Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life. You want everything to be picture-perfect, including your location. Your venue can make or break your experience.
However, the ideal spot doesn’t look the same for every couple. Here are five simple tips to keep in mind for finding the right wedding venue.
1. Consult Your Budget
Unless you’re of the fortunate few, you need to adhere to a budget when finding the right wedding venue. According to one recent survey of brides, the average couple pays more than $10,000 for their hosting location.
However, there’s no need to drop a bankroll on the trendiest spot in town. Are you planning a small, intimate affair? If so, you might be able to find a private room in a restaurant for less than $1,000. Please don’t overlook the backyard barbecue route. You could end up having more fun keeping things relaxed and casual instead of stressing over your budget.
If you have more money to play with, you can still save some coins if you’re clever. Are you thinking of doing an outdoor event? You can often rent pavilions from your local parks and recreation department for a fraction of what you would pay for a hall. If you’re a social club member, inquire about their facilities. Some venues give priority pricing to members.
Finally, you can find creative ways to bring in extra cash if you need a large space. Who knows? The temporary dog-walking side hustle could someday replace your full-time income if you fall in love with it.
2. Consider Your Theme
Could you imagine walking down the aisle looking as if half of your face was rotting away with each step? If you and your beau are fans of “The Walking Dead,” you might not have to worry about your perfectly coiffed hair coming undone while you dance.
However, your choice of venue should set the scene for your post-apocalyptic nuptial celebration. Can your fancy hall do it up spooky? Maybe something unconventional will do, like an after-hours warehouse.
3. Think About Your Guest List
The size of the venue you need depends on your guest list. Here’s where you might need to get assertive if you’re funding your wedding yourself, but your relatives insist on giving invitations to everyone under the sun — including your great-aunt Barbara, twice-removed, whom you haven’t seen since age two.
One way to raise the hatchet is by asking yourself whether the invitee in question will be a part of your future. If not, leave them off the list. Chances are, you won’t fall into each other’s arms at the reception and keep that promise to stay in touch.
Another way to trim the guest list is by cutting out the plus-ones and children. Please note that taking this tactic might result in some newer parents skipping the ceremony. However, it’s a non-discriminatory way to avoid having to rent a larger venue than what fits in your budget.
4. Get A Little Creative
Sometimes, the best wedding venues aren’t advertised in directories. You have to find those secret sweet spots by yourself. For example, a falling-down stone barn in the middle of nowhere makes an elegant backdrop for a medieval or rustic-themed wedding.
Please be aware that you might need permission to use a space as your venue, even if it’s otherwise free to visit. For example, you might have a meditation garden in your hometown. Your city may allow you to rent it out for special events if you obtain a permit — which you can often do through donating to their preservation fund.
5. Reflect Your Unique Union
Finally, look for a venue representing who you are as a couple. For example, one couple famously tied the knot at Costco in the aisle where they met. Could you do something similarly romantic and unexpected?
It’s a bonus if a scenic location plays a pivotal role in your union. However, your day is ultimately about you and your new spouse — be a bit unconventional if you like.
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