Hi again! I’m going to start a new wedding planning section in my blog. Today, I’ll be talking about venues! Venues are the first (big) step in your wedding planning process (determining your budget would be first). Venues set the pace for the rest of your wedding planning, whether you’ll have to hire an outside caterer or set a menu for an in-house caterer, whether your bar will be in-house or again an outside caterer, whether you’ll have to rent linens, etc. It goes without saying your venue is the foundation of your wedding.
The first thing you need to figure out is how much of your budget you want to allocate towards your venue. Nowadays, venues are expensive and with that expense comes different packages and prices based on what you want included in your venue. So if you just want your venue, expect around $3500 (hopefully that will include tables and chairs), at least in Virginia. Some places will include day-of coordination in that price, or it can be an add-on, OR it can be required you have a day-of coordinator.
It’s different with every place. There’s also a lot of venue options that will include catering, bar packages, or on-site accommodations. It all depends on what you want and how much you want to pay for it! A weekend venue can run you up to around $20,000, hopefully, that would include catering. On the other hand, a venue could charge $20,000 without accommodations, only including food and bar packages. It depends on the venue and whether you’re able to afford those add-ons. I much prefer a basic venue package – including tables and chairs – so I can customize my wedding with catering, entertainment, bar packages, etc. to my choosing and my budget.
The next thing to do would be to figure out your style and what type of venue will best fit that. There’s all sorts of styles: elegant, traditional, rustic, romantic, beach, bohemian, the list goes on. I’ll have an additional article written allll about wedding style. What’s important is your style represents you and all of the most important parts of your relationship. Don’t know what your style is? I recommend taking the Wedding Style and Vision quiz by the Knot here.
Once you pinpoint your style, it’ll be easier to narrow down your search and find your venue. Your budget and your style will become your X and your Y with the venue being your coordinate. You want a rustic wedding and your budget’s $4000? A barn venue is your best bet. Want an elegant or romantic wedding and you’ve got an overall budget of $20,000-$30,000? Try checking out your local hotel’s ballroom. Which each venue comes different challenges, for example, a hotel wedding will most likely make you use their in-house catering while a barn wedding likely will have a preferred vendor’s list at most.
Come back later for more wedding tips, advice, and stories. Thanks for reading!