It can be pretty overwhelming looking for a wedding venue. I’ve been to weddings at every kind of location – from people’s backyards to city halls, to castles in Ireland, and now that I’m planning my wedding, I’m starting the search myself.

orange tinted wine glasses on rectangular brown wooden dining table

The first thing you have to do is figure out what criteria are important in choosing your wedding venue. Here are 7 things you should consider when trying to determine which different types of venues will suit your needs best.

1) Geography

Location is all-important with an option on this list, but with some venues, it’s more important than others. If you’re getting married at a destination wedding, the location might not matter much to guests, since they’re travelling there anyway.

However, if your wedding is in your home town and most guests will be coming from across the country or the world, you need to find a venue that’s easy to get to. You might even want to consider choosing a place where friends and family could stay for multiple days after the wedding.

2) Size

How many people do you expect will attend your wedding? Some locations can only accommodate small weddings, but others can accommodate larger ones. If it’s looking like your guest list will be on the smaller side, don’t worry about this criterion too much and just look at venues that appeal to you – things may work out just fine. But if you’re thinking of inviting more than 100 people or so, some venues might not be able to accommodate your needs.

3) Cost

Venue cost is always a big factor in any wedding decision. Some locations are more expensive than others, but there are ways to save money even at the most expensive venues. Think about what’s important to you and what you’re willing to splurge on – for example, if you want an outdoor ceremony but don’t mind having your reception indoors, that could save you some money.

4) Style

This criterion is really up to personal preference, but it’s worth considering nonetheless. Are you looking for a rustic barn or an elegant ballroom? A modern art museum or a traditional church? Once you know what style of venue interests you, you can start to eliminate those that don’t.

5) Availability

This might be the most important criterion for many couples. If you’ve set your heart on a certain venue, but it’s already booked for your wedding date, you’re out of luck. Venue availability changes all the time, so it’s important to check often and not get too attached to any one option.

6) Season

Just like availability, the season can dictate which venues are available to you. If you want an outdoor wedding in the summertime, for example, most places will be booked up by that point. However, if you’re willing to have your wedding in less popular months or even seasons, you’ll have more options open to you.

7) Theme

If you have a specific theme in mind for your wedding, you’ll want to find a venue that will fit that theme. For example, if you’re having a beach wedding, you’ll want to find a location near the ocean. If you’re having a glamourous 1920s-themed wedding, an old theatre or opera house would be perfect. Once you know your theme, finding the right venue will be much easier. Other Details

There are a million other details to consider when choosing a wedding venue, from catering to parking to whether or not your dog is allowed. Make a list of all the things that are important to you and your fiance and start checking off venues as you find ones that fit the bill.

No matter what criteria you use, keep an open mind when searching for wedding venues. There are so many different places to get married that there’s sure to be one perfect for you and your fiance. Good luck! 

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