Hello brides! (and yes- I’m assuming it’s only brides reading this as they are the ones doing most of the leg work 🙂

I’ve been planning weddings for over a decade now and would like to share a tidbit of advice with you to hopefully help you make your wedding venue hunt a little easier!  There are so many things to consider when selecting a wedding venue- size, location, atmosphere, inclusions, ceremony site, ambiance….and the list goes on and on!  Let me tell you that when you find the right one, it is going to feel right to both you AND your partner!  So many people get in a hurry to book something because of the scare of unavailability.  Don’t worry, if you are hesitant of booking on the spot (for a reason other than budget), then it’s probably not the perfect place for you anyways.  Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life, and so you really want it to be a special place in which to share your nuptials.

First thing to think about- location, location, location.  I always say to start with the dream and then scale back from there.  So where is your ideal location?  Could it be a destination wedding to the mountains?  Is it your hometown?  Is it a small and secluded venue?  Think about what it is you really want your wedding day to be.  At first, don’t consider anyone else but you and your fiance!  (I know- that sounds selfish.  But come on!  If there’s any day to be selfish it’s your wedding day!).

Once you decide on where your ideal location would be, talk next about who you really want to be there.  This is where it gets tricky because you can’t control people- ha!  You can certainly hope for people’s attendance, but in the end it’s not up to you.  But there are some things you can control that will help you get the results you want.  For example, if it’s important that grandma and grandpa are there and you know they don’t travel, then doing a destination wedding is probably not the best idea.  So what are you willing to sacrifice in location to share the day with the people who are most important to you?

After answering these two questions, you should be a lot closer to deciding on an overall wedding location.  Now the fun begins because you’re getting closer….

Once you figure out your wedding location you will probably have 10-20 different venues to choose from.  So how do you choose?  Start with the internet.  Gather as much information you can on all of the wedding venues in your area.  Look at their instagram presence, Facebook page, pinterest, etc.  Look at as many photos as you can to decide whether that is the backdrop you are looking for.  Then, narrow it down to your top 5 and call them to inquire about availability and pricing.  If they are available, and even if they may be slightly out of your budget, schedule a time to go see the wedding venue in person.

After you have toured all of the wedding venues you are most interested in booking- pick your top 3 and weigh the pros and cons.  Talk openly with your partner about their opinions and really listen as you are sharing this day with your significant other ; )

Pick the venue that feels right in your heart…the one that speaks out to the dream and encompasses all of the aspects that you’ve envisioned for your special day!  If there’s anything that makes you nervous (not enough time to decorate, flakiness with booking staff, in the middle of nowhere), then pass!  It’s too special of a day to not be 100% pumped about your decision!