Need help selecting a wedding venue?
Selecting the perfect wedding venue is one of the first steps and one of the biggest decisions to make in every wedding planning process. The wedding venue is the canvas for the entire reception so its selection is a critical step to take once the guest list and budget are established.
Often, wedding couples rely on wedding planners to assist them in the wedding venue selection process.
Selecting the perfect venue isn’t easy. There are so many factors to consider which is why wedding planners are a great asset to wedding couples during throughout the wedding planning process.
Melissa Sinclair of Natural Touch Wedding and Event Planning contributed to this article to help us understand a wedding planner’s role in selecting the perfect venue.
How To Find A Venue For A Wedding
Do Wedding Planners Help Find Venues? Yes! A wedding planner can help wedding couples navigate the process of selecting the perfect wedding venue for their wedding.
When wedding planners initially work with their clients, they often have the couple ask themselves a few specific questions in order to begin the selection process in a strategic, efficient way.
Questions To Ask Before Wedding Venue Selection Process
Guest Count and Budget: Did you establish your guest list and wedding budget?
The first step in every wedding planning process is determining the wedding budget and event guest list. It is so important for wedding couples to have these sometimes difficult conversations before the planning process begins in order to address guest count, event vision, and budget.
Without an established guest list, it’s impossible to know what the wedding will cost as the guest list helps to determine venue size and cost per plate. Without an established guest list and wedding budget, it’s nearly impossible to select a wedding venue or securing vendors. Knowing your guest list can help to rule out all venues that are not big enough while selecting one that meets your needs.
Once the guest list is established, wedding planners recommend using Allseated’s state-of-the-art guest list tool as it increases organization and operational efficiency.
With Allseated, it’s easy to keep an accurate count and list of all invited guests in one place, even before the venue selection is finalized
Guest List Features:
List mailing information
Group guests into categories (such as friends, family, and colleagues) for even more organization.
Assign meal preferences for each guest, preventing the chance of error.
Specify guests for multiple events such as wedding-related events (bridal showers, rehearsal dinners, and day-after wedding brunches).
Arrange seating charts directly from the guest list.
In order to determine a wedding budget, couples should sit down and figure out how they are going to pay for the wedding – are they paying for it themselves? Are parents paying? Or is it a combination of people contributing to the cost of the wedding? Whatever is decided, be sure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to amounts and level of involvement. Learn more about creating a realistic wedding budget in this article.
Wedding Vision: What are your needs and wants?
In order to answer these questions for a wedding planner, the wedding couple needs to explore the wedding vision they have in mind for their special day and how specific venues can help to make their dream a reality.
As a wedding planner, it’s critical to take a client’s vision, budget, and guest count to then help the couple figure out how much to spend on each planning detail.
To determine where to spend the wedding budget, we present the following questions:
What is your overall vision?
What is important to you?
What type of venue do you want to stay away from?
For example, if a wedding couple imagines a ceremony on a beach with the reception close by, surrounded by lush greens and trees, a church or hotel ballroom is not on the venue list of options.
Learn more about selecting a beach wedding venue in our Beach Wedding Venues Guide.
From the information now gathered, a wedding planner will have enough information to create a list of possible venues for wedding couples.
With the help of Allseated’s virtual venue tour technology, wedding planners can utilize the virtual tours available at many wedding venues so that couples can virtually walk various event spaces from anywhere in the world.
Gone are the days of simply showing a photo gallery of venues. Today’s couples are more tech-savvy than that and expect virtual tour options.
With interactive website tours available on the websites of venues that use Allseated virtual tours, wedding planners can have couples virtually tour the venues on their list. This helps couples get a real feel for an event space without having to schedule a time to tour it in person, thus narrowing down their list of possible wedding venues.
Once the couple has narrowed down their list of venues, wedding planners can even create proposed layouts within the venue spaces using Allseated. With a shareable link to the floorplan, couples can view the layout proposed by the planner in both 2D and 3D to help finalize their decision. Visualization is everything in planning a wedding and selecting a wedding venue!
With the above tactics in place, the wedding couple is now able to select a few favorite venues. With the help of a wedding planner, they can revisit their budget while the planner creates a personalized financial plan based on the picks and guest count.
This process and financial plan which is done by the wedding planner will show the wedding couple how the venue choices impact their budget which helps the couple to make the best decision based on their needs for their special day.
Important to note when selecting a wedding venue:
It’s important to note that some venues require more décor than others and/or additional services to be brought into the event.
Sometimes finding a venue that has on-site catering, servers, a staffed bar, and essentials like tables, plates, and silverware turns out to be cheaper than a place where all that needs to be brought in.
Wedding planners can assist couples with understanding the differences between the packages offered by each venue in order to make an educated decision.
A wedding planner can also help couples ask the right questions when meeting with a wedding venue before finalizing a decision. Questions such as what’s included, who are the preferred vendors, how is payment made, when is payment expected, is there a guest count minimum, can outside vendors be brought in, etc.
If the venue is a restaurant or event space that has multiple rooms, it should be asked if the venue hosts more than one event at a time.
If there’s an outdoor space at the venue, find out if there’s a Plan B in place for inclement weather.
While wedding couples may not choose to hire a wedding planner to assist in the entire wedding planning process, it is possible to have a planner just help to find the perfect venue!
This will help you set the stage for the rest of the planning process while knowing that the venue suits your needs perfectly and your budget is established from the start.
And sometimes, couples choose to then bring in a day of coordinator. Learn more about a wedding day coordinator in this helpful article.