22 Aug 10 Tips for Finding Your Perfect Wedding Venue
Traditional or modern, elegant or rustic, modest or eclectic—no matter how you envision your dream wedding, the best part of planning is the freedom to create a perfect day as you see fit. But whether you opt for cupcakes instead of a tiered cake, or a bouquet of seashells instead of flowers (or no bouquet at all), there’s one thing that isn’t optional: the venue. Finding the perfect wedding venue is one of the first steps in wedding planning because the best places book up far in advance. But before you step foot into a single ballroom, there are several things to consider first. To help save time and ensure you don’t make a regretful deposit, here are 10 tips for finding your perfect wedding venue:
1. Estimate your budget
You might not have a firm grip on your budget just yet, but you’ll need a general idea of how much you can spend on a venue before you start scouring through local bridal guides. Typically, the venue shouldn’t take up more than half of your total wedding budget, and having a price range in mind will save you from the heartache of falling into love with a place you can’t afford.
2. Estimate your guest list
You don’t have to have a finalized guest list until it’s time to send out invitations, but it’s a good idea to have an estimate before looking at venues to ensure the occupancy limit meets your needs. An intimate wedding of 50 guests will feel sparse in a venue meant for 500, while an extensive guest list will require a much larger space. It’s also a good idea to aim low in your estimate—it’s easier to add guests than deduct.
3. Choose a wedding date (and backup)
Unless you’re shooting for a date with special significance such as an anniversary, it’s helpful to have a couple dates in mind before inquiring about venue availability. And if you do have a specific date set, definitely call before visiting to save time. Popular times of the year like summer and early fall will book up far in advance, so if your date is flexible, you’ll probably have better luck with your ideal venue if you choose something in the off-season.
4. Limit the participants for initial venue visits
Even if you welcome advice and suggestions from family and friends during the wedding planning process, it’s best to limit initial venue visits to you and your fiancé. Venue selection is a very personal choice, and it sets the tone for your entire event. So while your mom or BFF might love to come along and provide feedback, save it for the dress fitting or decoration planning instead.5. Don’t book the first venue you see
5. Don’t book the first venue you see
Even if the first venue you visit seems beyond perfect, don’t rush to book quite yet. After visiting each venue on your prospective list, narrow your choices down to two or three and weigh the pros and cons of each. It’s also helpful to take plenty of photos and videos of each venue, particularly the elements you liked and disliked to jog your memory later—and don’t forget to start each photo batch with a snap of the venue sign, so you don’t get them mixed up.
6. Pick your colors and theme after your venue
It’s much more difficult to find the perfect wedding venue than it is to change the style you’ve envisioned, so wait until you’ve signed on the dotted line before choosing colors or a theme that might clash with the venue’s décor. A cohesive look will come out best in photos, so keep an open mind and prioritize which aspects of the decorations are most important before selecting a venue.
7. Decide how much control you want over the décor
Deciding on the decorations is one of the most exciting parts of planning a wedding, but some venues are considered “full service,” meaning they provide all tables, chairs, linens, flatware, and even background draping and floral arrangements. Other venues might have restrictions on allowable decorations. For example, if you want to hang twinkle lights, you’ll need to find a place that allows removable hooks on the walls.
8. Consider your catering needs
Many wedding venues require you to use in-house catering services, so if you have a specific caterer in mind, or a unique menu filled with personal favorites and items that accommodate guests with nutritional restrictions, you’ll need to find a venue that allows outside catering. The good news is that almost every venue allows you to bring your own cake, but some might charge a cake-cutting fee.
9. Get feedback from previous clients
Once you have one or two venues in mind, they might be able to provide you with former clients you can contact for feedback. Vendors such as photographers and caterers are also good sources of inside information, so talk to everyone you can to get a good sense of what you can expect from the venue and its staff before making your final decision.
10. Visit your final venue choice a second time
Once you’ve narrowed your venue list down to your top choice, visit it one more time before signing a contract, ideally around the time of day you plan to have your wedding. Even if you take photos, visiting multiple venues can blur them in your memory, so you’ll want to ensure your top venue still fulfills your requirements and has the same charm and allure it did when you first visited.
Have the wedding of your dreams at Factory of Dreams Hall San Diego
If you’re looking for an elegant, contemporary space to host a customized wedding that fits your style, Factory of Dreams Hall San Diego offers comprehensive services to choose from including catering, decorations, photography, DJs, bartenders, security, and more. We also have an LED light-up dance floor and choreographer services to get your guests dancing long into the night. Contact us today to book our beautiful hall for your special event.