What to look for when searching for a wedding venue?

Not all wedding venues are alike.

When you are searching for a venue for your wedding day, there are some common things you want to seek when touring properties and making a decision on a great venue that fills your needs.

Today, we will explore some of the most common things you want to have in a venue and how to best go about narrowing the right one for you!

What are some wedding venue basics?

Many couples make the mistake of just picking a place without doing their research.

It could be that price is a determining factor or something like the overall view that a facility has to offer.

Let’s talk about the most common things you should be looking for when booking a venue.

Have Enough Bathrooms

First, you want to make sure the facility has enough bathrooms. Think about it like this, let’s say you have 100 guests and a venue you are looking at has two, single-stall bathrooms.

With a few restroom facilities, this will create a bottleneck at the wedding reception.

While this number may vary, our rule of thumb is to have one bathroom for every 25 guests if possible.

Also, avoid places that offer port-a-johns. Yuck!

Have two Rooms to Dress and Prep

You’ll want to make sure the wedding venue has at a minimum, two places for the couple to get prepped and ready for the wedding day.

Many facilities will have a bridal suite but the groom or other half of the couple, yup, it’s an afterthought. When touring a facility, having two rooms is great for the wedding party to get ready and relax.

Speaking of bridal prep rooms, make sure there are enough power outlets for phone chargers, curling irons, blow dryers, and the like. Also, the more light you have to prep, the better.

An Alternative for Bad Weather

One thing we can tell you is to have an alternative location to have the ceremony in case there is rain.

THAT’s IMPORTANT and oftentimes overlooked.

Our friend, Joshua Gabrielson, co-owner of Wedding Photography and Films talked with us about a wedding that got rained on last year.

About a year ago, I filmed a wedding where it was calling for rain. The bride didn’t want to switch the cermeony indoors, when the grandparents came out, it literally started pouring down rain and everyone was running towards the building. – Joshua Gabrielson

Ouch, that’s got to be rough!

Our point is simple, make sure the venue has an alternative place if bad weather is imminent. Here at SHL, we have multiple places to get married at and a few are indoor too!

Catering and Baker Prep

One of the other things you need to seek for a venue is a place for catering to prep your reception dinner and a place to serve it too.

Several places will not have a facility with a kitchen to allow vendors to prep and that again creates a bottleneck and issue for vendors.

The area doesn’t need to be a full kitchen, but you will want to have enough space for them to have everything, be able to put the finishing touches on the food that is served or the wedding cake or cupcakes.

Some Venues are Not Wedding Venues

I can tell you that not all places are really venues and here is what I mean.

Hotels, for example, are not wedding venues.

They are hotels that do weddings on the side.  Wineries, historic homes, and parks all offer weddings, but they aren’t dedicated to craft of weddings.

If you’re thinking to yourself at this point, “yeah, so what?“, I understand.

A dedicated wedding venue is going to be able to cater to all your needs quickly, places that do weddings on the side, it’s more of an afterthought when it comes to generating income for their business.

Don’t get me wrong, that’s not bad, but it’s also not their focus either.

When a business is focused on other things, there are fewer resources for the wedding day when issues arise.

What other things should we consider when booking a wedding venue?

Great question!

Make sure the venue offers enough guest parking and amenities for them too.  When we say amenities, we mean value-added things like fireplaces, seating, outdoor games, rocking chairs to relax in, things for the kids to do, and the like as well.

One of the great things about our facility is that we have just that and more!

A playground for children, a dog kennel for our four-legged friends, and overlook pavilion to relax while enjoying the mountain views, a rocking chair porch, a LARGE fire-pit with enough spaces to fit u to 50 guests, and much more.

The key to a great wedding venue is that they have paid attention to great detail in things both large and small. From placing tissue boxes in various places to thinking about the number of outlets you need in the bridal suite, just going that extra mile when it comes to making your day as unique as possible.

What About Pricing, What Should We Consider?

What I can tell you is that pricing for a wedding venue is much like venues themselves, they come in all styles, sizes, and price ranges.

According to Wedding Wire, couples on average spent about $6,000 for their venue.  Those costs will wildly vary and that’s based on location, your guest size, the wedding date, and what’s included with the venue too.

For example, you may get a cost of $3,500 but that will only include a number of guests and a limited amount of amenities while an $8,000 cost of the same venue will give you much more access to the venue and more guests.

Think tables, chairs, linens, decor, and other areas of a venue property.

When it comes to couples seeking venues, a recent Facebook poll conducted in a couple of wedding groups found that beauty was the number one factor in booking a venue followed by cost.

Final Thoughts

Make sure that you visit the venue in person if you can, you want to get a sense of what the property it truly like and if it will fit your wedding day. Alternatively, if you can’t attend in person, do a Zoom or Facebook chat, maybe a phone call and ask to see video of the property.

Choosing a wedding venue is going to be a keystone of your theme, what will take place during the day and it sets the tone of the wedding too. Make sure that you choose a venue that can easily handle the guest list size and you will be just fine!

Thanks for checking out the blog today, check back again for other great articles!