Wedding Wednesday: Choosing the Perfect Venue

This week I wanted to share a few pictures of my venue, and reasons why Chris and I chose it. Hopefully this will help you when making a decision on your own venue!

Finding your ‘Look’

Understanding your personal style and sticking to it is key here! This goes back to inspiration and narrowing down what you want the true feel and ambiance of your wedding to be. Chris and I knew we wanted an old world feel, that wasn’t over the top glamorous. Understated beauty. Once we had an image in our heads, and pins on my board, we started looking through a local Austin bridal magazine. I cannot stress this enough; if the city you are getting married in has a bridal magazine-go grab one! I had been in the event business in Austin, and still found tons of new venues I had never heard of. The one we ended up picking was completely new to me.

Types of Venues

This is the second part of searching. A venue could be gorgeous and everything you want, except there may be a list of things they don’t include, or they have a strict vendor list that cuts out a restaurant you had your eyes on. Personally, I was planning everything on my own and I wanted a venue that offered food and alcohol on-site. That took 3 different vendors and bundled it all into 1. If this isn’t a worry for you, make sure the venue you are sold on visually, is accommodating to the type of dinner service or ceremony you want. 9/10 these details will be on the venue’s website. If you are missing information, definitely email them. This is also a good test of how responsive they are, which will reflect on the rest of the wedding planning.

Book your Tour

After you have narrowed down your favorites (I say pick atleast 2, and max 4), start reaching out to the event manager to book your tour. If food is included with your venue, see if they offer tastings. You may want to space them out if this is the case (we had all-you-can-eat bbq at one, which filled us up for the day).

Taking the Tour

A good venue will typically answer your questions before you even ask them. This happened at a number of venues, so I caught onto the trend. But just in case, bring a list of questions you have. If you have a planner, they will already have all of this prepared from their conversations with you. If you do not, try to sit down and think of every aspect of the venue you need to understand from parking to how much staffing you need for your headcount. Like I said, they will probably answer these as you are walking the venue.

Take a TON of pictures. You may think it is obnoxious or you can find everything online, but you will need them. I am working with a florist for most of my reception space, but designing the ceremony site. The first time I did not take any pictures, and lo and behold…I couldn’t remember how it looked exactly.

Start Early, Take your Time

Venues may try to pressure you to put down a deposit. Which is somewhat understandable if they are very popular, and have another couple looking at your date. I started looking a year out, and still had plenty of options and dates available. Take your time with your decision, just be respectful and responsive to venue managers. Weighing the pros and cons of venues can save you a lot of heartache down the road.

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