(Closed) How Did You Find Your Wedding Venue?! And why did you pick it?

posted 5 years ago in Venue
Post # 3
Member
1832 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: January 2013

The first thing you need to do is narrow it down to an area or two, then search those two areas for numerous venues options, if possible pick one day to drive to one of the areas and book appointments to see as many venues as possible in one day. Then do the same for the second area on another day. Take a camea with you, pen and paper, take photos and write pros and cons of each venue. That way when you go home you have more time to look over everything, and will be able to compare cost, likes/dislikes and proscons.

I would never select a venue without seeing it, but thats just me. I grew up in Philadephia and moved to Berks County a year and a half ago. After we got engaged in Jan 2012, I did research and made appointments back in Philadephia to see 4 venues in one day. Went home and looked over all the info I gathered. Then on another day booked to see 4 venues in my current area of Berks County. We choose a venue back where we use to live that is located in Bensalem, no one compared to the beauty of the venue or the price, we got a huge discount for having a winter wedding. So huge of a discount that some really horrible ugly venues were MORE money than Celebations in Bensalem, PA, and offered way less in their pacakges.

I do have one venue that is also a hotel to suggest to you, its in the Poconos area, here is a link, I loved this venue but it was out of our price range. It has everything your looking for in the moutains, plus your wedding guest and you and SO can all spend the night or weekend there!

http://www.stroudsmoor.com/

Post # 4
Member
3720 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

We knew the church, the budget, and the number of guests. FI and I wanted the church and reception to be as close as possible.

We went through, on a map, to find places within 5 miles of the church (so a 45 minute drive). We found that a local night club (the kind you never remember the end of the night at, but know you have a blast) does really classy weddings. We were skeptical, but met with them and loved it. They had everything we wanted and more, so we booked.

My suggestion is to try to have an awesome wedding, but not the best wedding ever. There are always cooler ideas, but find something that will make you happy enough and go for it. Was the nightclub where I always imagined getting married? Not at all. But it is going to be wonderful because it is close, easy to get to, and has a ton of services for my guests.

Also, we only visited one venue. We both had been at the nightclub (but not together and never for a wedding) and knew what we would be getting. We looked at others online, but crossed them out for price, distance, or appearance. It is okay to be picky.

Our criteria, in order, were: 1) easy drive, cab ride, and by public transportation, 2) one vendor doing everything, 3) Could hold up to 200 people, including lots of little ones (40 under 10s are invited), and 4) could do a gluten free menu.

Our venue is on a direct bus line, has parking included, and is a $12 cab ride from the church. The vendor does everything and has done an entirely gluten free wedding before. There is nothing breakable and a room downstairs where we can put children with a babysitter during dinner and speeches. And we could afford it. 

Post # 5
Member
4415 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

When DH and I got engaged, we decided very early that we wanted to go somewhere to get married.  I had been married twice before, but this was his first marriage, so we decided to elope.  What I did was start sending him links to places I would like to go. If he wasn’t interested in somewhere I sent, then that place was thrown out of the mix.  In the end, the only place he showed any real excitement about was Savannah, GA. Neither of us had ever been there before. We loved that there was so much history, and of course, I was attracted to the romance of the city. 

Since you are able to do the chosing, I’d suggest selecting 5 places you’d really like to go, then see which place he shows the most excitement about. That way you’re both making the decision together. 

Post # 6
Member
418 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

The only requirement I had regarding our wedding is that occurred in either his church or mine. Since I’m moving to him, we picked his church

Post # 7
Member
1154 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

I knew my venue the first time I stepped foot in it. It was one of the first few times I had gone to my then boyfriend, now FIs home, and he took me to the field behind his house. That was it. I knew. 

Post # 9
Member
1154 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

Anything outdoors would be beautiful in the spring!

Post # 10
Member
418 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

@futuremrsk18:  

I take it that it’s not monumentally important to you to get married in the church, so I’ll suggest that you look at a national park, botanical garden or some other outdoor venue. The weather should be nice.

Post # 11
Member
4415 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

I was all over the place with the suggestions I sent to DH… Hawaii, Key West, Vermont, Georgia, Seattle, U.S. Virgin Islands.  

Maybe think about what kinds of things interest the two of you.  For example, DH and I share a love architecture and history. But we’re not really into the beach, because I have to stay out of the sun. I’m a foody and he likes to eat. We’re also techies, so we knew we needed to go where we could get wifi. Those things helped us narrow down the choices. 

So don’t limit yourself. You might be surprised with what you come up with and what ideas he likes. Tell him to let you know if he likes, hates, or is indifferent about any of the places you suggest. Since you’re only going to send him links to places you want to go, you know you won’t end up going some place you won’t like. 

 

Post # 12
Member
966 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

We wanted a waterfront wedding… we even considered a destination (From Maryland, but checked Bahamas and Carribbean, as well as southern Florida for that similar feel without the bigger travel price)… Plus we knew we’d lose a lot of people, and inconvenience even more. Florida area was super expensive for the reception as, so we had to sacrifice the dream of palm trees and blue water =( Blah.

So I looked around Maryland. Surprisingly, a LOT of venues have few or crappy pictures on their website! I was like, why should I even decide to consider you if I don’t know what your property looks like?? -_- So stupid. Anyway. 

