One of the first things couples do when beginning their wedding planning process is start to look at wedding venues. Here on the western slope we have some of the most amazing locations to get married, in my opinion! If you follow my blog, you’ll know all about my Western Slope Wedding Venues series I started recently. If not, be sure to check it out to see the awesome diversity we have here. I’ve talked before about what to look for in a wedding venue from a photographer’s standpoint, but today I’ll be talking you through how to narrow down your list of venues to help you choose the perfect setting for your big day!
Tips for Choosing a Wedding Venue
Budget. Considering and staying within your budget is so important when choosing a wedding venue. Even if you love a space, if you can’t make room from another part of your wedding budget to accommodate it you’ll need to move on. Here in Grand Junction, you can find amazing spaces from just a few hundred dollars, up to $3-5k depending on your needs!
Capacity. Beyond just the budget, you’ll need to make sure the venues you’re looking at can hold the number of guests you want to invite! Oppositely, sometimes couples choose the venue and then plan their guest list around that capacity. Whatever you choose, it’s important to know what the venues you’re looking at can handle.
Amenities. You’ll want to consider things beyond just the venue space and its offerings. Does the venue offer lodging on site? If not, what’s the nearest lodging for your guests? What is the parking situation like? You don’t want guests to have to work to find parking for half an hour while everyone is inside having a good time. Some venues in the area even offer vallet parking and have connections with the local designated drivers or taxi services! Safety, convenience, and the experience of your guests are good to consider when choosing a wedding venue.
Vendors. Some wedding venues will have preferred vendors lists for things like photography, florists, cakes, and more. Talk to the venues you’re looking at to see if they have such a list, and likewise if you’re allowed to book other vendors not on that list. If they require you to use their vendors, consider if the costs of those companies fit within your budget (or your style!) If you are not comfortable with those vendors, you may need to move on to another venue.
Coordination. Many wedding venues will have an on-site coordinator to help with things on the day-of, and maybe even help you along the wedding planning journey. This can be a great money saver! However if you’re already working with one of the great wedding planners in town, this might be unnecessary or even a conflict. Consider your planning/coordinator needs and desires before or while you look at venues. See if the venues you’re looking at offer day-of coordinators and if they allow outside planners to help.
Be Flexible. If you’ve found your absolute dream venue but you’re struggling to make it fit into your budget without taking too much from other vendors, as your venue if they offer discounts for Fridays or Sundays or even off-season! Many venues and vendors in the area prefer to book these less-popular days at a lower rate than not at all.
I hope these tips helped you narrow down your ideas while choosing a wedding venue. If you’re looking for things to look for in a wedding venue from your photographer’s standpoint, click here!