Are you having a blast wedding planning?! It’s so exciting visiting venues, trying on dresses, tasting catering, and auditioning entertainment. You’ll find so many articles on choosing x,y,z vendors, but your venue is a paid actor. Choosing a wedding venue can bring your wedding-day vision to life. Here’s a few things to consider when choosing a wedding venue- from a photographer.
What is included in your wedding venue?
You’ve found a great size space with loads of ceremony view options and indoor-outdoor reception ideas. What else is included in your rental? Do the tables and chairs available at the space match your wedding day aesthetic? Is the DJ / emcee sound equipment capable of entertaining guests all night long? Is there a space for you to relax and get ready before your first look and photos?
Can you bring in your own vendors?
Some venues restrict who can work in their space. It may be for stylistic reasons, or for exclusivity, or just for liability purposes. Make sure you ask if you can choose your own photographer! If you are limited to their list, ask if there is an outside vendor fee you can pay to include the vendors of your dreams.
Do the getting ready suites match your wedding day aesthetic?
When choosing a wedding venue, don’t forget to explore your getting-ready suites. The wedding party suites are on-site may be convenient, but often lack decor that matches your wedding day mood board.
🤍 If you have a large wedding party, is there storage or space for everyone to bring a getting-ready bag?
🤍 Is there seating for robe/champagne pop photos?
🤍 Does the suite have a quiet space for you to get dressed with your important people?
🤍 Is there plenty of natural light for your hair and makeup team and photographer to work around?
Getting ready photos take a large chunk of your wedding gallery and are important in telling the story of your day. If your space doesn’t enhance your wedding day aesthetic, consider getting ready somewhere nearby. Here’s a blog post I wrote on choosing a getting-ready space.
Is there enough natural light?
Lighting is so important from a photographer’s perspective. Lighting can tell your wedding day story. It depicts the mood of the event and it ensures we can achieve portfolio-like imagery on your day. Is your space backlit from the windows overlooking your rooftop view? That could affect the stylistic decisions your photographer makes day-of. Is your space in a dark church? Your photographer may choose to shoot it in the ambient light provided to enhance the mood. Is it in a field in the middle of the day? That may cause harsh direct light and shadows to cast on your ceremony and portrait photos. Mention your venue plans with your photographer and they can recommend start times so the lighting will be perfect for photos.
Is there a rain plan?
You’ve always dreamed of having an outdoor wedding and you can envision your sunny day already, but what is the plan if there is rain/snow/tropical storm/hurricane in the forecast? When choosing a wedding venue, is their rain plan space something you will be happy with? Will you still be excited on wedding day if the ceremony has to happen inside? Can you visualize your day happening under a tent? Is your photographer familiar with photographing in any element? Will your vendor team be prepared with emergency umbrellas for the wedding party and tarps for rentals? Is there a rescheduling policy when it comes to natural disasters? Ask these questions and be aware of anything that can happen. Trust your vendors to execute your vision whether it is outside in the field or rooftop of your dreams, or if it’s indoors overlooking downtown or cozy under a candlelit tent.
Are there any restrictions that could kill the party vibe?
Throwing a party for 100+ of your closest friends and fam is something you all have looked forward to. You can envision the intimate candlelit dinner scape, the absolute rager your reception entertainment will curate, and the outrageous photo-worthy exit. Your venue wants you to have the time of your life, but there may be restrictions in place that protect you, your guests, and your vendors.
🤍 Can you have an open flame? Is your venue cool with you having 300+ candles lit for dinner? You may have to opt for some flameless candles, but they look super realistic nowadays!
🤍 Are you aware of any city noise ordinances? Does the party have to shut down at a certain hour? Ask what time you need to be out of your venue by.
🤍 Are sparkler exits allowed on-premises? Is confetti cleanup required? There are many exit options available. Check out cold sparklers that can be used indoors and outdoors. Choose a dried petal for your exit.
You can still have a great time while following your venue’s guidelines.
I hope you enjoyed this perspective and I hope these tips help you lock in the perfect space for your day. If you are in need of venue recs, that info is included in your wedding guide when you lock in your date with me. Click here to inquire and set up a time to chat.