FIRST we decided what season and time of day we wanted. We wanted it to be warm  so we could have an outside ceremony, but we also wanted a sunset. That very quickly limited us to September…

After I found some places with “waterfront” options, I google image searched them for other couples’ weddings who posted their pics online somewhere, and checked ratings/reviews (helped)

Then I contacted a bajillion places for PRICE quotes based on my probable date(s) and how many people I expected to show.

Then we VISITED them (All SO DIFFERENT in person! You HAVE to see your venue if your venue is important to you)

Then I haggled between a couple competitive places to get some prices down.

THEN we sat down and made a spreadsheet of all the pros/cons between the 3 we had narrowed down. Considered factors like distance, traffic, parking, best place for pictures, etc…

I got my mom and MOH to check out two venues as well, just for unbiased second opinions

And then… Ta da!

lol

It took a while. But we’re also incredibly indecisive 😉

_______________________________________________

suggestions specifically for you:

 

– Look at a lot of pictures of wedding ideas for different types/regions. See what appeals to you most (might include fiance on this too; he might have an opinion that helps narrow it down). This will help you narrow down the feel, season, and possibly time of day (Like I LOVED clear top tents with lighting at night… but it was too expensive, as it would require an a la carte wedding, so we eventually opted for an all-inclusive venue instead). Decide on the “type” you want first (beach, mountain, luxury, rustic, etc.) Narrow it down to maybe TWO types, and then…

– Consider your guests… Will there be a lot of kids or college students (Best to do January or over summer break)? Are they wealthy enough to travel a long distance, or would a shorter one be better? What will the weather be like for traveling to wherever? Can they get their by car or train, or have to fly? Consider the cost of hotels in the area also. What do you think would be an overall nice location to vacation? Because you’re basically asking your guests to take at least a short vacation. If the only allure to the area is the wedding venue, it won’t go over as well, most likely. 

Destination weddings are a lot of money for guests, and you will probably lose a lot of people or at least slightly perturb them. If you can choose a place that’s overall agreeable to just BE at, it’d be nicer for them. (This is mainly why we decided against a destination wedding. It’d be cheaper for us, but we knew we’d lose people. Our families aren’t terribly well-off, and we thought we be kinda selfish to require people to pay hundreds of dollars each just to attend a wedding… so our guilt was enough to skip the dream. lol We didn’t want to feel guilty/piss people off for our wedding. Your situation has to be tailored to you though! That was just our situation and feelings on it). But if you have people traveling in from all over, you’re right in that it probably doesn’t matter. Pretty much everyone with us is within an hour of us! So asking them to travel far away just felt mean. lol Maybe try to pick a location that’s more central to the most people as well?  

–If you need to be able to not visit the venue first, make sure the venue has a lot of photos. Most times when you contact the location, you can ask for additional photos. Every place I’ve asked has had photos to send me. It helped a lot. If not, usually they can take some for you. 

–Also, check online for wedding photos from other people. Google like “venue name+wedding+photo” or something similar. Usually you’ll have like “Gina & Tim’s Wedding!” pop up. Image search also can show you some things. I’ve found wedding videos as well, which also help. 

–Check reviews and ratings, if possible. Sometimes you can find coordinators or people local to the area who will help you out for free of charge. 

— Contact local vendors. Like I was talking to a possibly photography guy, and I asked him about two venues that I hadn’t been to yet. He was able to give me some good insight, since he’d shot weddings at both locations. 

–Inquire on here, the boards – especially if it’s a populous area – if anyone has seen or been to that location for any events 

— Get price quotes 

— If you can narrow down an area, you MIGHT want to consider a quick trip to check out two or three venues. Like if you decide you like a few places in Miami or something. Maybe you can go down there and knock them all out at once. But it’s not totally necessary. 

 

Hope that was enough to help ^_^  

Post # 13
Member
2085 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

We knew we wanted something opulent and grand (go big or go home) so that’s what we looked for. We had ample time (July 2014) but we wasted no time with the search. Aimlessly searching google is how I found my venue and withe the site I fell in love and the rest is history!!!! My search wasn’t as fast as it seems but after like 4 or 5 different venue visits I knew it was the one!!!

Post # 14
Member
151 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

We wanted… poetry. 🙂 I love Big Sur. It’s wild and green and hardly ever has a “bad season.” We really wanted an outdoor wedding, because as artists, conventional things like buildings make us a little crazy. We like to break rules. 

We are doing a weekend camp out at a local inn and getting married in the woods by the ocean. It’s ideal for us. We are doing just 30 of our closest family and friends and having an intimate lunch after.

I did grad school in Baltimore and if I was getting married in that area, I’d probably be looking at like Running Hare Vineyard or at a B&B in Middleburg or even the National Aquarium…Have fun with it! I’d always visit before you book!

I think the right venue sets the tone for the whole thing. We sort of picked this amazing outdoor chapel in Sur, visited it and fell in love but, couldn’t STAND the red tape with the church attached. So, in the end we chose an inn across the street. I think it will be sweet. 

 

Post # 15
Member
909 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

I found our location while searching on the knot. I was looking within an hour drive from the church as there aren’t many reception halls very close to where my parents live. I knew I wanted someplace very romantic and we chose a small inn nestled in the woods but that is very easy for out-of-town guests to find because it is right off the main parkway.

Post # 16
Member
718 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

I’ve always loved our venue but it was so expensive.  Luckily we’re having a winter wedding, and when I found out how much of a discount we could get using their winter packages we were sold!

The topic ‘How Did You Find Your Wedding Venue?! And why did you pick it?’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors