When it comes to setting your date and choosing a venue, the two go hand in hand. And while you shouldn’t be too picky about when and where you get married, there are definitely things you’ll want to think about before choosing!
- Be sure to tour the venue. This kind of seems like a no-brainer, right? But you’d be surprised how many couples will book a venue without formally seeing it! They might have attended a wedding there before or loved the location ever since they can remember. But weddings are special events, and with that comes special considerations. Be sure to tour the venue with someone who can tell you all the ins and outs and details of what it’s like to host a wedding there.
- Think about the budget. We’ll touch on budgets another time, but the venue is a big chunk of your money. If you have your heart set on a place, but it’s not really affordable for you, either move on to somewhere else or figure out where you can cut from in another area.
- Distance. If you’re having your ceremony in a different location from your reception, consider what the distance is. Will it be difficult to find for your guests? Will they have to battle construction or congestion? Can they walk to it? Is it near the hotel your guests will be staying at?
- Guest list. Ask how many people the venue can hold. Comfortably. There’s a big difference between how many can be accommodated and how many can be accommodated comfortably. I have seen some reception spaces where there is literally no walking room at all between the tables. Not only does it make photographing extremely challenging, but it makes guests uncomfortable and cramped too.
- Think about the photos. I know most people aren’t looking at a venue in terms of photography. But here are some helpful tips! If the ceilings aren’t white, the color will be reflected onto everything. So that means if the ceilings are black, the images are going to have a dark background. If the ceilings are red, the images are going to have a red tint. Hint: white ceilings are the best option photography wise. If the grounds outside the venue are not something you’d want photos of, than we’re limited to only shooting indoors. This isn’t always a bad thing, but remember that natural light and white ceilings are ideal.
- Don’t assume. Anything. Ask all the questions. Do they provide catering? What are the menu options? Is a liquor license included? What is the cost of alcohol? Is there an option to bring your own? Is a day of coordinator included? Is there a sound system for the DJ? Are linens or decor included? Are there table size and shape options? Ask. All. The. Questions.
- More questions to ask: What is the backup location (and a detailed plan) for inclement weather if an outdoor ceremony is planned? Where is cocktail hour held? Is there a coat check for winter weddings? Where does the bride get ready? Where does the groom get ready? What is the parking situation? Are there plenty of restrooms and are they clean and well maintained? How many do they allow to take place on one day (there are some venues that will have multiple weddings happening at the same time!) What is the detailed deposit and cancellation policy?
Do you have any questions about planning your wedding? Comment below or email firstname.lastname@example.org!
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