Unless you already have a place in mind, researching wedding venues can be a very daunting task for most newly engaged couples, especially if they don’t have a wedding planner. There are so many things to think about: location, size, convenience, parking, does it include things like catering, staffing and furniture…?
If you don’t know where to start, hopping on Google and see if there are any local venue open houses coming up is always a safe bet. These are great because while you go to check out the layout of the venue you can enjoy meeting some new people while snacking on great hors d’oeurves and wine. So do some snooping around! Another way to scope out some venues is to ask your friends or if they know anyone who’s gotten married recently and where they got married. Call up the venue and make an appointment to have a tour and speak with a venue coordinator.
Don’t cross off restaurants either, especially if you are looking for a smaller more intimate setting. Most restaurants these days are prepared with set menu’s, wine lists and staffing to hold the ceremony, dinner and reception. This may be a more cost effective area to consider since you wouldn’t have to worry about having separate venues for each part of your day, which is altogether less stress!
Most importantly, don’t get overwhelmed, just keep in mind that when you start looking for a venue that you ask for the cost breakdown, what it includes and to be prepared to have a deposit ready. Most venues book close to a year in advance and require a percentage of the deposit to hold the date. Be sure to have fun and stick to your budget!