Believe it or not, you can skip any ritual, any small wedding ceremony, anything for that matter, but there’s one thing that you can’t skip: your wedding ceremony site! Because it’s the place where your friends and family will gather and celebrate your big day!
Every couple wants to get wed-locked in a breathtaking set up that amazingly sets the tone for their special day. But the truth is – finding the perfect wedding ceremony site isn’t that easy!! There are myriads of options to choose from a stunning barn to an elegant ballroom, a quiet stretch of beach to a garden, a forest to a cozy restaurant. But you need not to worry, as this post has it all…. Yeah, if you are also looking for a stunning wedding ceremony site, but not sure where to start your search from, then you have landed on the right page.
Here in this post I am sharing with you the best 26 expert tips to lock a great wedding ceremony site that fits well with your vision!!
1. Decide what type of wedding you are planning for
First things first, before you start searching for your dream wedding ceremony site, you need to know the type of wedding you are planning. For instance, if you are planning an intimate ceremony with just a few close family members and friends, or are you looking to host an iconic big fat wedding. Knowing this will help you find the right wedding ceremony site for you.
2. Decide your wedding ceremony site budget
Based on the type of wedding you can easily set up your budget for your wedding ceremony site. Talk to your partner, discuss and decide on how much you’d like to spend on your ceremony site. Deciding Budget is crucial, it helps you choose the perfect wedding ceremony site without having to go beyond your budget.
3. Take advice from your wedding planner
If you have hired a wedding planner, then taking advice from them would be better. As, wedding planners are experienced and most often they are familiar with the capabilities of a space, the layout, and the time and items of the wedding ceremony site.
4. Consider number of celebrations
Different wedding ceremony sites provide different facilities. And every religion has its own customs and rituals. So, if you are planning to host all your wedding ceremonies in the same site, you need to see whether they provide you all those facilities or not. Or if you plan your main event there at the site and other functions at some other location, then you need to make sure that the distance is not too much.
5. See if the site aligns with your vision
Of course, it is crucial! Make sure you find out a site that aligns with your vision perfectly. For instance, if you’re planning an urban wedding, you can consider art galleries, well-designed restaurant spaces, or warehouses. Whereas for an outdoor wedding you can consider places such as parks, ranches, backyards, and beaches. Choosing a site that fits in perfectly with your theme will enable your wedding to be more connected to the space.
6. Consider the number of wedding guests
Another important pointer while finding your perfect wedding venue is the number of wedding guests. Remember, you cannot just book any place, you have to have a fairly good idea about the wedding guests. So make your guest list before you start scheduling venue tour. Knowing how many guests you’re expecting in advance will help save you from headaches while searching for the site. Have a good idea of how many guests you are planning to invite or how large or small your wedding is going to be. Chances are you may like some venue that limits your guest count, or maybe the one that is too large for your intimate wedding celebration.
So, take into consideration the size of your guest list. Make sure your wedding venue can easily accommodate large number of your wedding guests if yours is a big fat wedding, or has the perfect intimate ceremony space for you and your 10 – 20 guests. Also, it will help you break down your budget, as your cost will surely depend on the number of people you are inviting.
7. Stick to your budget
You may be lured to spend any money on a particular wedding site, but the thing is your budget should allow you to do that. Remember, wedding ceremony site is more than just renting the space, decor and floral design will also drive the cost up. If a site is adding to your budget, then you’ll either need to scale back your design or look for more affordable spaces.
8. Keep your mind open to different ideas
Not every site has that breathtaking view, or maybe the one which you have dreamt is not in your budget. So what, it is not necessary to go old ways……. You should not think of compromising on your dreams, instead you may go for an out of the box setup, like celebrating your wedding at the zoo, or on the riverside, or in an igloo, or in a boat house, etc. Believe you me, these unexpected venues can actually make your wedding day perfect, even beyond imagination! So, keep your mind open to different ideas, themes and locations to have a wonderful celebration!
9. Ask for recommendations
If you find yourself confused over this task, then it’s better to ask for recommendations from your friends and relatives. Sometimes these recommendations really help. Of course, on your special day, you’ll want everything running smoothly from dawn until dusk.
10. Don’t miss to read reviews of your potential site
When you search for the site online, it is crucial that you read reviews of your potential site. As, while searching online you may come across several different kinds of wedding venue. And, you may fall in love with some for sure, but it is not necessary that what they are showing on their page is true about them. It’s always good to read reviews and recommendations of your prospective venues and see that their services are perfect and they have got 5* ratings!
11. Consider your wedding guests’ experience
If many of your wedding guests are out-of-town guests or if you are having a destination wedding, then it is essential that you look for a venue that’s near (or connected to) your hotel. Also, ensure your guests’ comfort within the venue, too. The maximum capacity of a room doesn’t guarantee a comfortable amount of space, so it’s better to ask the venue how many people they can fit comfortably, and what is allowed according to the fire code.
12. Consider the style of your wedding ceremony site
The very next thing which you need to understand is the style of ceremony site. You need to understand what is most important to each of you on your wedding day. Are you looking for an open space or green wedding theme that’s scenic and on the water or an urban set-up with lots of amenities for out-of-town guests? A royal wedding or a beach wedding, whatever, make sure you consider it before you finally step out to take wedding ceremony site tour.
