Where to Start When Selecting a Wedding Venue
November 8, 2016
Hi brides-to-be! It's Shelby from Pretty in the Pines and today we're talking about finding your wedding venue! It’s one of the biggest decisions you'll make while planning and it tends to be the deciding factor that holds up the rest of the planning process such as booking photographers, music, and every other detail. Which is why I’ve put together some steps to help narrow down your decisions, below!

Simple Steps to Finding Your Venue

Determine whether you want a local or destination wedding.

We went back and forth on this one and even considered a smaller elopement-style ceremony. We met with multiple local venues but had a hard time finding a place that had a lot we were looking for at the price we were hoping. There’s always that checklist of what you’re looking for and, for me, I knew I wanted 3 things… a wide-open outdoor ceremony surrounded by beautiful scenery and nature, a cozy space to hang out with our wedding party during the day, and located in an area that was special to us. The coast has always been a special and meaningful place for my family, and for us as a couple, so, a part of me dreamed of having a destination wedding. Luckily, we’re just a few hours away from beautiful Carolina beaches and charming lowcountry cities. Ultimately, our travel loving hearts couldn’t say no to a semi-destination wedding.

Make a list of venues in that specific area

Think about whether you want an all-inclusive venue or more flexibility with choosing vendors. We started to realize how some venues required you to use their own vendors for everything (food, florals, planner, etc.) while others allowed you the freedom to use whichever vendors you wanted. There are, of course, pros and cons for both but, ultimately, we thought we could save money and be more creative with a venue that didn’t require using specific vendors. It will definitely require more time researching caterers, florists, etc. but it was a decision we thought was best for us! I’d highly recommend thinking about what is more important to you as a couple: saving time and energy with pre-selected vendors and a more all-inclusive venue or being able to make it more your own and (potentially) cut costs.

Pick a few must-haves but, for everything else, keep an open mind.

There are so many factors that can go into selecting a wedding venue so it is important to narrow down what you’re looking for while also remembering to keep an open mind. Take note of what is most important to you whether it be a church or outdoor ceremony, a city or rural setting, a formal or more casual space, etc. Does weather worry you? For us, being outdoors was important although we know the weather risks. There will always be pros and cons for each venue!

Visit multiple venues and be honest with yourself about each one.

We visited several venues until we thought we had found “the one”. One day, we put a check in a sealed envelope about to be mailed to one venue but something didn’t feel right. I looked online a bit longer, came across one we really liked, and we immediately set up a time to tour. We ended up having that feeling where you ‘just know’ it’s the one and booked a date! Don’t just visit one and settle. Keep your options open!

Pick your date, make it official, and send out Save the Dates!

As soon as you're engaged, family and friends will start asking about when and where your wedding will be! Once you’ve found the place and booked a date, make it official by sending out Save the Dates to your guest list! You’ll probably have guests traveling from different areas so it is always better to give them a heads up of the date. We used Minted to order ours and the process couldn’t have been easier. Everything from selecting a theme to having them label the envelopes for you was a huge time saver.

I hope some of these tips help if you are a couple in search a wedding venue! It can be a somewhat daunting process but once you find the right place for you as a couple, the rest of the planning can finally get started!

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