Say I Do: Find Your Perfect Wedding Venue

First things first – congratulations on your engagement! This is an exciting (yet fleeting) time you should both enjoy to the fullest. We know – not so easy with friends and family peppering you with countless questions. And even pushing wedding reception venue ideas, “Oh, my cousin just got married at (fill-in-the-blank), and it was SO beautiful!” But this is YOUR big day, and it’s important to choose a setting that reflects YOUR personal vision. So we’re walking you down the aisle of everything you need to consider to find your perfect wedding venue.

Just Picture It

Whether you’ve been planning your dream day since you were little or you’ve only just begun to consider your wedding style and aesthetic (more on these in our Wedding Planning Guide), it’s important to clearly define your vision as a first step in finding your reception venue.

Make Sense of Those Dollars

Determine how much you want to spend on your wedding – as the largest line item, a good portion of the total will be dedicated to the reception venue. To help keep you on track financially, we recommend the free budgeting tools available on The Knot and WeddingWire.

Find The Right Fit

Ah, the guest list. Your future mother-in-law may have grand ideas about inviting everyone down to second cousins, twice removed (along with their plus ones!), to your wedding. Even if you’re hosting a more intimate celebration, capacity is a critical factor in selecting a reception venue. You’ll want a space that can comfortably accommodate your family and friends.

Consider What’s Best for Guests Too

A rustic barn in the middle of nowhere may fit your wedding aesthetic, but if it’s a hardship for your guests to get there – or they have no place to stay once they do arrive – is it really the best venue for your big day? Wedding attendees always appreciate an easy-to-reach location, and for those who are a bit of a drive or even a flight away, on-site overnight accommodations are a huge plus. That even opens the door to extending your big day into a weekend (or week-long!) celebration.

Know What’s Included

Some locations are just that – a location. Which leaves everything else, from catering right down to table and chair rentals, up to you to secure. If you don’t have the time or desire to continually chase after multiple vendors, you’ll want to book a location offering inclusive wedding packages that seamlessly pull it all together for you.

Word on the Web

Now that you’ve viewed reception venues through the lens of your aesthetic and budget as well as their capacity, location and package offerings, you’ll want to research what others have to say about them in their unbiased ratings and reviews on The Knot and WeddingWire.

See Them Live

By this point, your list of possibilities should be fairly narrow. So it’s time to meet with the wedding teams at these reception venues to determine which one could be love at first sight. Be sure to bring a checklist of questions to ask these potential venues. Here’s a must-ask if you’re planning an outdoor wedding: “Do you offer an indoor setting in case of inclement weather?” If the venue is perfect, you should walk away feeling confident in the team’s answers and bursting-at-the-seams excited about hosting your big day there.

Ready to plan your happily ever after? Our wedding specialists are! You can begin by learning more about our venues or getting the conversation started here.

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