Choosing A Wedding Venue
Planning your dream wedding starts with picking a venue that fits your vision and your budget.
When you close your eyes and imagine your special day, what do you see? What does your partner dream of? Take some time talking about budget & what is important to you both.
Here’s some things to talk about:
- Inside or outdoors?
- Big open space or small and intimate?
- Country rustic, boho or elegant?
- Casual or formal?
How to Go About Choosing What is Best for You
Frequently venues are booked 1-2 years in advance. Don’t get discouraged if you’re finding that places are booked. Either plan your wedding long in advance or ask if they have availability before taking a tour.
Some venues have space for both the ceremony and the reception. If you choose to have your ceremony in a different location it’s good to know that you may lose some guests. Occasionally people head home after the ceremony rather than going to the reception. Some guests choose not to go to the reception if it’s too far from your ceremony site.
Venues typically only allow tours by appointment. Don’t feel pressured to book a venue on your tour. You need to feel comfortable with your decision, not pressured by a salesperson.
Take pictures or videos on your cell phone when you tour! Sometimes we miss things when we’re touring & having a video helps to recall what you saw.
Ask questions. Write a list of things to ask every venue.
- How many guests can you accommodate?
- What dates are available? Cost?
- Can I use any vendor I want?
- What other fees are added onto the cost of the venue? Taxes? Gratuity?
- Are linens included?
- Is there a place to get ready?
- When can we arrive?
- Where do guests park?
- If it’s an outdoor venue you might want to ask what their backup options are.
Pros and Cons of Outdoor Wedding Venues
Parks, gardens, farms, fields, tents, and waterfront areas create the spaces for ceremonies for many couples.
When choosing an outdoor venue, be aware of the weather. Some months of the year are more prone to windy wet or cold weather. Ask things like “what’s the backup plan if it rains?” “Can I rent a tent” You don’t want to be searching in a panic mode looking for a backup location just days before your wedding!
If you do have an outdoor ceremony or reception, you could inform your guests so they wear comfortable shoes, bring a sweater or dress lightly.
Some parks have pavilions and bathrooms, but nowhere to store food for the reception or no electricity. Do you need to bring chairs or tables? Linens? If you’re getting married in the open, consider the time of day that you want to be married so you’re guests aren’t too hot. Ask your photographer how the time may affect lighting for photography.
Indoor Wedding Spaces
In South Carolina couples sometimes prefer to get married in a climate controlled space or a roof/patio over guests. Fans are always nice if it’s warm outside. If you have an indoor space you may be able to set up your tables & décor I advance which leaves less to stress about the day of the wedding.
Besides the available dates, you should also investigate whether it is a convenient location for your guests. Can it hold everyone? Is there enough parking? Are there enough bathrooms? Can guests with disabilities easily access the venue?
Saying “I Do” to Your Venue
Don’t upset yourself by visiting venues you can’t afford. Ask for pricing in advance, tour the ones that fit into your budget and then make a decision. Some venues have large down payments, others require full payment. South&West Event Venue is committed to working with you on a plan that’s affordable. If making a large payment is not possible, but you want a beautiful wedding, talk to us!
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