How to Find a Wedding Venue

You already know that you want an amazing wedding, but you may not know how to find a wedding venue. Regardless of where you are in your wedding planning process, we recommend that you see our tips for getting started. We help you figure out what your priorities are, which we call your Top Three Things. This will give you a better idea as to what kind of venue you should look for.

If you plan to get married in a house of worship, your venue selection may be an easy process. But if not, it can be hard to know where to start. Now that you know what’s important to you on your wedding day, you can spend more time thinking about what you like.

It’s helpful to assemble some wedding day inspiration before you begin your hunt for the perfect place. Fortunately, the Internet’s a treasure trove of inspiration. With your Top Three Things in mind, we encourage you to check out a few of our favorite websites below.

Once you know what kind of venue you’re looking for, begin browsing online for venues in the location you plan to get married.

As you look at venues keep in mind how many people you’ll need each location to hold (we’ll touch more on the guest list later, but for now you can move ahead with a general figure), whether or not the venue is available during your preferred day and season, whether or not your venue will need to be wheelchair accessible, and what add-ons and amenities come with the venue’s wedding package. Some venues will rent just the space, in which case you’ll be in charge of finding tables, chairs, and everything else, while others will throw in the whole kit n’ caboodle – from tables and chairs to in-house catering and a complimentary wedding coordinator.

Wedding Spot, The Knot, and Wedding Wire, The Hitch offer great tools for searching for your wedding venue.

Now that you know how to find a wedding venue, we’ll share a list of questions to ask as you tour wedding venues.

How to Choose Your Wedding Date

When you’re thinking about how to choose your wedding date, you want to start by thinking about your big priorities for your wedding day. Who would you like to invite? Do you want to get married outdoors or indoors? In your home state or somewhere else? What is your budget?

In a nutshell, you’re looking for the date when the right people and the right place are available at the right price. In other words, when you should get married is determined by who you want to be there, who you want to officiate, where you want to hold the ceremony, and how much it all costs.

If you already have your heart set on a specific venue or a specific officiant, the availability of those things will affect when you’re able to get married. If not, you can start by thinking about the ideal season of your wedding (busy season is May through October and venues tend to be more expensive in those months, whereas November through April tend to be less busy and therefore less expensive), whether you want to be married indoors or outdoors, and a general location.

You might only be able to narrow down a location as far as “my fiancé’s hometown or the city we live in now,” and that’s OK. At least you have a general starting point for your venue search, which will help in setting a date.

As you tour venues and make decisions as to where you’d like to be married, how much you’ll be able to spend, and how many people you’d like to invite, you’ll know how to choose your wedding date.

Visit our First Steps page for more tips on how to start planning your wedding.

How to Start Planning Your Wedding

If you’re engaged, then you’re probably familiar with the rush of excitement followed by the overwhelming emotions that come with planning a wedding. We spoke with experts for the best advice on how to start planning your wedding.

When you envision your dream wedding, what does it look like? Big and fancy? Small and intimate? Homespun and DIY? If you go further from there, what do you zero in on? Chances are you already know what’s important to you, but now can also be a good time to start jotting that down.

Event stylist Jenn Elliott Blake encourages couples to “start by setting priorities. Ask yourself what’s most important to you when imagining the celebration of your wedding day. Is it great food? Incorporating family traditions? Beautiful flowers? A cake from the bakery you’ve always bought every celebration cake you’ve ever eaten from? Set your top three priorities for your day and start there.”

Don’t worry about specifics yet, just think big picture. Whatever it is, we’ll call these your Top Three Things, and you’ll refer back to them whenever you have a big decision to make or it feels like things are getting overwhelming.

Start with the list below:

  • The Perfect Venue
  • Delicious Decor
  • Amazing Food & Drink
  • Lots of Friends & Family
  • Flawless Hair & Makeup
  • Magnificent Music
  • Incredible Photos and Video
  • Dressed to the Nines
  • Your Dream Vacation
  • Fantastic Florals
  • Amazing Assistants

Don’t overthink these. There’s a chance they may change as you jump into the thick of things. But getting an initial idea of what matters to you will help the rest of the pieces come together. Knowing your priorities will also help you determine where to allocate your budget when selecting vendors and decorations, and it will give you a better idea of the experience you’re trying to create both for yourselves and for your guests.

While you’re identifying your Top Three Things and the emotions you want to evoke on your wedding day it might also help to walk through the questions below.

  • Do we feel strongly about being married in a house of worship?
  • Who do we want to marry us?
  • Do we want to our ceremony and reception to be in the same location?
  • What are the traditions that are important to us?

You have some time to figure all of this out, but knowing the answers to those questions will help you begin to determine when and where you want to get married or who you’d like to officiate.

Visit our First Steps page for more tips on how to start planning your wedding.