13. Consider the location of your wedding
One of the most important decisions you’ll make is where to host your wedding. Definitely, your family and friends will be across the country or maybe across the world! So choosing a location is crucial to make sure that everyone can be a part of your life’s biggest event. Also, there will be your elderly relatives like your grandparents, who may not be able to travel long distances or walk up stairs or mountains etc. Also, the connectivity to the wedding venue or the transport facility etc. All these things should be considered before you choose your wedding venue finally. Of course you want your loved ones to bless you on your special day, so you need to take care of their needs!!
14. See what is to be included
If you’re searching for a site that provides full-service, and you want to bring in your own vendors and decor, then make sure to price everything out. Remember that a venue with tables, chairs, and linens all included might cost you more upfront than a venue where you can rent your own. But make sure you get an estimate from a rental company. Also, more often than not, the included rental items are more basic (white linens, banquet chairs, standard flatware, etc.). So, it’s better to pay for something that fits with your vision well. Besides, if you’re looking for a venue that has in-house catering with a food and beverage minimum, make sure you include the tax and gratuity in your calculations.
15. Remember bigger is not always better
Yeah, most often we go for bigger, but not always bigger is better. So always take your guests into account. Maybe the venue is too small, but the worst will be to have too big in case of small celebrations. It is crucial to have the right sized ceremony site for your guests rather to have big sized site. Especially, when it comes to factors like being able to hear the wedding vows, seeing the ceremony, and sharing the moment in an intimate setting.
16. Don’t miss to make a list of non-negotiable things
It is imperative to make a list of non-negotiable things that you want to include in your wedding day, and make sure your site fits in with the list. For instance, if you are looking for a particular caterer, or a particular décor, or an ice sculpture and fireworks, or some wedding games on your wedding day, make it happen! Check with your prospective site, if it caters all this, then definitely you know you’re on the right path to creating the best experience for one and all!
17. Take a site tour
Do not ever book your wedding ceremony site without visiting or taking the tour. You may be tempted to see great pictures on the internet, but trust not everything that looks good from afar is as good from near. You need to be vigilant before finalizing your wedding site. Your wedding ceremony site can make a huge lot of difference in your wedding day. So, don’t miss to take the tour personally. Also, it would be great if you both visit together.
18. Consider the aesthetics of the wedding ceremony site
While taking the tour don’t miss to see the aesthetics of the site. If the site is totally blank, then you can style it your own way or if it has unsightly decor then you will need to mask it to get it to your liking. But it always advised to find a site with most natural looks, as it can help you to dress it up to your style. As with your creativity and professional support you can turn a blank canvas into an unrecognizable space. Besides, see the lighting of the site as it will play an important role in having gorgeous wedding pictures.
19. Visiting your wedding ceremony site more than once is wise
You may find it a little more of a work for your wedding. But, it is essential that you visit your site more than one, of course I am not telling you to see it daily! But it is always wise to go and see your top venue choices two or three times before you finally make a decision. Also, make sure you don’t rush to sign on the dotted line…take your time, think about it, and then book it. Because your venue will affect every other choice you will make in regards to your big event!
20. Have a candid discussion with the people at the wedding ceremony site
Make sure to have a candid discussion with the venue to know what specifically they do and do not provide. Do not have any delusion of your own, it’s better to ask and know. Besides, ask about the cost and see what all is included in that cost (typically food, beverage, tables, chairs, and staffing). There will be a rental fee, taxes, and gratuities, so it’s good to obtain a detailed cost of the site before you sign on the dotted line.
21. Check transportation facilities
Consider lodging and transportation of your guests. If the ceremony site is far from the city or amenities, see if it is possible to shuttle your guests. You need to consider the ease of your wedding guests while mapping out the venue location. In case of a destination wedding, consider all the accommodations and travel options for you and your guests. Also, factor the flight times as the timings are related to the number of days your guests will be spending at the destination for your wedding. And yes, don’t miss to consider how your guests will get around.
22. Consider your timeline
There are many wedding ceremony sites with a short rental window, so consider your timeline before you sign the dotted line. Or you can ask about extending the rental window to get the ideal length day.
23. Have your questions prepared beforehand
Before visiting your potential wedding ceremony site, make sure you prepare all your questions well in advance. Like, you may miss to ask about the noise ordinance, or till what time live music is allowed at the venue? How much time do we get to load-in? What is the maximum time you and your guests need to be out from the venue? Is there a loading dock? How about trash removal? Are you allowed to bring your own caterer and alcoholic beverages? So, it is better you prepare your questions beforehand, it is always good to be over prepared than under. Make sure it covers all your bases so you have less surprises during your special day. Knowing the ins and outs of the wedding ceremony site beforehand will allow you to have less surprises and more peace of mind before and during the wedding.
24. You should get that ‘FEEL’
Now everything you have seen, but the feel is missing!! You know how it feels when we are stunned to see something that YES THIS IS IT!! Make sure you get the same feeling when you see your wedding ceremony site, you can totally envision yourself walking down the aisle in an unforgettable venue. If you get this then it simply means that this is the wedding ceremony site you have been looking for!!
25. Stay True to Yourselves
Last but not least, don’t be influenced by anyone, go for what feels best for you. Many a times couples choose venues based off of the style of a wedding they fell in love with online. However, it is crucial to know what feels authentic to you both as a couple, and to choose a space and a design that’s a true representation of who you are. Also, the wedding venue you have in love with might have looked gorgeous with a different theme or design scheme. But not necessarily, the same is the perfect canvas for yours as well.
Thanks for reading!! I hope the list helps you find your dream wedding ceremony site!!