Choosing Your Dream Venue

When choosing your wedding venue, we believe the most important factor is, how do you feel? Much like your dress, your venue is a huge part of the look of your day and you should feel comfortable, welcome and simply over the moon! Equally important is asking yourself, "how do the people that work there make me feel?" Working with friendly, accommodating and passionate people will go a long way when wedding day details are discussed and implemented. Other than your initial feel for the venue, there are a few other practical factors that you should consider when picking out the perfect place to say I do. 

Here are 10 tips for choosing your dream venue:

1. How long has the venue been open? Are they brand new or have they been at it for a while? An experienced team with established partners and reputation is important. Read reviews and make sure your venue and team can handle any situation that may come their way. 

2. Does your venue provide a planner or in house team? Picking a planner/coordinator that is familiar with the property and vendors is crucial. This not only takes the burden off of you and your family, but makes your day seamless and stress free. You should be beaming ear to ear the day of your wedding, not sweating the details and fielding multiple questions or calls. Having a trusting relationship with a team that 'gets you' will make all the difference in the world! 

3. Is the venue gorgeous on it's own or will it take a lot to achieve the look you are hoping for? If you are hoping to have a garden feel, an indoor venue with brick walls will make it harder to achieve this look and affect your floral budget. If you plan for a venue with built in gardens and twinkling lights then it takes less to make your dream day happen and saves you money! 

4. Make sure you choose a venue that feels like you as a couple, this is after all your beginning to a whole new life together and your guests should walk away saying, "that was so them!" If you love picnicking in the countryside or hiking in nature, there's a clue that you want a venue with extensive outdoor options. You will also feel more comfortable and it will show through in your photos. 

5. If your venue is not all-inclusive, will you have to hire planners, florists and other professionals indepentlly or will you need to do the bulk of the work? Finding wedding professionally on your own takes time, a lot of consideration and coordination, and sometimes costs more money when you have to contract vendors separately. But, if you do choose to hire independently, make sure to ask your venue for recommendations and vet each vendor. Every piece and person is important in creating your wedding day dream, and research is key. 

6. Weather is variable and pop up showers inevitibly happen. If you are looking outdoors, make sure you are happy and totally ok with the rain plan. If the thought of rain makes you want to cry and think you would be unhappy in the event that plan B has to be implemented, it is probably not for you. Ask to see photos of rainy day weddings at the venue for a first hand look at adjustments. Ask to talk to rain day brides. Most important is to weigh out every factors, including rain options, and trust your gut and the team to take care of you despite weather adjustments.

7. Venue pricing varies, greatly! It is important to know what is coming with your venue. A low rental cost looks great at first but tables, chairs, rentals, a day of coordinator, flowers, candles and much more adds up quick and can blow your budget. Make sure you research the costs of rentals and the d├ęcor needed before booking a venue. Also consider the variety of the venue's on-site inventory of decor and ask what is accessible to you.

8. Consider venue restrictions. Do you dream of a candlelit reception? Make sure your venue allows real candles. Want to dance into the wee-hours of the morning? Check music cut off times and noise regulations. Are you hoping your 4-legged fur baby will walk down the aisle in style? Better make sure your venue is pet-friendly.  Restrictions don’t need to be a deal-breaker,  just make sure to think about the overall vision for your day before booking so your aren’t heartbroken when you find out your beloved family dog won’t be able to attend. 

9. All-inclusive venues can have a sticker shock effect when you see the overall cost of your day up front rather than just a rental fee but often these venues provide the biggest bang for your buck and provide budget control from the beginning. Compare apples-to-apples before you book.

10. Lastly,  HAVE FUN! Being engaged is one of the most exciting and fun times you will ever experience. You shouldn’t spend it stressing over growing budgets and countless decisions. Pick wisely to ensure saying I do, is your only to do! 

Guest Post Written By: Ashley Sherman of Cedarwood Weddings. If you are a bride in the Nashville area, I encourage you to check out the Cedarwood Weddings Vendor Directory Profile to learn more about the variety of services they are able to provide for your big day!