+ reception capacity
- On-site catering
Step 2: Do your research
WeddingWire and The Knot are great places to start researching your wedding venue. I cannot stress this enough; read those reviews from previous clients. This is a window into the soul of the venue. Trust me, if someone has an amazing experience with their venue, they want to spread the word and share with newly engaged couples. In turn, pay close attention to any negative reviews. Try to decipher why the reviewer had a not-so-great experience and use your best judgment to determine if it seems like a warranted complaint.
Start contacting venues that spark your interest for more information on availability, packages, and pricing. Be mindful of how quickly you receive a response. If you’re waiting days/weeks, this could be a sign of things to come. Narrow it down to a few that align with your vision, vibe, and budget and book those in-person consultations and tours!
Step 3: Ask Questions
I don’t think I’ve ever walked in to a meeting without at least 10 minutes of prep. This shouldn’t be any different. Come prepared to your consultation with lots of questions and do not be afraid to ask them. You will be dropping the most cash on your venue over anything else for your wedding. You will be contractually tied together. Ask, ask, ask. Also, make sure you (or whomever you appoint) takes good notes. It will all start to blend together after a few days of tours.
Step 4: The Head & The Heart (not just an indie folk band)
Gather your data. Analyze, compare, contrast. Make that Excel spreadsheet I know you’ve always wanted to. Then, follow your heart. Let yourself fall in love again – only with a building or outdoor space this time.
If it all sounds like too much, there’s also a one-step approach.
Step 1: Hire Noir Event Co.
We’ll work through the brainstorm with you, present you with in-depth research, ask all the questions you probably won’t think of, and then help you select the smartest, loveliest, most perfect venue for your wedding.
Way easier, right?