Choosing a wedding venue: 10 things you need to know!
by Lauren Sinton

There are so many tiny details that go into planning a wedding. With so many things to keep track of, checking a big ticket item off your list like finding a venue can seem like it would be easy. Unfortunately there are a lot of important things to consider before choosing your wedding venue. If you don't put a lot of thought in finding the perfect venue, you could end up with a disastrous wedding day! Not to worry though with have put together a list of the 10 most important things to consider, do, and ask before choosing a wedding venue!

So read on to find out what to do to make sure you and your partner have the most spectacular wedding venue!

1. Make sure you know your non-negotiables

Photo by  Steve Cowell

Photo by Steve Cowell


  • How many guests do you want at your wedding? This is important because many venues have set guest count limits. For example my wedding venue can accommodate up to 300 people (outside) but only 150 people in their indoors location. So knowing how many guests you want at your wedding can affect what wedding venue is the right fit for you.
  • Do you want to be able to stay overnight? Do you want your wedding party to stay with you?
  • Will sound restrictions bother you? Some venues only allow music to be played at a certain decibel, so decide how loud you want your music to be before picking a venue.
  • How late would you like your party to go? Many venues have sound restrictions and cut off times, so if a venues last song cutoff time is 10pm (which is a common cutoff time in populated places) be sure this is okay with you.

Once you know what you are looking for, you can look for the perfect wedding venue!

2. Know the ambiance you want for your wedding

Photo by  Greg Finck

Photo by Greg Finck


  • Do you want a rustic vibe?
  • Are you looking to have a hipster wedding best suited for an industrial warehouse?
  • Do you want a classic elegant wedding?

Knowing these details before looking for a venue will make the search a lot easier, and will help you find the perfect venue for you and your partner!

3. Think about logistics


  • Do you have a huge portion of out of town wedding guests? If so how close is the venue to an airport? To lodging? Is it easy to get to?
  • Are the vendors you like near the venue? If not how much are travel fees?
  • Is it easy to get from hotels to the venue? If not are you will to pay for shuttles?
  • What is the parking situation at the venue? How many cars can they accomodate?

4. Is the venue full service? If so is this what you want?


  • Full service venues can be a blessing and a curse. If they are full service you may be required to use their caterer, so be sure this is what you want!
  • Full service means they may also supply rentals, have an event coordinator, and other details in between. This could make a venue more expensive, but it also means you won't be bending over backwards looking for vendors.
  • Do you want to find your own vendor team? If so a full service venue isn't for you. There are some venues that just provide the space, and you do the rest!

5. Be sure to visit the venue you want at the time of your wedding ceremony (before signing any contracts).


  • If you can also visit the venue at the same time of year that is ideal!
  • Knowing where the shade is going to be, and roughly what the weather is going to be like is incredibly important when choosing a wedding venue!

6. Decide what is more important your wedding venue or your wedding date.


  • If you are flexible on your wedding date, then you can let your venue help you choose the date (based on what is available at your perfect venue).
  • If you have your heart set on a specific date, or at least month, make sure venues you look at have availability before visiting (you wouldn't want to get your heart set on a venue that doesn't work with your timeline).

7. Be sure to consider sound, decor, and lighting.


  • Certain venues have built in sound systems, knowing this is important in understand the wedding day ambiance.
  • Lots of venues restrict certain kinds of decorations, be sure you know this before booking your venue. If you have your heart set on hanging lanterns, make sure you can do this at your venue!
  • Lightning is important as well, some venues have lightning already set up, and others you have to add you own! Consider this before choosing a venue.

8. Ask about bathrooms


  • I know this falls into logistics, but it is a hugely important detail!
  • How many bathrooms does the venue have?
  • How many guests can the onsite bathrooms accomodate?
  • Will you need to rent portable bathrooms? If so how will this affect your wedding ambiance?

9. Is the venue totally private? Or will there be other events held there that day?


  • Be sure you know what you are paying for.
  • Do you get the whole venue to yourself?
  • How long do you have the venue? Be sure to get specific times in writing!

10. Keep a list of questions, and ASK everything and anything you can possibly think of.


  • When booking a venue there is no such thing as too many questions.
  • Ask questions from the big picture to the little tiny details, they are all important when it comes down to having the perfect big day!

So what do you think brides to be? Do you feel more confident about finding the perfect wedding venue? Let us know in the comments, we want to hear your wedding venue search pointers!


Lauren Sinton is a recent graduate from UC Davis with a degree in English and an emphasis in Creative Writing. She is a prolific poet and loves absolutely everything about writing and reading poetry. She has also been planning her own wedding since she was in the 2nd grade, which is now finally coming in handy since she is recently engaged.