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How to Find the Right Wedding Venue

Before meeting with the first reception site manager, consider these important factors in determining the venue that is right for your wedding reception.

Your wedding reception site is undeniably the most important piece of the wedding planning puzzle, so you’ll want to put some careful thought into this essential decision.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Wedding Venue

Theme and Style of Your Wedding Reception

Beyond the basic banquet hall, an overwhelming array of reception site options exists. From country clubs to mansions to museums, each set the stage for a specific style of event. Before deciding, determine the type of wedding you would like to host.

We cannot overemphasize: Today’s wedding receptions are about personality and creativity. Your wedding is not your mother’s or your grandmother’s. It’s not your best friend’s wedding either. This is your once-in-a-lifetime event – and a costly one at that. Take advantage of your time in the spotlight to put together a wedding reception event that really shines. Consider your personal style. Do you want your wedding to be a reflection or a departure from that? Just because you tend to be more city-chic does not mean you can’t throw a country-style foot stomping hoe down of a wedding (it can be done in an equally fabulous manner – we promise!).

Put some thought into this, and envision your perfect wedding reception. The theme and style you wish to reflect will help dictate the type of reception site you choose. Remember that options abound beyond hotel ballrooms, banquet halls, and country clubs. Also consider mansions and historic sites, museums, or parks. The sky is the limit!

Geographic Location of Your Wedding

Where do you want to get married? In your hometown? In your fiance’s home town? In the town where you currently live? Or even on a Caribbean island? With today’s jet-set couples, the possibilities really are endless. Don’t be afraid to consider something different or unexpected. Perhaps the style or theme of your event will dictate the location – a tiki-style hut by the beach, a rustic farmhouse in the country, a posh ballroom overlooking a metropolitan cityscape. You get the idea…

Wedding Size

OK, so you have decided to get married in a historic mansion near your hometown. Great, you’re almost there! But before you get in your car and start touring reception sites, there is one major factor to consider: Capacity – one of the most important criteria in finding the perfect wedding venue. No matter how beautiful a place may be, if you anticipate a guest list of 300, cramming them into a facility that seats 150 will quickly turn an elegant affair into a mob of angry guests – we promise. Most reception sites make setting capacity information readily available (on they do!). If not, give a quick call to the general phone number and find out. Make sure to differentiate the capacities for the type of reception you envision (seated dinner, buffet, cocktail reception etc.). There may also be different capacity based on the setting with or without a dance floor.

Find a Wedding Venue that Meets Your Reception’s Needs

Find as many reception sites that meet these initial criteria as you can. Search our local wedding venue directory to find reception sites in your area, and narrow down your list. Then, schedule appointments to tour each wedding venue and meet with the manager. (Consult our list of questions to ask your reception site first.) After that, it’s decision-making time!