12 Tips for Choosing a Wedding Venue (from a photographer's perspective)
Overwhelmed about choosing a venue for your big day? Need some help? Here are a few tips that may help you to make your decision (coming from your photographer’s perspective)!
1. Don’t get your heart set on a venue until you figure out how many guests and the size of your budget. Also decide if you’ll want to have your ceremony in one place, or separate locations. Once you decide these things you’re ready to begin your search!
2. Ask yourself, “What’s my theme?” “What’s my style?” Do I want my wedding to be “vintage-chic”? Rustic? Traditional? Elaborate? Simple? Really figure out the look you want and the style that fits you as a couple. There are some venues that fit certain styles better than others. Some venues have dominant colors so make sure the venue colors fit with your wedding colors! Pinterest may help you when it comes to colors, style and themes!
3. Does the venue have an in-house caterer and if so, do you like that food? An in-house caterer can often times be much easier, but make sure to taste the food to make sure you love it!
4. Will you be able to get ready at the venue (if you choose) and will there be enough room for both the bride and the groom to get ready at the venue (without seeing each other)? What does the “getting ready area” look like? Atmosphere can really affect your mood! Be sure to choose a venue that has a peaceful, beautiful space for you to get ready for your wedding. Your photos will look that much better too
5. Does the venue have adequate bathroom facilities (indoors and/or out depending on if you are having your wedding indoors or outdoors?). Also, will the elderly members of your family be able to get around easily at the venue?
6. Ask about deposits, cancellation policies, and payment schedules so there are no surprises!
7. Is there room at the venue for a band and/or dancing?
8. Does the wedding venue own a sound system with speakers or will that need to be rented?
9. Will a coordinator be included with your venue? A wedding coordinator will reduce any wedding day stress tremendously!
10. Are there certain policies on photography? At many churches, there are photography rules, sometimes no flash photography rules, as well as certain places they do not allow the photographers to go. Make sure you are ok with the policies! (and make sure your photographer is aware and prepared for these policies).
11. If it’s an outdoor location, do they have back up plans for rain? Is there a place where you could put up a tent if need be?
12. Does the venue have options for your grand finale exit (horses, carriage, vehicle, etc)?