How To Choose The Perfect Wedding Venue

Your wedding venue serves as a backdrop for the most important day of your life. But remember, there are far more important things to consider about a wedding venue than simply its aesthetics. Asking the right questions and considering some practical aspects will allow you to find the wedding venue that perfectly accommodates your big day.

Availability  

If you have a specific date or time of year in mind for your wedding date, be sure to inquire about the availability of a venue before scheduling a tour. After all, you don’t want to fall in love with a venue space only to discover that it is fully booked on your desired day. Alternatively, if your date is more flexible, the availability of a venue will ultimately determine your wedding date, so be prepared to commit to a date when you commit to a venue.

Our Tip – Popular dates or times of year can fill up nearly a year in advance, so be sure to decide on a venue before booking any other vendors.

Capacity

While an exact count won’t be required until a few weeks before your wedding date, you shouldn’t start searching for venues until you have an estimate of how many guests you plan on inviting. While not all of the people you invite will be able to attend, during the initial stages of wedding planning assume everyone will RSVP “yes” just in case.

Our Tip – Determine your approximate guest count before deciding on a wedding venue and always overestimate the capacity so you have enough room to accommodate everyone.

Cost

Choosing a venue is one of the most important decisions when it comes to planning your wedding, as it sets the tone for your entire day. Be sure to not only ask about the cost but also what is included in that cost. Some venue spaces will have extras like tables, chairs, and decor included in the rental cost. Others will have rates that include renting their space only, leaving you on your own when it comes to securing those other necessary items.

Our Tip – When touring venue spaces, be sure to be clear about exactly what is included – and not included – in the rental price.

Required Vendors

Some venues require you to use specific catering or rental companies when hosting a wedding in their space. While this can take the guesswork out of wedding planning, it can also be detrimental to your bottom line. You don’t want to commit to a venue only to discover that you’ve also committed to vendors that cost far more than you have budgeted.

Our Tip – Research the quality and cost of a venue’s required vendors before signing a contract with the venue.

Timeline

The timing of a wedding can be the hardest thing to get right. Consider how the venue will work when it comes to your wedding day’s timeline. If guests are required to supply their own transportation to the venue, is there ample parking? How will its proximity to the location of the ceremony affect your guests? If the ceremony and reception are at the same location, where are guests to go during the interim?

Our Tip – When deciding on a venue, consider its convenience from a guest’s point of view.

Request our wedding photography pricing guide. Click to download now.

Backup Plan

Venues often have gorgeous outdoor spaces that make them simply irresistible. Keep in mind, however, that inclement weather on your wedding date is always a possibility. Be sure to be just as enamored with the interiors in case of rain or other poor weather conditions make the exterior spaces unusable.

Our Tip – Be sure to ask the venue what their backup plan is should inclement weather occur on your wedding day.

Overall Look

After taking these aspects into consideration, don’t forget to ask yourself how the overall look of the venue fits your wedding day vision. While any space can be enhanced by the right decor,  your venue will be present in many of your photographs, so you want a wedding venue that you are absolutely in love with.

Our Tip – Once you have asked all of the necessary questions, ask yourself if you can truly envision the venue as the backdrop of the most memorable day of your life. If you can, then it’s the one!

One of our favorite local venues is the Bellevue Barn in Jefferson, NH.  You can read about our interview with Rebecca, the day of coordinator for the barn Here

Another favorite is the Mountain View Grand Resort in Whitefield, NH.  You can learn more about the Mountain View Grand in both of the following blog posts:  Mountain View Grand Resort and Mountain View Grand Tower Spa


About Northern Lights Studio

Hi! We’re Bill & Stephanie, New England wedding photographers based in Northern NH. We love photographing weddings because of our passion for helping couples remember one of the most important days of their lives. Northern Lights offers engagement photography, wedding photography, and bridal sessions throughout New England. As wedding photographers, we believe in the value of printing images – so much so that all of our wedding packages include a beautiful signature wedding album.

Did you know that Northern Lights Studio also offers family, maternity, newborn and high school senior photographs through our sister company Stephanie Dupuis Photography?