How To Choose A Wedding Venue

Perhaps one of the most daunting questions you will face during the wedding planning process.  Where are we going to do this thing? The good news is that once you get the location nailed down, a huge chunk of your planning is done.  You will have to answer a lot of questions about your wedding just from picking the wedding location. Will it be indoor or outdoor? Will it be religious?  Will we be having the reception and ceremony in the same location? What time of day will we be getting married? Will great aunt Barbara be able to make it here in her wheelchair?  These are all things to consider when deciding upon a place. Be prepared to make some decisions and do a lot of talking when you two decide where you will finally tie the knot. Below are some pointers to make this process a bit smoother.

Church or Secular venue?

The selection of a secular location is becoming much more popular for couples instead of a traditional church wedding.  One thing to keep in mind when deciding: don’t let other people’s opinion on this sway you. There are many people who believe that the union of marriage should only be done in a church.  This is totally dependent on you, your beliefs, and how you feel as a couple and not on someone else’s opinion. Of course, if you have always dreamed of getting married in a beautiful chapel or temple, there are many gorgeous options for a ceremony at that venue as well!  Whichever venue you choose, make sure it is only dependent on your personal values and beliefs. This is your day!

Indoor or Outdoor?

The answer to this question depends on the season in which you are getting married, as well as the location in which you are planning your wedding.  Tying the knot in Hawaii? Odds are you will want to take advantage of the outdoor setting! People in Florida and California will have more opportunities for outdoor weddings regardless of season than someone in Maine will.  Some things to consider for an indoor wedding: is the lighting optimal for picture taking? If not, you will want to let your photographer know ahead of time so he/she can work around it. How will the setting go with your color scheme?  Is there ample room for your flowers/decorations/archway and whatever else you have planned. When you visit locations, think about the little details you will need to arrange the day of. It’s not a bad idea to bring a list of things you want to remember when checking your places out.      See below for outdoor wedding considerations.

Is there a plan B if it rains?

Most outdoor venues will have a plan B location in case it rains.  Ask to see it! Do not assume that you won’t need it. Make sure that if you do have to use this back-up location that you will be satisfied with it and how your pictures will turn out at this location as well.  Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions about the backup location as you do about your primary one. If it does end up raining, you will need to know how people will be transported to plan B as well as whether or not it will hold everyone.

Is this conducive to the time of day you want to get married?

You can still do a gorgeous outdoor wedding at 7 at night at some locations.  However, this plan hinges on whether or not your venue can plan around this. If they have no way of bringing light to your ceremony, you may want to search elsewhere for your post-sunset wedding.  Something else to consider with outdoor weddings is how hot it will be that day. August noontime weddings are usually not a good idea. It’s hot out there! You don’t want any of your guests suffering from heat stroke and you definitely do not want to be sweating in your wedding wear.

How many people does it seat?

This one poses obvious problems and should be up there on your list of questions to ask when you are viewing wedding locations.  If you have a wedding ceremony planned with 250 guests, this may eliminate many outdoor venues. But not all! Make sure before you go to a location that you have a good idea of how many guests you plan to invite. You will not need an exact number but try to get as close as possible.  If you’re unsure as to your number, ask to see the different rooms available for all sizes. You may like the room better that seats 100 better than the room that can hold 250.

Keep in mind that your wedding location plans also hinge on availability, price, and accessibility to your guests.  Sometimes not all three of these things go together. Be prepared to have to change the date or time of your wedding to secure your perfect venue.  When I booked my venue I had to choose between getting married in 2 months or waiting for another warm season to roll around for my outdoor wedding.  Also keep in mind that you can’t control the weather but you can control your attitude on the big day. Regardless of what happens with the rain, you will get married on your wedding day!

Do you want a destination wedding?

The popularity of destinations weddings are at an all time high. There are major perks to a destination wedding. affordable destination wedding on a tight budget, a destination wedding can be a real deal. Most popular tropical destinations will be filled with cost effective packages that will include  you choose a gorgeous location of your liking, you aren’t confined to your hometown. It is romantic! When you have a best destination wedding you invite a small number of people, typically close friends and family, making it an intimate wedding. You don’t have to worry about the added cost of a honeymoon because you’re already there!

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