Surviving Engagement(Part1): Tips you may not think about in choosing your venue

& ways to make your vendors LOVE you!

You may have read my previous blog post "Top 4 Things to do as soon as you get engaged". If you haven't, go ahead and click to your right, and check it out. Because this is the start of a 4 part series breaking down those 4 things every engaged lady, or gentleman must do first. 


If you've been a bride, or are soon to be a bride, you most likely have experienced some anxiety over picking the right venue for your delightful day. You want somewhere in a specific location, that gives off that vibe you're going for, and all within a reasonable price point. But here a are a few things you may not think about when choosing a venue that can be helpful in narrowing down your options. 

Lighting. Period. Case and point. Are you getting married somewhere with tons of natural light, or does it have available options for indoor lighting that aren't florescent overhead lights or dim attempts? People want to be able to see you, the happy couple (and each other for that matter) during your wedding ceremony and reception. Your photographer will thank you later if you choose a venue with great lighting options.  

I personally like natural light. I'm a huge fan of outdoors, or places with LOTS of windows. I think it makes the bride look even more stunning than she already will, and it's a lot easier to use the sun(unless it rains), rather than hire someone to do professional lighting for you (unless that's the look you're going for, and then I say "Go for it!").

There are always variables involved with lighting. But make sure to think through those variables and the look you want. 

Travel Time. Is your ceremony site at a different location than your reception? If so, it's not a big deal, but consider your guest when choosing that reception venue 40 minutes from the church where you plan on holding your ceremony. 

If you want to take pictures in between your ceremony and reception, make sure to have a location agreed upon with your photographer that is somewhere in-between the two locations if possible. Your hungry guest who just want to celebrate with you will thank you for this one. No one likes waiting hours at the reception for the bride and groom to show up. 

Food Preparation. This is one that most brides don't think about. If you are very specific in what you want, you'll probably end up booking a venue that is skilled and tenured at hosting weddings. But if not, make sure you have great caterers and make sure they know the type of kitchen or refrigeration system they have to work with or ask them if they have their own. Or if you're really lucky, the venue you choose will have their own caterers you can use who do events there all the time!

Don't figure out a week before your wedding that you only have one small fridge in another building across from the reception barn, for your caterers to use for all your food. Your caterers will thank you.  

Layout. Make sure to think about the layout of your venue. Not just the rooms themselves (though that is vastly important), but where the bathrooms are located, where is the kitchen or food preparation area going to be? Are there poles or beams throughout the room? 

If you really love a venue, but aren't sure how to make the layout work, talk to the owner or venue coordinator. Chances are they will have some sample layouts or ideas on how you can make the most of the space you have. 


Basics. We're talking.... 

  • Size: How many people can the venue hold? Maximum? Minimum?
  • Date and Time: Is the venue you want available on the date and time you want to get married?
  • Location: Is it in a town or general location of where you want to get married?
  • Budget: How much does renting the venue cost? Can you afford it in your budget?
  • Chairs and Tables: Does your venue provide chairs and tables for you or will you need to find a vendor to provide them. 
  • Parking: What kind of parking will your guest have available to them?

Picking a venue can be quite tedious and a bit overwhelming, but make a list of non-negotiable's with your fiance (and maybe family) and go from there. One you figure out what style you want, figuring out the rest can be pretty simple. 

Take a deep breath. Once you get this secured, the rest is just detail work. 

As always, don't hesitate to contact me with questions! I'd love to chat with you!