9 Must-Know Tips for Finding the Perfect Venue

Congratulations! If you’re looking for your a venue for what will be the most memorable day of your life, it’s likely you’re just engaged. There is no more exciting time than these next few months. Now that it’s official, let the wedding planning begin!   Finding a venue is the item at the top of every soon-to-be bride’s list of to dos. We might argue it’s the most important item: once your venue is secure, everything else seems to fall in place around it (well, with a little bit of effort of course). Jax Photography has followed brides around the world and shot wedding photos in countries near and far. From sweeping vineyards, to tropical beaches, to the ultimate lover’s getaways, we’ve been blessed with some of the most magical settings a wedding photographer could dream of! We’ve gathered quite a bit of experience over the years realizing what works best for our brides.   To help you find the venue of your wedding day dreams, we’ve compiled a list of nine tips that have helped many brides just do the same. Read on, take some notes, and get inspired!

  1. Know Your Budget

We have long been known to share with many of our brides the secret to finding the perfect venue begins with… budgeting! Yes, budgeting. We know, it’s not the most glamorous first step, but we promise we’ll get you there. Discussing a budget with your soon-to-be Mr. is key to narrowing the most desirable venues down to the ones you can reasonably afford. This will save you from dipping into honeymoon, house, or other funds to book a venue that is just a little too out of reach. The bonus? You’ll reserve your energy for researching, contacting, and touring venues which are a best fit.   PS: We offer free budgeting tips! If you’re ready to hear what’s worked for other brides, contact us today.

  1. Create Vision Boards

Now that the budget is out of the way, we’re on to the fun part. This is where creativity meets romance meets your wildest dreams. Social media platforms like Pinterest and Instagram are great places to find all things wedding-inspiration. Traditional vision boards are a great excuse to get your friends together for an afternoon of crafting and swapping sweet ceremony ideas. Plus, taking time to put your dreams to paper actually enhances the chance that they’ll come to life!

  1. Plan Your Ceremony

We know, it sounds a little early, but trust us – this matters! Weddings come in so many forms and sometimes multiple locations host different parts of the event. Brides who marry in a church might host their reception at a family member’s sprawling southern home. Other brides might opt in for an all-inclusive location and host both the ceremony and reception there. It’s a personal preference and really different for every bride; thinking about what aligns with your goals will help you pick your best venue(s)!

  1. Imagine the Aesthetics

Not only is your venue meant to set the scene for your love story, it’s also going to the background of many wedding pictures. You’ll want to envision what your venue might look like from every angle when it’s decorated, the wine is flowing, guests are dancing, and bridesmaids are taking selfies galore! Your wedding photographer will want to be sure there are a few perfect photo-op locations throughout the venue as well. Lighting, wallpaper, floors, capacity… they’re all venue features that can have a major impact on the overall aesthetic. Pay attention to the little details and ask do they steam the linens in the ballroom? Do the offer concierge service for you and your wedding party throughout your day? How you feel on your wedding day affects how your images in your home and album will look.

  1. Authentically Set the Stage

Finding a venue for your special day is no easy task, but it’s important to keep in mind why you’re getting married to begin with. Your wedding day will be all about declaring your love to your family and friends. Choosing a venue that aligns with your relationship and love style will add an authentic, original touch to your wedding. That’s not to say you shouldn’t do up the details, but the venue should feel just right.  

  1. Consider Convenience

Thinking of how your guests will enjoy your wedding is always top-of-mind, but it’s also important to factor in how convenient your venue location will be for them. Is it central to most of your guests? Will some of your guests have a significant amount of travel to do in order to get there? If your reception is at one location and your ceremony at another, will you offer complimentary transportation to your guests? If you keep these questions in mind as you plan you’re sure to avoid logistical worries down the line.

  1. Consult Specialty Services

The best of all wedding locations are willing and able to accommodate a variety of complementary wedding service providers. However, it’s best to double check than run the risk that your videographer, performance artist, or caterer can’t access the facility as needed on the day of. As you plan, keep a running list of other services you plan on including in your reception and verify that your venue has the necessary permits and amenities for the occasion.

  1. Think Seasonally

For the most part, many wedding venue locations make themselves available year round. However, depending on the theme of your big day, you might find that some venues are inclined to show their best sides during a particular season. Barn weddings, having become increasingly popular, make for beautiful, rustic memories in spring, summer, and fall months, but might not be the best choice for winter. Similarly, if you’re planning an outdoor wedding, you’ll want to be fairly confident that the weather will behave for your hair, makeup, and dress – and all your guests!

  1. Follow Your Heart

Of course, the most important piece of advice we can give any bride-to-be looking for the venue of her dreams is to simply follow her heart. This is a once-in-a-lifetime moment between you, your love, and your most treasured family and friends. Ultimately, there is no greater event you’ll ever host! The venue you choose should speak truth to your love and excite you to share it with the rest of your world. You know your expectations and vision for the day better than anyone else. Above all, have fun! Your venue-hunting experience won’t last for long, so enjoy every moment imagining and planning your way to “I do”!     How are you enjoying the search for your perfect venue? Let us know in the comments below!   Fantasizing about a wedding that involves all of your favorite things? This destination vineyard has a venue that might be just the fit!   Want to escape walk under palm trees have your every need catered to in an unobtrusive way perhaps a weekend with your photographers at the Breakers in Palm Beach Florida   Want to be nestled between trees and mountains with gentle breezes and Adirondack chairs await you on the lake at White Face in Lake Placid NY. It has something different to offer in every season