Wedding venuesYou’re beaming from ear to ear! You cannot stop staring at the sparkly new edition to your left ring finger. You’re engaged and the giddiness is electrifying! But now what? How do you start planning your wedding?

One of the first (if not the first) pieces of planning a wedding is choosing the wedding venue that is perfect for you and your fiance. Yes, you now have a fiance! But how will you choose a venue and what features should you look for when making your decision? Here are a few helpful tips that you can follow:

Location

Where do you dream of getting married? Is there a wedding venue in the area where you grew up that you dreamed about getting married in? Are you more of a traveler and looking for a destination wedding? Do you tend to have an affinity for the outdoors and you want to transform an unlikely space into a wedding to remember?

Once you’ve answered these questions, the next thing to think about is an estimate of how many people will be attending the wedding. This is important when deciding which wedding venue to choose because you want to make sure that there will be enough space for your guests to fit comfortably.

Wedding venues also typically require a minimum guest count. So, if you are having a smaller wedding with somewhere around 50 guests and there is a minimum of 100 guests required, the venue will often require you to pay for 100 guests. Definitely something to consider when choosing the wedding venue that’s right for your wedding!

Price

Which brings us to the next very important matter to consider when choosing a wedding venue… the cost. This is most likely the costliest decision that you will be making throughout your wedding planning experience. It is really important to talk with your fiance and anyone else who may be contributing to help pay for the wedding about what you can afford. Create a budget sheet. Incorporate all of the costs that you foresee throughout the process.

Two sites that you’ll want to utilize while making your budget are WeddingWire and The Knot. You can see about all of the costs that go into a wedding, including some of the costs that you may not be aware of yet. You can often find deals during the time of year when things aren’t as busy, like winter. Plus, if you choose to have your wedding during the weekdays, you’ll typically incur less of a cost.

Food

Another critical part of choosing a wedding venue is the food that you and your guests will be enjoying on your wedding day. If there’s one thing that guests will be looking forward to (and talking about afterwards) it is the food. How will the venue be catering your food? Do they cook the meals on the premises or do they use a caterer to bring in the food? Does your wedding venue provide the wedding cake or will you need to order the wedding cake separately? Do you want a sit-down dinner or a buffet style dinner? When making this particular decision, cost is a major factor here, as buffets are typically less expensive than sit down dinners. Are you hiring a wedding caterer outside of the wedding venue, and if so, does the venue allow you to bring in an outside wedding catering service? These questions are important to answer and after a long exciting day, you and your guests will be very ready for an amazing meal!

Now that you’ve begun to think about what you want from your wedding venue, you have created your budget, and you have a guest list estimate, you can begin your search! Call to book your appointment to take a tour of the wedding venues that interest you. Remember, popular venues are often booked at least one year ahead of time, but some are longer. So, if you have a time frame in mind, get to planning! Cheers!