Internet InfoMedia a guide to finding the perfect wedding venue for your big day

One of the biggest decisions to make when planning a wedding is the location. 

It’s vital to find a venue that comfortably accommodates you and your guests and allows your wedding day vision to come to life. 

During the process of choosing your venue, you may start with a very long list. This list will be narrowed as you get into the fine print of each location. 

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It’s important to stay organized with the information you have to make the right decision.  

Read on for tips on choosing the perfect wedding venue for your big day.

exchange of rings at wedding

Venue hunting for your wedding can be stressful, but these tips will help guide you through.  (iStock)

1. Decide between a local or destination wedding

One of the most basic questions you’ll want to answer before getting too deep into your venue search is whether you want to have a local or destination wedding. 

This will allow you to narrow in on your venue search, instead of looking at hundreds of venues across the country or the world. 

2. Choose the type of wedding you want

After you’ve decided the general location of your wedding, choosing what type of wedding you’d like to have will narrow down your search even further. 

Bride and groom

It’s vital to find a venue that comfortably accommodates you and your guests and allows your wedding day vision to come to life.  (iStock)

For example, do you want to have a more rustic affair or an elegant gathering? 

Do you envision yourself getting married in a historic building or on a sandy beach? 

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If you aren’t sure of the type of wedding you want, at minimum, choose between a few ideas. 

3. Find a wedding planner before the venue

Many couples don’t think to hire a wedding planner until after their venue is locked in. 

If you intend to work with a wedding planner, it would benefit you to hire one before choosing the venue. 

Wedding planners can provide expertise in the selection process and help you find a space that really speaks to your vision. 

A barn wedding

Before visiting venues, think about the type of wedding you want to have. This can help narrow your search.  (Getty Images )

4. Establish a wedding budget

Before you pick a venue, you’ll need to decide on a budget. This will make the elimination process even easier.

Decide how much you want to spend for your big day and then determine how much of that is going toward the venue. 

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For most couples, the venue is going to eat up the greatest portion of funds. Couples spend about 37% of their overall budget on the venue, according to a study by The Knot. 

5. Put together a rough guest list

Before choosing your venue, you’ll want to create a guest list. At this stage in planning, your guest list doesn’t need to be exact, but you’ll need to gauge the number of people you intend on inviting.

The difference between a venue that comfortably seats 100 versus 500 is explicit in both size and cost.

Bride hugs wedding guest.

You’ll want to put together a rough guest list before shopping for venues. This way, you’ll know what size space to look for.  (iStock)

6. Choose a date for your wedding

Selecting a date for your wedding could make or break some of your venue options.

To increase the likelihood the venue you love is available, choose a few dates you prefer. 

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If the venue you love is out-of-budget, but you’re flexible, reconsider the month or the day of the week you get married. 

If you choose an off-peak time, the venue will typically charge a lower price. Changing the date may be a compromise for a dream venue at a cheaper rate. 

7. Keep an organized spreadsheet of venue information

While you are in the beginning stages of wedding planning, the sky may be the limit in terms of venues. This can lead to a stressful and unorganized to-do list.

At the start of your search, organize a spreadsheet with information about each location. Include contacts, addresses, etc. that you can easily find online. 

Then, list the inquiries for the venue that you were unable to find answers to online.

Man and woman talk while drinking coffee.

When searching for venues, you and your partner should create a sheet filled with all the information about different locations to keep you organized.  (iStock)

8. Decide on must-haves

When thinking about what you want out of a wedding venue, a good place to begin is with the must-haves. 

For example, if you’ve invited out-of-town guests, one of your nonnegotiables might be a hotel onsite.

If you want a live band at your wedding, a must-have might be that the venue must not only allow bands, but have a place large enough for the band you want to hire. 

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Write out all the necessities to help you quickly rule out venues that don’t meet your needs. 

9. Use sources, online and personal, to find a venue

If you are starting from square one in your venue hunt, the best place to start is the internet. 

Many venues have active Instagram and YouTube accounts displaying the property and images from past weddings. These media files can give you a great idea of what the venue could look like on your big day. 

Include your family and friends when choosing a wedding venue. A person close to you may have previously attended a wedding somewhere you love, or have a connection you aren’t aware of, perhaps. 

bride and groom at wedding

When visiting wedding venues, make sure to go prepared with all your questions to make sure all your wishes can be accommodated.  (iStock)

10. Visit venues and have questions prepared

When you have a list of venues you would like to visit, make sure you have questions prepared for each. Make sure you keep your spreadsheet up-to-date to make these meetings as smooth as possible. 

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And don’t forget to dive into the venue’s fine print for policies that could interfere with your plans. 

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