Simple Wedding Planning Blog

7 Must Haves When Choosing A Wedding Venue

A wedding venue takes one of the biggest chunks from the wedding budget and is probably one of the places where unexpected costs are more likely to occur. But the problem is, couples usually have no idea how to find the perfect venue for their wedding. 

Finding a venue that fits the wedding theme and is within the budget range can be a handful. It is, after all, the foundation of the entire event. Choosing the perfect venue requires time, research and effort. The last thing you want is to book a venue without clarifying the packages and services offered, and later on end up in regrets of booking the venue.  


Wedding Venue Booking Hassles


 According to theknot and, an average wedding venue would usually cost $6,000- $11,000. This only means that couples allocate 30-45% of their wedding budget on the location of the wedding and reception. If you’re spending this much on a wedding venue, choosing the perfect location has to be one of the most important decisions that couples have to make. And you don’t wanna mess that up. 

So, you already sent out invitations to 350 guests. Sounds like it’s gonna be a big wedding. You found a venue online, it is huge and you feel like your guests could fit in it. You got excited, ready to place a deposit and book the place. Here’s a tip! How it looks in the internet photos is only half the battle. Schedule a site visit and get a feel of the place. Talk to the venue coordinators and make sure all 350 guests are happily accommodated. If not, then it is a dealbreaker, unless you are willing to uninvite some folks. 

There are a lot of factors that you have to consider when choosing a venue.  You have to keep in mind that you want a venue that can accommodate everything that you need. So start asking questions. How long would they let you have the room? How many guests can the venue accommodate? Are there any decorating restrictions? Does it come with in-house catering?  Do you only work with certain vendors?

Depending on the wedding decoration and set-up, all those empty spaces that you see during the visit will be easily filled up once the wedding essentials are in place. These essentials may include the buffet table, the stage, the band set-up, the dance floor, tables and chairs. Giving your guests some elbow room to move in must also be taken into account. 

The wedding venue is an important aspect of your big day. It will serve as the stage as it will set the tone of your wedding. It is where happy memories will be created on that special day. Although it is vital that you and your partner love the venue, consider your family, friends and other guests to ensure they love it as well. 


7 Tips On How To Choose The Perfect Wedding Venue…


#1 Finalize your wedding theme and style.


Before you start looking for wedding venues make sure you already have a color scheme or a general theme in mind. If you are contemporary you do not want to have your wedding in a rustic barn. You will end up having conflicting styles with your venue and your wedding decorations. Make sure that all the elements of your desired theme wedding are cohesive, starting from the decorations, the playlist that you want the band to play, to the ambience of the place, the food and even the choice of centerpieces on the table.


#2 Do you want an all-in-one venue or DIY your own?


Some venues are a blank canvas. These are great because you can determine all the design aspects and transform the space into anything you can dream of! DIYing your own wedding venue is perfect if you want it to be unique. However, this can be a tedious process because you will need to heavily depend on your outside vendors and your wedding style guide to ensure the look of your wedding is exactly what you want.

An all in one venue, such as a hotel, usually includes a lot of features in their packages, such as tables, chairs, basic linens, lighting, catering and so much more. It is like a one-stop-shop. You can still bring in speciality vendors to create the look you want but you might be paying double for that. According to, 69% of wedding venues usually provide tables and chairs. If you are looking for a wider range of rentals that you can choose from, consulting a rental company could be a great idea. 


#3 Does the venue offer indoor/outdoor options?


The last thing you want to happen is to get soaked under pouring rain during your special day. When you’re planning for an outdoor wedding, keep in mind that you have no control over the weather conditions. So make sure that the venue can provide a cover or an indoor backup venue in case of bad weather. I know that indoor venues could never compare to what the great outdoors has to offer when it comes to natural lighting, beautiful scenery backdrop and amazing views. But it’ll never hurt to have a backup option if things don’t go well with the weather. 


#4 Ask about the venue’s other charges.


While you touring your favorite venue and dreaming up all those details you have pinned on your Pinterest board, you might not think to ask one vital question.  What other charges are expected or included with this venue?  So, you should start asking about the venue’s “other” charges and extra fees. Your wedding venue is one of the highest expenses you will incur, it can shock your wedding spending plan, so be sure to stick to what you are comfortable paying. 

Some of these other charges may include but not limited to, event rentals (linens, tables, chairs, flatware), event insurance, ABC permits, cake cutting fees, overtime charges for going over your rental time,  scheduling rehearsals, fees for not using their preferred caterers, etc.


#5 Ask about the parking.


Imagine you’re halfway into the wedding ceremony and half of your guests are missing! Where are they? They’re still outside looking for a parking space. The seating capacity of your venue might be enough for your invited guests, but you also have to make sure that the parking area is sufficient to accommodate the vehicles. Especially if your choice of venue is located in a busy downtown area.


#6 Clarify venue restrictions and privacy.


While doing an on-site visit to your chosen wedding venue, make sure to clarify any restrictions that the venue might impose during the event. Some outdoor venues might impose quiet hours and some have strict rules in regards to noise restraints, smoking areas and alcohol consumption. Also, while you’re at it, ask about the privacy that the location can offer. Some venues host multiple events during the same day. You don’t want strangers or outsiders snooping around at your wedding party. 


#7 Read online reviews.


Last but not least, do your own research! Reading online reviews and experiences from other couples who have held their weddings at the same venue can make or break your decision in booking the place. You can find unfiltered information about some aspects of the place that you might have overlooked. These reviews might also give you some insights on how you can deal with potential issues (aka unexpected or surprise fees) that might arise during the big day. 


Final Thoughts


Your wedding venue will serve as a place of celebratory gathering on one of the most special days of your life. It is an important aspect of your big day since it will set the tone for the entire wedding event. It will also take one of the biggest portions of the wedding budget. Choosing the perfect venue requires time, research and effort. Picking out a perfect wedding venue is crucial as it can make or break your dream wedding. So put your heart into it and be meticulous in asking your questions. 


If you want to learn more about planning your perfect wedding, you can visit for more pro tips. Let us help you avoid common mistakes and hassles that you might encounter during your big day.

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