March 10, 2022

A Bride-to-Be’s Guide to Choosing a Wedding Venue

FILED IN: Wedding Tip

Article by Erin Reynolds

Your wedding day is an occasion you want to remember for a lifetime. When planning the big event, you have many factors to consider, from the guest list to the food, decor, and more. One of the most important decisions you’ll make is the venue. The following guide will provide you with some excellent tips about choosing and preparing the perfect location for your nuptials.

What to consider when choosing a wedding venue

Before you start scoping out wedding venues, consider what style of ceremony you want. The Internet’s Maid of Honor provides tips on creating a vision board that can help you figure out how you want your ceremony to look. For example, do you want a grandiose church wedding or a rustic outdoor ceremony?

By choosing your photographer before choosing the venue, you can take advantage of their expertise and experience to help you decide what venue will make for the most beautiful and memorable photos. They are usually familiar with most wedding venues’ availabilities and contacts, so it makes sense to reach out to them first. Check out the VANELK & CO Photographers website for great location photo ideas. And if you’re in the Indianapolis area, you’re in luck, they’ve already done your homework for you; you can just tell them your story and they can guide you from there.  

Budget is also a consideration when selecting your venue. Figure out how much you can spend on your venue in advance. Brides Magazine provides a guide for writing a wedding budget. Keep in mind that you will have to put down a deposit on any venue and that you need the liquidity to pay for this.

Finally, consider accessibility. If the wedding venue is out-of-the-way, will you arrange for a shuttle service for guests? The Knot provides a wedding transportation database that you can search locally. Further, consider whether any guests, such as elderly relatives, have special accessibility needs. The National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association explains what you need to consider when planning a wheelchair-accessible ceremony, like ramps.

How to choose your wedding venue

With the above criteria in mind, start searching for wedding venues in your target area. Some venues may include price lists online. If not, email or call to ask for a quote. Keep in mind that costs may vary depending on added services the venue may offer as a bundle package, like decorating or catering.

Once you have a shortlist of candidates, make appointments for site visits. Here Comes the Guide provides actionable advice for making the most of site visits. For example, bring a notebook with a list of questions and to jot down information while you’re there. Also, bring a phone to take photos — and a checkbook or credit card in case you want to make a deposit.

How to prepare your venue before the big day

Once you’ve chosen your venue, you can start thinking about how to perfect it ahead of the big day. If you’ve opted to have your wedding at home, consider whether any renovations are needed to get it ready for a ceremony. According to Redfin, low-cost upgrades that boost home value include adding a fresh coat of paint and replacing doors and windows. If you’re entertaining outdoors either for the ceremony itself or reception, look for a professional lawn care service who has some experience in preparing the outside homes for event hosting. 

As you go along, keep track of any updates you make and hang on to all of the receipts. If you later sell your house, you should provide this information to the home appraiser, since these touches will likely increase the overall value of the home. This will allow you to command a higher asking price for the property.

With the major elements in place, you can start thinking about the finishing touches. BHLDN offers a wedding decor checklist that can prove useful. It covers everything from signage to flowers, altar backdrop, seating markers, and more. Some venues may also be able to handle the decor for you.

With the above tips, you can find and create your perfect wedding venue efficiently. This means one less item on your to-do list as you prepare for your big day.

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