There are a lot of good wedding venues in the Northwest Arkansas area, and it seems like a new one is popping up every month. I know I’ve been to at least two new ones this year and a few last year. I’ve actually toyed around with the idea of some day opening my own wedding venue on my parents’ land. With so many choices, choosing a wedding venue might be a daunting task. Today I’ll throw out there some things to consider from multiple perspectives.
Choosing a wedding venue
The first two big points that came to mind are cost and availability. Both of these can quickly limit your options. I’m not an expert on how much each wedding venue costs, but I know they vary drastically. If you are planning on using your church, you might get away with $500, but there is at least one venue around here in the upward $7,000-$10,000 range. You don’t have to start off knowing exactly how much you want to spend, but you need a general idea, so you can avoid wasting time looking at that extremely expensive place if you know there’s no way you can afford it. Next, check with the venue to see if they are available. Venues and photographers are the fastest things to book up, so I would check on that before you do anything else. You might be able to get your name in there and get a hold on a place even if you are unsure if it’s the right venue.
Once you’ve made a list of places that are in your range and available, you need to see if the wedding venue fits your style. Do you want something country or modern or laid back or classy? Each venue has it’s own style and feel, so make sure it fits what you are wanting. If you don’t own a pair of cowboy boots, you probably shouldn’t pick a barn.
Think about what you really want. Does the venue have all the things you are really interested in? Is there a place to dance? Do they have a nice bridal suite to get ready in? Does it have a sound system for the ceremony? Can you bring in your own food and beverages or do they have to provide it? If something major is missing from your list, you might want to mark that venue off.
Next think about your guests. Will they be comfortable at this place? Is everything outdoors in the heat or is there an inside air conditioned place? Is there enough room to fit everyone or are they going to be sitting on laps and standing? How far away from civilization is it? How far will they have to travel to find a hotel? Your guests are the people you care about the most in your life, so you want to make sure they are well taken care of and happy.
Last, you might consider the other wedding vendors like the photographer, DJ, florist, or any others. Are there any limiting factors that might make their job more difficult or even impossible. I know that as a wedding photographer, there are some venues I would rather not go to because of either limitations of the physical setting or limitations put on me by the rules of the venue. I want to do a great job, and it’s tough when you get somewhere and have your hands tied.
Choosing a wedding venue is probably one of the hardest decision in the wedding planning process, but it’s an important one. A wedding venue can either help make the day perfect or it can cause a lot of issues for everyone. Choose wisely.