Post # 1
Just for fun, since everyone has different tastes and there are so many different types of venues – what are your “must have’s” when look for a wedding venue (or were, if you already had your wedding or booked your venue)? What things were most important and what were you more willing to budge on if necessary? If you already have a venue and would like to share a picture that is encouraged
Post # 2
I picked my venue based on what would be best for my guests logistically; therefore, my venue had to have a hotel, bars/entertainment/restaurants within walking distance, area for an outdoor ceremony (with rain plan), and an area for an indoor reception. Since 90% of our guests were traveling from out of state we were able to host all of our events in 1 location (welcome dinner, ceremony, reception, thank you brunch) and everyone was able to just relax and enjoy themselves.
Map of the area
Post # 3
My must haves were a venue in the city center (close to hotels, no need for rental cars, etc.), as more than half of our guests live out of town and will be driving a long way or flying in. I also wanted a relatively “all inclusive” venue, and thus, wanted a venue with excellent food. My last must have was some sort of “wow” factor, whether that be a beautiful outdoor area or a great view. We ended up going with the great view (37th floor of a building downtown) and I couldn’t be happier.
Otherwise, I was pretty flexible and willing to compromise on other things. I thought having the ceremony and the reception in the same place was a must have, but after finding an adorable, historic meeting house only 5 minutes (walking) away, it didn’t matter at all.
Oh, another must have (more of a sticking point, really) was refusing to pay an exorbiant site fee. Excuse me, but no, I will not pay you $6,000 for an empty room. Our site fee was $1,600 and is a lot nicer than many of the other venues charging quadruple that.
Post # 4
- Wedding: June 2010 - Christmas Tree Farm
It was important to us to get married outside. That and the date availablility were the only things that really mattered. We actually ended up getting married at a tree farm, which was perfect. It was green and gorgeous and a very private space. It was really fairly priced because it didn’t include anything except for the actual space. We only had 35 guests, everyone was local, and none of our guests drink alcohol, so we didn’t have to worry about hotels or a bar or anything like that. We got so lucky to find it.
Post # 5
Really, I just didn’t want a typical hotel or banquet hall type venue. I have nothing against them and I’ve been to some hotel/hall weddings that were truly beautiful, but it just isn’t my style. FI was on the exact same page. We ended up choosing a historic theatre downtown – perfect for us.
Post # 6
Our must haves were:
- Accomodate our small wedding (35-50 guests). This is surprisingly hard to find in Southern California.
- Not cost us our first born child. Again, really hard around here.
- Allow us to have our own liquor and band.
- Annnddd, still be really pretty.
Happy to say mission accomplished. We have found a venue that met all of the above criteria.
Post # 7
Mr. S really wanted a view of the mountains and water. We both wanted outdoors. But I think I had the practical items on my wishlist – ceremony & reception space at same venue, bad weather back-up plans, ability to use our own vendors, etc.
Post # 8
- Wedding: May 2013 - Pavilion overlooking golf course scenery, reception at banquet hall
1. Pretty outdoor scenery/background view for the ceremony, but covered in case of rain (which it DID, so thank god for that)
2. Indoor reception space
3. Fits 100-150 people
4. Affordable – less than $2k for use of both ceremony and reception spaces, including all services and linens and plates and cake cutting and whatever other things venues gouge people on
5. Either let me bring my own catering, or have very affordable food. (My venue didn’t allow outside catering, but luckily the food was only $14/p!)
6. Please be somewhat modern – like within the last 20 years. There were some serious 70s-tastic venues we looked at only because they were within budget, but UGH!
When we found our venue just 4 miles away from our home, and after rental/food/gratuities/tax/minimally-hosted-bar it was only $4000 for 100-150 people? Helllllll yes. My only gripe was that we couldn’t bring our own caterer or alcohol. Honestly I don’t even care anymore, I was happy with my wedding and happy with my bank balance after everything was done, can’t ask for too much more than that. 🙂
Post # 9
My must-haves were the size/capacity, general location to where I lived, and ability to choose my own vendors. In my area of New England, it was really difficult to find something nearby that could hold even 200 people. I guess it’s more fair to say the location was more of my parents’ must-have. I wouldn’t have minded going a bit farther out and staying in a hotel or something the night before, but they were concerned about our local guests having to drive more than an hour from where we live.
And definitely, definitely choosing my own vendors. Especially food. When I saw some places requiring you to use their caterer and starting at $150/plate, I knew I could find a caterer for cheaper! And I have, and he is awesome!
Post # 10
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
Totall outside, a place where we could do the welcome BBQ and ceremony and reception all in the same location, bring in your own caterer and alcohol, fits 175 people, amped music until at least 10 pm, somewhere guests could crash with tents if they wanted, onsite lodging for us, AFFORDABLE. We ended up using a outdoor camp / retreat center run by the local community college. It was great!
Post # 11
- Wedding: June 2014 - Gold Hill Gardens
1. Outdoors with a view
2. Ceremony & Reception at the same place (and rehearsal dinner, it turned out!)
3. Not a golf course
4. Near where most family lives
5. Ability to have games and a laid-back vibe
6. Preferably no required caterers or others
7. (Really, it’s number 1, though) within our budget
We lucked out – found a B&B in the foothills near FIs family, we can have 6 other people stay with us, and since we took the four rooms of the B&B the night before our wedding, we get to BBQ our own rehearsal dinner there! No extra charges! No required vendors, and the couple who owns the place is wonderful! This is their first summer as a “public” venue, they’ve only held weddings for friends and neighbors until now.
Post # 12
Our must haves are Must be outdoor, Ceremony/reception at same venue, not to far from home, by a hotel. We ended up booking at a botanical garden which even includes catering so we are so happy!
Post # 13
I was really picky with venues. I only really liked 4 or so in the tri-county area, and trust me there were tons but few met any of my criteria.
outdoor ceremony with pretty alternate if it rains<br />space for at least 150 guests<br />not on the beach<br />not crazy expensive (although that is really relative around here.. everything is $$$)<br />I didn’t really want a hotel or country club, but I was willing to have one if it met some of my other criteria
So really it only left me with a few to pick from! I ended up going with a historic mansion.
Post # 14
Our “Must Haves” were
- Big enough to fit all our guests – being able to invite all our loved ones was a super high priority for us
- Outdoor but with a rain plan – we ended up with a big tent
- We could bring our own food/alcohol – this was our biggest cost savings
- Close to lodging – half a mile to the hotels, we had a shuttle and some people just walked
- Available Parking – boring but essential
So we got married in my Dad’s backyard! Well, technically it was his neighbor’s back yard (best neighbor’s ever – they wouldn’t even charge us to use their property!) There’s a lot of relatively flat property that runs along a beautiful creek and it was absolutely perfect. It helped contribute to the homey vibe we were going for at the wedding.
Post # 15
- Wedding: August 2015 - Old Courthouse - Cleveland
I am VERY picky when it comes to the venues. I wanted something that was unique and didn’t require too much in decorations. This venue is perfect because it has an upstairs for cocktail hour and a beautiful staircase for pictures. We like that it is downtown because a lot of our guests are from out of town. There are plenty of hotels and restaurants and things to do!