Why Choosing the Right Wedding Venue Is More Important Than You May Think

A wedding ceremony site by a tropical waterfall, decorated with a floral arch.

After you’ve settled on an approximate wedding date and made a rough guest list, your top priority should be finding a venue. Why? Simply put, you can’t really do much else in terms of wedding planning until you figure out the “where.” Trying to book vendors beforehand could result in a logistical disaster.

Even if you’re counting on hiring a specific vendor, you should prioritize your wedding venue first. It will save you time, money, and stress. In case you need persuading, read on to see why “location, location, location” should be your first step in the planning process.

It’s Where the Memories Will Be Made

A bride and groom outside at a winery.

Your venue will be forever remembered as the place you and your spouse became officially married. So, it makes sense that it should be special. Whereas with other vendors you can have more flexibility in terms of finding the right one, the venue is arguably a top priority if you’re considering what everyone will hold in their memories.

It Will Give a Clearer Picture of Your Budget

Since the venue accounts for a large part of your total wedding budget, which is around 20-30% or 40% with catering, it’s best to get that expenditure out of the way early on so you have a more realistic view of your wedding budget. On a related note, if your dream venue turns out to be too expensive, you can start looking for an alternative before you set a date and invite your loved ones. It’s also best to not send out your “save-the-dates” until you reserve a ceremony/reception location. Not only will this help you save on stationary (which can be pricey), you’ll also avoid confusing your guests by changing the schedule.

Many Venues Book up Quickly

A wedding ceremony on a lake decorated with an arch made of greenery.

Even if all your vendors are easygoing in terms of schedule, the best venues tend to get booked up quickly. Hence, it’s highly recommended to reserve your dream space long in advance, especially if you’re restricted to a date or date range. Seeking out a venue in advance will also give you more flexibility for selecting the date of the big day—yet another reason to hold off on the save-the-date cards. In fact, many wedding professionals claim that picking out a date before booking a venue almost always largely reduces the venue options available.

There May Be Vendor Restrictions

Believe it or not, some venues may be restricted to which vendors they can work with, and vice versa. Venues don’t always advertise this so it’s smart to do your research before you make any reservations. Should you have your heart set on a specific vendor, such as a catering company, you’ll have time to look for a new place to tie the knot. In addition, certain venues and vendors may also not go together simply due to distance, or added costs. Hence, it’s best to keep your mind open in the early stage of planning.

You Should Consider Guests’ Needs

A bride and groom dancing in a ballroom filled with wedding guests.

You have to decide early on if you’re getting married locally or somewhere far away, as that will likely impact your guest list significantly. But even if you’re staying close to home, you need to assess how many people will be coming from other parts of the country (or the world) because you’ll need to figure out where they will be able to stay (or at least park their car). Not all venues are conveniently located to accommodation options, which will be necessary for out-of-town guests. Some also may have issues with parking or public transportation. All of these details should be given some thought before you reserve a venue. The consequence could be getting a lot of declined RSVPs.

Some Venues Have Noise Restrictions, Curfews, and Regulations

Another thing worth double-checking are the rules and regulations of the venue before you book. Some may have noise limits (which could be a problem if you have a live band), while others may have curfews. It’s no fun, especially for your wallet, to have to cancel your DJ when you find out that you can’t have that all-night afterparty.

Choosing the Right Venue Can Save Money on Decor

A wedding reception outdoors surrounded by trees with twinkle lights.

Finding a venue that suits your style will not only make it that much more memorable, but it will also help save you money. In other words, you won’t have to budget as much towards decor if the location already gives off the vibes you’re looking for. For example, it can cost thousands to transform an elegant ballroom into a relaxed bohemian lounge, so it’s best to look for something that already has those elements.

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