Tips to help you find the perfect venue
You’ve prepared yourselves for the planning process and discussed your budget. Now it's time to make a decision that will set the stage for the ENTIRE wedding celebration; secure a venue! But how do you choose? What should you ask before you sign the contract? The venue is usually the one of the largest pieces of your wedding budget so choosing wisely is important.
There are so many different types of wedding venues to choose from. Depending on the area the list can be endless and very overwhelming. Located in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, our local clients' venue options are vast. From parks to hotels, historical buildings to convention centers and so much more.
With so many options available, the venue search process can be daunting. We suggest you prepare for the search by referring back to your notes on your vision to narrow down your options. What is your desired wedding style? The style of your wedding will help determine the type of venue you select.
What venue styles can you immediately eliminate from your search because they don’t suit your vision? For example if you don’t see yourself getting married outdoors you can eliminate parks, and venues with mostly outdoor spaces like a winery. If you want an elegant, luxury wedding, you can probably eliminate barns and vineyards. Though beautiful, the space just doesn’t compliment the vision. On the other hand, let's say you found a venue that was the perfect location, the size accommodated your guests count and may even have a great price tag. You can definitely turn a modern industrial space into an elegant ballroom using drapery, lighting, a dance floor, staging, and more. You will need the room in your budget to complete a transform like this. With the right planner and vendors, it's truly possible! There are some websites with a large database of venues to help with your search. These sites offer some filter options, but there is still much more detail to consider that these filters may not offer. Consider the type of location, city, suburbs or a rural area. Do you need your venue to be accessible to public transportation or plenty of free parking? Hotels nearby or no out-of-town guests? There are so many styles of venues to select from. Ballroom | Farm | Vineyard | Estate Home | Art Gallery Warehouse | Tented | Water View | Country Club | Rooftop | Museum | Restaurant | Garden How many guests do you need to house? 50-100 | 100-150 | 150- 250 | 250 & Up Do you need more than one event space? Do you plan to hold your ceremony and reception in two different spaces? Do you mind using the same space for the ceremony as the reception requiring a room flip during the cocktail hour? Is a cocktail hour space needed? Do you want your full event outdoors? Consider spaces that are indoor spaces only, outdoors only, both or flexible. Once you recognize your venue needs and desires you can start your venue search. There are still many things to consider when comparing venues. Like catering options, fees, rentals and so much more. These details can affect your budget so be sure to cover all of your bases. Download this Free Venue Search Checklist & Guide (PDF)
to ensure you consider all details and to keep your search organized. What’s included:
Guide to help you determine what you need and want in a wedding venue
8 Venue Website Search Databases
Venue Comparison Chart
Plus a list of questions to ask venues