You’re trying to check off one of the most fun things on your checklist—your venue. Do you want your wedding in a barn, in a church, or on a hockey rink? You might slip on the ice when going down the aisle; but if you and your fiancé are hockey fans, go for it! But, before you book that lovely venue, here’s some tips to consider from a Virginia Wedding Photographer.
Think about Your Style
Back to the hockey rink and barn. What’s your style? Do you like a rustic, chic, elegant, or modern look? Or are you going for a traditional appeal? If you’re having a military wedding you might consider a military chapel or academy grounds. Think about what you really want your wedding to look like.
Look at Photos
You may not be a pioneer at your desired wedding venue. Find out who was! Or at least someone within the last year. Look at their photos online. Also look at photographer’s blogs because they give insight to places you didn’t know could be your venue.
Talk to Someone
Okay, so you found that person who had their wedding within the last year at your wedding venue. Ask questions and find out what they thought about the venue. Did they like lighting at the time of day? Did they find setup and takedown easy? Was everyone comfortable? Questions are unlimited.
Find out the Cost
Don’t break your budget on the venue. You don’t want to find out that you have $20 left in your budget after booking this beautiful venue. Do the necessary homework to find all the hidden costs. For example, some venues charge more for a weekend than a weekday wedding. Sometimes there’s an additional cost if you want to have a rehearsal on site the day before the wedding. The closer you get to the true bottom line cost, the closer you’ll be to staying on budget.
Look for Electrical Outlets
Might seem silly at first, but think about how many things today use outlets. If you’re getting ready at your venue, you want to make sure your straightener or curling iron can be used. Also, think about heating the food, and what if your phone loses all its battery? You don’t want to miss out on your wedding day selfies.
Consider the Caterer
Not all venues offer the caterer of your choice. You may have to use their options. If you don’t want that caterer or that food, think of another venue. You don’t want to pay extra for everyone to have serf and turf from the pre-decided menu when you just wanted chicken. Also, some venues charge a fee to use an outside catering company.
Figure out Heating/Air Conditioning
This is a biggie for winter and summer weddings but also for those weddings in the spring and fall that have fickle weather. Make sure that your venue can accommodate these weather “knows” and “maybes.”
Think about Setup/Teardown
Some venues host more than one wedding a day. So, you need to see when you can setup for your wedding and when you can take down. You don’t want to accidentally crash someone’s wedding when you setup. And you definitely don’t want someone crashing your wedding if they need to set up.
Visit Your Venue—At Least Twice
Visit your venue and look for all these things that have been mentioned. Keep crossing venues off the list that don’t work. Once you have them narrowed down to a manageable amount, take a second look during the time you want to get married. Maybe bring your photographer or wedding coordinator so they can see the lighting available at that time of day.
Don’t put a checkmark by the venue just because you found an okay place. Find the place that fits within the budget and accommodates your guests but without compromising your desires. No matter where you get married, you want a venue that will become a sweet memory for the two of you!
-Written by Sarah Moore for Tim Souza Photography