Are you ready to start planning the wedding of your dreams? If yes, then choosing a venue for your big day should be at the top of your list. Finding the perfect place for your wedding can feel challenging, but it doesn't have to be. We're here to make it easier with advice from our event planning team on how to find the perfect spot for tying the knot. Here are eight tips to help you choose.
8 Tips for Finding the Perfect Wedding Venue
1. Make a guest list
Before you can seriously start to consider venues for your wedding, it's important to have a ballpark number of guests attending your wedding. Choosing a venue that's too small means you won't be able to accommodate all your guests, and a venue that's too large can quickly eat up your budget.
Start by making a list of all family and friends who live locally and close by enough to attend in person with minimal travel. You can estimate that 85 to 90 percent of these invites will attend.
Then, create another list for out-of-town guests who will need to coordinate flights and other travel arrangements to attend. You can also include distant relatives you want to invite but will be less likely to attend. Depending on your relationships with those on this list, you can estimate somewhere between 50 and 80 percent will attend.
Put the numbers from the two lists together, and you'll know approximately how many people you'll need to accommodate—a necessary first step in starting your venue search.
2. Location, location, location
Another helpful factor to consider when choosing a wedding venue is how close (or far) it is from you or the people in your wedding party and on your guest list. If you have people flying in or making a long drive from out of town, looking for a venue near major highways, airports, and hotels could be helpful.
While it's certainly not the only factor to consider, finding a centrally located venue is a win-win for you and your guests. It makes it easier for your guests to get to your wedding, increasing the likelihood of their attendance. And it makes planning easier, too, as you can stop by as needed to view the space, meet with vendors, attend tastings, drop off favors, and more.
3. Consider different venue types
Once you know how many people are attending, consider what kind of atmosphere you'd like for your wedding, i.e., intimate and cozy or larger and grander? This will help determine what type of venue fits best for your needs and budget.
When considering venues like wineries, barns, art galleries, and other nontraditional wedding venues, it's a good idea to keep tabs on what's included with the space and what you'll need to coordinate. Many times at these types of locations, you'll need to arrange and pay additional money for catering, service staff, table rentals, seating, and other items typically included in costs at more traditional wedding reception venues, like a catering hall or country club.
Often, traditional venues offer the best of both worlds with indoor and outdoor options, including dining rooms, dedicated spaces for your ceremony, and unique cocktail hour settings for a distinct vibe with all the conveniences of a full-service reception venue.
4. Know your theme or style
If you have a vision or theme for your wedding day, that can help you determine the right venue to bring it to life. As you look at different places, consider whether it reflects who you are together as a couple. Does the style of the venue match yours? Are you looking for something rustic or sophisticated and chic, and can you see it coming to life at the venue?
5. Ask about event planning and vendors
Coordinating all the details of a wedding can be stressful, so it's not uncommon to ask for help. In fact, many venues offer event planning services and recommended vendors to simplify planning—and Crest Hollow Country Club is one of them. Our event planning team can connect you to our exclusive network of vendors who can help you coordinate all the details, including florists, photographers and videographers, DJs, and other vendors to coordinate special touches for your special day.
6. Check reviews online
We all research products and read reviews ahead of making big investments, and the venue for your wedding is no different. Check reviews on Google, Wedding Wire, The Knot, and even social media sites like Facebook. It's one of the best ways to get an honest opinion on experiences at the venue and can help you evaluate your options.
7. Tour the venue
Finally, when you find a venue that has what's important to you and can accommodate your guests, you should schedule a tour. Seeing a venue in person will give you an entirely different perspective than just looking at pictures online.
Take notes on pricing, date availability, menu options, and other services offered. Taking pictures throughout your visit is another great idea and can help you remember what stood out to you when you sit down to decide.
8. Look for photo opportunities
It's helpful to find a venue that can serve as the backdrop for your wedding photos, so you won’t have to waste time traveling to other locations for your dream wedding shot.
When you visit a prospective venue, keep an eye out for where you might want to take photos. Think about what types of photos best suit you and your partner: Romantic photos in a serene garden setting? Posh, poolside cabanas? A dramatic first look beside a waterfall? You can even have fun with it and take pictures posing in them. If you book the venue, consider going back with your photographer or videographer so they know which shots and the locations that matter most to you.
Long Island's Premier Wedding Venue
Looking for the perfect wedding venue on Long Island? Schedule a tour of Crest Hollow Country Club. Located in Woodbury, NY, on Long Island's scenic North Shore, Crest Hollow sits on 24 lush acres and offers a variety of indoor and outdoor venue spaces for your wedding. Our 5-star menu features must-have enhancements like donut walls, spirits stations, and pretzel bars, and will surely lend a unique and memorable touch to your special day. Meet our event planners and see how we can bring your wedding dreams to life. Contact us.