10 Top Tips to Pick the Wedding Venue of Your Dreams

10 Top Tips to Pick the Wedding Venue of Your Dreams feature image-Payman Weddings

Your venue defines your big day. Every single part of your ceremony, from tone, vibe and style to headcount, date and budget, depends on your wedding venue. Before finalising where you want to hold your wedding, making decisions about any other details of your party is almost impossible. As a result, finding a wedding venue perfect for celebrating your wedding needs great devotion of your time and patience. 

Your venue is where you’ll celebrate the best event and create the sweetest memories of your life. We’ve collected a list of essential tips to help you choose your wedding site wisely. 

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1. Start Your Venue Search Early

Never is too early to start your venue research. What if you fall in love with a venue that perfectly matches what you have in your mind but find out it’s booked up for the whole next year? Terrible news!

The time you should book a wedding venue in advance depends on the venue you choose, the season and the date you’re getting married. However, couples typically book their venues nine to eighteen months in advance. Start to look at venues early enough to increase your chance of the best wedding venues being available. 

2. Think of the Location

Decide where you want to get married. Will you have a hometown or a destination wedding? Do you want your ceremony and reception in the same place, or do you opt for two wedding venues? 

3. Know Your Rough Headcount

To choose a place that’s the right size for your guest list, you should have a general idea of how many people will attend your wedding before you begin your venue search.

A too-large venue with a small number of guests will make your place seem empty and will be difficult to make feel intimate. On the other hand, packing too many guests into a small venue may make your guests uncomfortable.

Together with your partner and your families, decide who to invite to your wedding. It’s better to create a guest list to prevent any headaches down the road.

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4. Have a Wedding Date in Mind

You don’t need to know your precise wedding date before booking a wedding venue. Many to-be-weds finalise their wedding date based on when their dream venue is available. However, you should have a rough idea of the time of year you’d like to get married.

Pick a time you know will work for you, your partner, and your loved ones. Some  venues – like outdoor wedding sites – are seasonal and are closed in particular times of the year. So, they might be off the table for your wedding date.

5. Work Out Your Budget

Talk to your partner and any family members who may contribute financially to your big day. Outline your total wedding budget before you start your wedding venue hunt. 

Usually, the most significant share of a wedding budget is allocated to the venue and catering. As a result, if you divide your total funds by half, you can figure out the amount you can spend on your venue and catering.

Find out what is exactly included in your potential venue’s overall price quote. Some providers offer services, such as catering, while others might charge extra for the same service. 

6. Determine Your Wedding Style

You must find a wedding venue that fits your budget, guest count, and wedding style. Therefore, before you look for a venue, identify the wedding style that is right for you and your significant other to narrow down your options. 

To find a wedding venue that perfectly sets the backdrop for your wedding, you must at least have a vague idea of your wedding picture and the kind of party you want. Determine whether you want a large, elegant and luxurious or an intimate, low-key party. 

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7. Think About Your Priorities 

Consult with your partner and your closest ones to determine your preference, requirements and expectations. Make a checklist of must-haves to assess your potential venues while searching.

Before you enter the venue-searching process, decide how hands-on you and your partner would like to be. Some couples prefer to hire all-inclusive wedding venues that provide multiple services such as catering, rentals, decor and cake in one package price. They would like to have a hands-off experience and save on their time. In contrast, other couples prefer to take the DIY route to save on their budget and have a more hands-on experience.

Stunning Minstrel Court-photo by LNZ Photography

8. View Wedding Venues Online

Now that you clearly know what kind of venue you are after start searching for elegant wedding venues online. You can use one of the numerous wedding venue-finders, such as Wedding Wire, Hitched, and Here Comes the Guide, to search venues by location, price, availability, style, capacity and amenities.

View photos, read reviews from past clients and compare wedding venues. Narrow down your choices to five to seven venues. Send each one an enquiry and ask the questions you didn’t get an answer for on their websites. This will also be an excellent chance to check their responsiveness. Book a site visit to see the space and the staff in person.

9. Visit Venues

Visiting your select locations in person will help you narrow down your list even further. In these site visits, you can check out the space, location, facilities and overall vibe of each venue to decide if it’s the right fit for your big day. You can ask more questions and communicate with the staff to see how friendly and helpful they are.

