First, Set Your Date or a Few Possible Dates
Second, Find Your Wedding Venues Hunting Guides for Your Wedding
Elegant Country Club Tented Wedding Venues
Classic Ballroom Wedding Venues
Rustic Barn Wedding or Farmhouse Wedding
Creative Backyard Wedding
Even if you are planning to have a backyard wedding, you still need to think about a vision, a style, how you want to it to feel and how you want all guests to remember your special day.
Also, think about the interior color of the wedding venues. If you like dark and edgy style, then choose a wedding venue with dark wood, bold color wall etc. If you like bright and airy style, maybe check out venues with neutral interior colors and plenty of natural light through windows.
Get a Rough Guest Count
Without this number, you won’t be able to decide on your wedding venues. That would be one of the question being asked when you tour wedding venues. Why do you need to waste your time touring if it doesn’t offer the room size you need.
Also, you will need guest count for Save the Dates, Invitation etc.
Now, You Can Research on Wedding Venues
After you have a vision, a rough guest count, now you can do some research and narrow down your wedding venue options based on your preferences.
There are a couple things you need to consider when you are considering wedding venues. With a guest count in mind, you will be able to find the right venue with right size reception. You don’t want to pay too much extra for the reception room size much bigger than you need.
Some wedding venues offers huge flexibility with multiple reception rooms with different sizes, such as Danversport Yacht Club, The Villa at Ridder Country Club. Some rustic venue offers tented reception and barn wedding such as Five Bridge Inn. And others may offer indoor reception and rustic barn wedding for smaller wedding such as Steele Hill Resort.
Determine location / region you’d like to travel to for your wedding day
What does wedding venues have to offer?
Does it have a beautiful European garden you wanted your wedding portrait to be taken in? Or beach front with cool ocean breeze? Or maybe a grand mountain view with gorgeous sunset that you enjoy so much. Do they allow sparklers that you really wanted for send off at end of your wedding? Usually the couples prefer the venue has a beautiful area for wedding photos.
Do you want food and drinks provided on site?
Do you want to have food and drinks all taken care of by the venue? Which will make your wedding planning a lot easier.
Some of the venues provide you a space for ceremony and reception only. You have to bring in catering and drinks in with separate catering service. However the venues usually have recommended local catering services. But it’s just another couple of vendors on your list that you need to research on and book.
Is there a bridal Suite for you getting ready?
Some wedding venues don’t have a bridal suite for brides getting ready. Which mean you need to completely ready, dress before you arrive.
For the wedding venues who offer bridal suite, you need to find out when you can arrive and use bridal suite. Some allow you to arrive one hour before your ceremony, some allows two hours. But you can pay extra to extend your stay at some venues. So you can plan where to get ready and travel time accordingly.
This won’t be much a concern you have a church ceremony.
Do you want easy parking on your wedding day for all guests? If so, maybe you want to avoid downtown wedding venues. I have photographed a wedding in Boston couple of weeks ago. This wedding venue has very tough parking. Valet parking only and you have to wait for your ride to arrive, like in 15 minutes 😟
Some smaller wedding venues has only small parking lot and / or street parking only.
Is wedding venue wheelchair accessible? You might have elderly family member or guests who are in wheelchair. So you should consider easy access for them too.
Last But Not Least, Take Advantage of Off Season Discount
May to Oct is busy wedding season. If you already have a date in mind that’s during off season, you might be in luck. Usually you have some wiggle room to book your wedding venue.
I have photographed weddings in first week of Nov. and End of April. I have to say, you might luck out with weather as well most of time 😉
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WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER: QHEGARTY PHOTOGRAPHY BOSTON WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER