This weeks #WeddingWednesday tip is;
How to Find Your Perfect Wedding Venue
There’s some statistic I heard somewhere that for every 1 search for a wedding photographer, there are over 100 searches for a wedding venue! Think about it – your venue is where all the magic is going to happen. All these amazing moments will be taking place at this location, so choosing your venue is a huge decision (and it can be a big investment!)
I recently had a soon-to-be-bride come to me, frustrated that the venues she and her fiance were looking at were just ok. Normally I don’t offer vendor referrals until a client has booked, but for clients to book with me, they already have a venue because you need a venue to have a date (and I have to have your date to book you). So I asked her, what vibes are you going for?
There are so many venues to accommodate so many different styles! There are rustic barns, modern barns, gardens, Victorian homes, open field, intimate backyards, huge mansions, wineries, and the list goes on. I have seen so many different venues on social media, wedding vendor platforms like Wedding Wire or The Knot or from seeing my #Friendors posting beautiful images from pretty places.
So when she described her vision, one venue stood out in my mind as soon as she told me. I didn’t ask about their budget and I honestly had no clue what a venue like that would even cost, but I listed that one first, and several others. And guess what? She just told me they booked that initial venue that was in my mind! She told me they never would have even known about this venue had I not taken those few moments to ask a simple question.
It got me thinking, “How do couples choose their wedding venue?”
I got responses like, “My aunts cousins brother got married there” or “I googled it”. But how do you really know what to even begin looking for? So I’ve put together a few key points to help couples find their dream wedding venue!
DETERMINE YOUR WEDDING STYLE
In my opinion, this is the most important step! If you’re a couple who loves rustic, country vibes, a mansion venue might not be the best fit. Check places like Pinterest for wedding inspiration, and make a board with images not just that you like, but that you feel help inspire the vision you, and your fiance, have for your wedding day.
DECIDE ON A BUDGET RANGE
I say range here, because a set number may not be the best approach. Different venues offer different things. Some may be all inclusive with florals, music, and food, and others may be just renting out a space. Some include a coordinator, some have certain lists you have to choose from. So pick a general range you are comfortable with. Inquire with the venue first before you tour it. If you tour a venue that’s not in your budget, you’ll end up like the brides on Say Yes to the Dress who try on a $25,000 wedding gown with a $2,000 budget, and I’d hate for your wedding planning journey to begin on a note like that!
CONSIDER YOUR PHOTOS
Venues do not have to be expensive to have great photo potential, and expensive venues don’t always mean their photo potential is amazing. So take a peek on social media at other photos that have been taken at the wedding venue you’re looking into. It’ll at least give you an idea of the style of images you might expect from your own wedding. And if you don’t like the style, even if it’s in your budget, think twice before deciding. Your photos are your first heirlooms as a couple; as a new family. Make sure you love the photo potential of your venue so you love your photos too!
TOUR THE VENUE
After you’ve decided a potential venue might be the place, take a tour! See the grounds and get a feel for the potential. Check what available dates they have around the time you’d like to get your married. Check on things like seasons with outdoor venues. A January wedding might be your dream, but if the venue is near an Almond Orchard and you love the greenery of the summer leaves, the trees will be a little naked in January. Ask what spaces are available to you, if they have multiple buildings or areas. Check how many events they do per day – some large venues with multiple areas will host multiple events.
So there you have it; things to consider to find your perfect wedding venue! I’ll be updating my Bucket List soon with some new venues, and checking off so stay tuned. Here’s a few I’ll be adding;
Tooth & Nail Winery, Paso Robles
China Peak, Lakeshore
Higuera Ranch, San Luis Obispo
The Gardens at Peacock Farms, Arroyo Grande
Tenaya Lodge, Yosemite
Remember, bucket list venues are eligible for up to $400 off your wedding collection for the first couple to book their dream venue! Contact me to book. And check out my Instagram stories today where Ashley from Kings River Winery is taking over to talk about wedding venues!