Choosing a wedding venue is no easy feat! Aside from being beautiful and within budget, there are several other factors to consider that will ensure the success of your event. To help you narrow down you options and confidently make a decision, here is exactly what you should look for in a wedding venue!

Adequate Room

First things first, you will want to ensure that you are looking at venues that can accommodate your guest count. If you know that you will be inviting no less than 150 people, then there is no sense in looking at a wedding venue that can only host up to 100. However, if you have your heart set on a specific venue, consider working backwards. Book your venue and then create your guest list, with the max number of people it can host as a cap.

Privacy

Don’t overlook privacy! Depending on the type of venue and the location, you will have more or less privacy. For example, a downtown hotel in a major city may allow for more spectators than you would appreciate. Meanwhile a more rural setting surrounded by trees, will ensure that there is less commotion. In addition, this will lend to the overall feel of your event. Should your wedding take place in a more remote setting, it will also feel more intimate.

outdoor venue
Via @heywardmanor / Photo @kylieannehoppe

A Functional Layout

Aside from having enough room for your guest count, a venue needs to be functional. That is, built or designed to allow for all of the different parts of a wedding. Without having different areas for the ceremony, cocktail hour and dinner service, guests may start to feel a little cramped. A venue with more room to roam will encourage people to mingle and socialize. You will also want to be weary of architecture, such as columns, that may obstruct your guests view.

The Right Palette

Make decorating a venue easier by choosing an event space that complements your vision. Rather than fighting to cover up details of a venue, why not invest in one that suits your style or theme? For example, a rustic wedding venue is likely to feature warm tones and industrial details. Whereas a luxury venue will be brighter, likely with metallic accents and a bit of bling. Do yourself a favor and only look at venues that suit your goals and palette.

wedding arbor
Via @thepinesvenue / Photo @shanstclair / Florals @lovealwaysfloral / Rentals @whitehouse.co

Restrooms

Some wedding venues have restrooms on-site, others do not. Let’s go ahead and establish that a restroom is a must and that if it isn’t already on-site then you will be paying extra for one. On-site restrooms will be much cleaner and cozier than any mobile set-up. It will also be easy to access, as it will be indoors. Be sure to specify the availability and/or use of restrooms when discussing any details with a potential venue. 

Plenty of Lighting

Couples frequently make the mistake of choosing a dimly lit wedding venue as it is romantic and ambient. But low lighting can cause some issues, especially for a photographer. First, if you have elderly guests, then low lighting can make it difficult for them to see or roam. For the photographer, an alternative lighting source will be needed to capture the details of your day. Take this into consideration, especially if you are wanting a specific photo style. Make sure that the photographer has experience working in low lighting, and has samples that can prove their success.

wedding venue lighting
Via @Blacksmithmain1871 / Photo @ericvestphotography

Ample Outlets

Easy access to electricity is a must, that will make the job of all your wedding vendors easier. Whether it is needed to set up lighting, keep food warm, play music and so on. This will be especially important to keep in mind for outdoor wedding venues - at which point your venue should already have a solution prepared. Depending on the season or time of your event, it will also be necessary for lighting at night or to keep guests warm. 

A Nice View

While the wedding venue you select should be beautiful, so should the surrounding setting. The area around the venue will have just as much of an impact as the interior of the venue. In addition, it is likely to be used for photographs. So if you want a romantic sunset shot, you may prefer to be in a remote setting or near a park. Whereas a downtown or city setting will lend a more urban vibe.

mountain wedding
Via @Circleoakranchweddings / Photo @allielindseyphotography / Florals @rsvpfloraldesign

Parking

It may surprise you that some wedding venues do not have on-site parking. And while this isn’t necessarily a deal breaker, it is important to consider the hassle it may create. Will guests struggle to fine or have to pay for parking? If they can’t find it, how far will they have to walk? You need to consider how the parking situation will impact all of your guests, and the overall wedding experience.

It is Accessable

Last, but definitely not least, is accessibility. This is important should you have guests who are in wheelchairs or need assistance with mobility. You will need to check that a venue is ADA compliant, or that they can offer you assistance in making it compliant. If they can not or will not, then it probably isn’t the venue for you. Trust us, you won’t want to make the day more of a hassle for any of your guests. Whether it be the person in need of assistance, or those who are assisting them.

 

Header Photo: 
Photography @thecommoneer / Venue @14tenn.828 / Florals + Design: @flwrshop
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