If you’re newly engaged, two questions are likely at the front of your mind: What should the wedding date be, and where should it be held? Here are five tips for finding the perfect wedding spot.
- Start Early:
The average engagement length is 16 months, and you’ll want to get your venue locked in as early as you can. Popular wedding spots—which, naturally, include some of the most beautiful wedding places—commonly book a year or more in advance. If you’re included in the 25% of couples planning a themed wedding, you may need to act even earlier to make sure you find a venue that fits your theme.
- Think Numbers:
The guest list can be a point of contention for many couples, but you can’t put it off. Choosing a venue means knowing how many people you’ll need to accommodate. If you choose a venue that’s too small, you’ll need to cut people from the list and risk offending them—or worse, you’ll end up forfeiting your deposit and paying for a second venue. And if the idea of dealing with all those guests is just too overwhelming, consider a destination wedding: Some of the most beautiful wedding places in the world are likely to be away from your hometown. Plus, you won’t need to travel anywhere for your honeymoon.
- Remember Logistics:
If you’re planning on holding your wedding and reception in different spots, drive the route between the church and the reception site at the time you want to hold your wedding. Make sure that one spot or the other has the space for a cocktail hour or other area to entertain guests as you take your photos and everyone makes their way to the second venue. If you don’t want to have your ceremony in a church, consider trying to find a venue that has multiple spaces to minimize travel.
- Look at Services:
When you’re pricing out venues, make sure you see what’s included. Moreover, see if there are restrictions on services that aren’t included. Some venues, for example, only allow pre-approved caterers off a certain list, or prohibit cash bars. These sorts of service restrictions can make costs skyrocket quickly, so do your research before you commit or put down a deposit. If you’re worried about costs compounding, consider all inclusive event packages.
- Be Sentimental:
Though logistical and financial concerns will constrain almost any wedding, don’t forget that it’s OK to be sentimental. Weddings have traditionally been held in the bride’s hometown, but talk about any places that hold significance for both of you—more than 40 percent of American couples plan their wedding together, so this shouldn’t fall only on the bride. There are many beautiful wedding places, but they may feel generic if you don’t consider your history as a couple. If your first date was on a beach, don’t just look for the best beach wedding places; try for the spot where you first made that connection. After all, the “best wedding places” may not be the best place for your wedding.
What are your tips for finding the perfect wedding venue? Share in the comments below. Research more here.