How To Pick The Perfect Wedding Venue For Your Special Day

Where have you always dreamed of getting married? An intimate setting with family and friends? A rustic theme on top of a mountain? Or maybe you have a flair for sophistication, and an elegant ballroom is calling your name. Whether you want a cozy setting or a full-blown affair, choosing the perfect wedding venue is both a costly decision and an emotional one.

The Perfect Wedding Venue - Beautiful Reception Hall

The location of your wedding is a big deal, it will determine the flavor of your special day. Choosing a wedding venue should be one of the first decisions you make because every other choice will center around it. Follow these tips to pick a venue that suits your particular personality and style.

Factors To Consider When Choosing a Wedding Venue

1. How many guests will be invited?

2. What can you reasonably afford?

3. Does the venue fit your style?

4. What is included in the price?

5. Is the vicinity of your venue conveniently located?

Disclaimer: “This post contains affiliate links. I earn on qualifying purchases.”

Will The Size Accommodate My Guests?

The size of the venue is one of the most important factors to consider. If your guest list includes 1,000 people, find a space that comfortably accommodates at least 800. It’s hard to gauge how many of those invited will actually attend so err on the side of caution, and choose a space large enough for the majority of your guests. The last thing you want is a bunch of claustrophobic guests because they can’t move.

On the flip side, don’t book a venue that’s too spacious for the number of people anticipated. You don’t want the feeling of having too much empty space, which could suggest a poorly attended event.

Pick The Perfect Wedding Venue

Don’t Break The Bank

While you certainly want to love the place where your ceremony will take place, it’s not worth breaking the bank. You don’t want unnecessary debt to worry about after the honeymoon is over, and your parents don’t want to be paying off a second mortgage because of your decision.

Choose based on what you can reasonably afford. No doubt it’s a very special day, but it is only one day that will come and go so maintain a healthy perspective.

Does The Look And Feel Of The Venue Fit Your Style?

If you want the feel of your wedding to have a modern flair, select locations based on this style. Try your best to keep all the elements cohesive. Also make sure the space and lighting feel right? Does it have a good vibe? What’s your gut feeling about this place?

Whether it’s a fairytale wedding at a five-star hotel, a rustic barn nestled in the hills, or a moonlit ceremony on a windswept beach, make sure your venue aligns with your vision for the day you’ve always dreamed of. The ambiance sets the tone for your celebration so make sure it’s one you adore before forking over a hefty down payment.

wedding ceremony at the beach

While it’s great to take others’ opinions into account, in the end it’s you that needs to make the final decision – as long as it’s within your budget, of course. Don’t let others talk you into something you’re not comfortable with, or you’re not entirely sold on.

Look at a variety of venues to best determine which one best fits your needs. Don’t hastily book the first one you look at because you want to cross it off your list. Make a list of pros and cons of each location to decide which one suits the mood you’d like to convey, your needs, and your budget.

Determine What’s Included With The Venue

Some venues offer package deals when booking. Here are factors to consider:

  • Is food included in the package or will you need to hire a caterer? If it is, what is the price per plate?
  • Are there different options for food, for example, dessert-only options, hor d’oeuvres, or a sit-down meal?
  • Is the parking space big enough to accommodate your guests or will you need a shuttle?
  • Is there a dance floor or adequate space for dancing?
  • Is a cake included in the package. Are cake decorators recommended?
  • Are DJs allowed?
  • What time will you need to end the reception?
  • What about flowers? Are florists recommended? Are centerpieces included or will you need to furnish your own?
  • If it’s an outdoor venue, what options are available in case of inclement weather?
  • Is the building adequately decorated or will you need to supply decorations?
  • Are tables, chairs, and linens included in your cost?
  • What about lighting? Can you augment what’s available with your own?
  • And lastly, and most importantly, is the venue available the date of my wedding?

[Read More: How To Pick The Perfect Wedding Cake For Your Reception]

The Perfect Wedding Venue - Beautiful Banquet Hall

Keep in mind, you’ll be responsible for everything that’s not included in the venue package. Many times you’re paying for convenience, which can be worth a higher price tag.

Consider if it’s worth paying for the venue’s caterer or if it’s cheaper to cater the food yourself – or perhaps pay an outside vendor. Be realistic about what you can reasonably do the day of the wedding? Consider all your options.

Make It Convenient For Those Attending

If your venue is an hour away from the majority of your guests, the chances of them attending may not be as good as if you picked someplace closer. Have you invited family and friends who will be traveling from another state?

Where will your guests be staying? Keep all these factors in mind, selecting a location that is centrally located. Your guests will appreciate it.

The Perfect Wedding Venue - Outdoor Reception with White Chairs

Key Points

There’s a lot that goes into choosing the perfect wedding venue? It’s a good idea to design a spreadsheet to help you with the various aspects of your research. This will keep you organized, along with helping you remember the details of each individual venue you’ve considered.

Preserve your sanity by keeping detailed notes so you’ll be equipped to make an informed decision when the time comes. If your mind is blown by all the decisions you have to make, and your budget allows, consider hiring a wedding planner…

Are you planning a wedding? Have you decided on a venue yet? Let me know in the comments:)

4 thoughts on “How To Pick The Perfect Wedding Venue For Your Special Day”

  1. The most important tip you gave here was not to break the bank with your wedding. So many people I know have gone into serious debt over their wedding day, and after all, it is just one day. You can make it just as special with a smaller budget and you don’t have to try and impress anyone else, you just need to make yourselves happy. That money would be better spend on a deposit on a house for the future.

    Having a spreadsheet is also a definite must when planning a wedding, as this will help you to stay on top of things and stay within your budget. There are so many smaller details to keep track of, so this is also a very useful tip.

    I enjoyed reading this and will definitely share with my stepdaughter who is getting married soon.

    • Hi Michel,

      Yes, breaking the bank for a particular wedding venue isn’t worth it when there are more affordable options out there that will be lovely as well. Going into debt for just one day doesn’t make sense. I like your thought about using that money for a deposit on a house instead. So much smarter!

      Using a spreadsheet is a great way to stay organized and make sure expenses stay within a budget. Planning a wedding, complete with the venue, is doable! Thanks so much for reading.

  2. I think for the big wedding day we tend to forget that after the wedding life continues and so do the bills. We go for what we can not really afford because we want that day to be magical. So, I really like that you brought people back to reality with your advice. Starting off your marriage with lots of debt is not the way to go.

    I enjoyed reading your post, it is full of great advice and I love the picture of the beach, tha’st the kind of venue I would love for my wedding.


    • Yes, it’s so easy to get caught up in the magical moments of wedding planning, but life does goes on after the wedding and honeymoon so staying grounded in reality when it comes to finances is just smart business. 

      I love the picture of the beach too. It’s for sure my favorite venue! Thanks so much for reading and taking the time to comment!


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