3 Steps to Finding The Perfect Wedding Venue

May 22, 2019 at 04:09 pm by AnnaAdmin


By CJ Dickson

As a venue owner and wedding planner, I meet with couples every day who are very stressed about finding the right wedding venue. To help make the selection process as easy as possible while still having fun along the way, I am sharing my three-step process to finding the perfect venue for your big day.


Step 1: Get Organized

Before you schedule your first venue visit, do a little bit of homework and get organized. This will go a long way and help you keep your priorities and budget in line. It’s important to have three key pieces of information in place:

• The Guest List

• Wedding Date(s)

• Budget


Yes, I know, these are pretty big things and they require a lot of work. But they don’t have to be perfect at this point. Some of these things may change as you get further into planning. But before you start considering venues, it’s important to have ballpark ideas of the “who,” “when” and “how.”

Step 2: Do Your Research

One of the great things about planning a wedding these days is how much information is available to you 24/7 online, but that alone can make the process seem overwhelming. Don’t stress! This is actually a good thing and by doing your research online first, you will save a ton of time in the long run.


Start by visiting venue websites to see what appeals to you visually. Don’t spend too much time going into details at this point. You’re just looking for a vibe or sense of the space and what they offer. If you like what you see, pin or bookmark the venue in your browser. You will be coming back in a few days to dig into more details.


Try to have at least five venue options, but no more than ten. Once you have this list, it’s a good idea to share these with your fiancé to get their input. If there are any other key players in the planning process such as a close friend or family member, it may be helpful to share with them as well. However, I caution you not to invite too many cooks into the kitchen. One or two outside opinions from people you love and trust is really all you need.


Now that you have a better idea of what types of event spaces might be a good fit, it’s time to dig into the details. Revisit the venue websites and look for the following:

• Check availability

• Check pricing

• Look at photos - use the Google “images” tab to see more than just what the venue has on the website

• Check reviews (sites like Google, Yelp, The Knot are an excellent sources of reviews).


Based on the information above, there should be a handful of event spaces that start to look really promising. Take your short list to your fiancé or a trusted family member and discuss pros and cons of each. Give yourself a few days to discuss options and together, select your top three to five to visit in person.


Pro Tip: Calling the venues on your short list can be the fastest way to check availability, as well as a great way to get a good feel for the personality of the people who work there.


Step 3: Visit Each Venue

I usually recommend visiting at least three venues, but no more than five because venue visits are really time consuming! With drive time and the tour itself, you are looking at, at least a few hours of your time per visit. It can also become overwhelming to visit a lot of spaces. Details start to blur together and those feelings of overload will start to creep in.


Pro Tip: Many venues are not available for tours on the weekend due to their event schedules. If you can find a way to visit on a weekday, you can usually get in much faster and have the undivided attention of the sales manager.


Don’t forget to have some fun with the venue visits. Make it like a date rather than a chore. When couple’s schedule a visit at my venue, CJ’s Off the Square, I always suggest that they grab a drink or a bite to eat at one of the nearby restaurants in downtown Franklin immediately after. This gives the couple time to stay connected throughout the planning process as well as to discuss the pros and cons of the space they just visited.


Once you have visited at least three spaces, you should have a good idea of which venue is going to be the right fit. Run this past your key players one last time and if you get the green light, book that perfect venue right away!

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