Don’t be too hasty in sealing the deal with a venue you fell in love with immediately. Visit a few more venues to make sure you’ve found the perfect match. Once you find the one, revisit the place and weigh all the factors below before you book. 

The Price

As the site fee plays a critical role in your venue selection, ensure you discuss all charges with the venue in advance. To get better results for your funds, enquire about what is included in the venue hire fee. Ask about food and beverage minimums and find out about any hidden fees. You might find a beautiful wedding venue with a fee within your budget and more cost-effective than your other alternatives. However, anything comes with an extra charge, and you end up paying thousands more than you initially agreed on.


Be aware of what a venue includes and what packages they provide. Some venues offer a wide range of services, such as in-house catering, bar, and staffing. These packages are sometimes more cost-effective compared to hiring outside vendors. However, you will be restricted to the limited options the venue offers. Ask if your venue allows your own caterers and other suppliers.

Essentials Provided

Some venues are fully equipped, while others are just a bare space requiring you to bring in your own rentals and decor. In such venues – usually outdoor and beach wedding venues – the venue fee may work with your budget. However, your expenses will increase by renting furniture, a dancefloor, a kitchen, lighting, and other vital details.

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Essentials Provided

Some venues are fully equipped, while others are just a bare space requiring you to bring in your own rentals and decor. In such venues – usually outdoor and beach wedding venues – the venue fee may work with your budget. However, your expenses will increase by renting furniture, a dancefloor, a kitchen, lighting, and other vital details.


Find out what is restricted by the venue you’ve chosen. Are there any curfew or noise restrictions? Some venues have a decibel limit or impose constraints on noise after a particular time. If music and dancing are a top priority of your event and you don’t want your party to finish early, check the noise restrictions the venue imposes before you book with them.

Some large venues cater to more than one event in one day. So, ensure your venue has a one-wedding-per-day policy to save you from headaches and heartaches on your big day.

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When looking at the potential wedding venues in your preferred location, consider the ease of transportation, distance to the airport, nearby guest accommodation options, the neighbourhood’s safety, and the accessibility of entrances/exits, bathrooms, parking and elevators.

Check for guest accommodation on-site or within close driving distance if you have guests from out of town. Make sure your friends and family won’t have any difficulty travelling to and from your wedding party.

Food Menu

Many venues have their own in-house catering or work with a list of caterers, while others let you hire outside caterers. Enquire about food and beverage minimums of the venues with in-house catering service. Pay special attention to the food and drink menu and try everything before making your final decision. 

Lighting and Sound System

When visiting a venue, take pictures to check the brightness of the interior space. Ascertain there are large windows and adequate lighting inside the buildings. 

Besides, ask your venue about the power sources. Check out whether their infrastructure can support the extra power needed for your lighting and sound systems. Ask whether they have a generator on-site to avoid overloading and unexpected power cuts during your party.

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Cancellation Policy

Read and understand your contract to find out your venue’s cancellation policy. Ask your venue manager about their cancellation practices if you can’t find them in their contract. 

Your wedding venue might call off your event if something unforeseeable happens that prevents them from hosting a gathering. On the other hand, sometimes, you must cancel or reschedule your event date due to unforeseen circumstances.

Therefore, you need to clearly understand if there’s an option for rescheduling your date or cancelling your contract. Find out how much of your deposit will be lost in the event of a cancellation. Learn how far in advance you should cancel to get a refund – a portion of your deposit or the entire site fee.

Moreover, you must be attentive to your site’s backup plans in the event of unexpected weather conditions or other incidents. Make sure of your venue’s weather contingency plan and their preparedness to manage emergencies.

10. Sign a Contract

After visiting your top priority venue and weighing up all the parameters mentioned above, it is time to secure your wedding venue. Sign a written agreement with your venue to get everything you’ve negotiated in writing – especially the refund and cancellation policy.

Do not sign a contract before reading it from A to Z. If you’re doubtful of any terms in your agreement, ask your venue manager for clarification. Don’t let yourself get pressured into accepting anything.

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Congratulations! You’ve found a beautiful wedding venue to celebrate the best day of your life with your significant other and those you love. You’ve ticked one of the major tasks on your wedding planning checklist. You’ve got to celebrate this with your partner and set off on your sweet wedding planning journey.

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