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For Couples

November 10, 2021

How To Get Started With Your Venue Search

Congratulations! You are newly engaged and you’re about to get started with planning your wedding. Except maybe you feel uncertain about where to actually start? We totally get it! The wedding planning process can be a bit of a mystery but we are here to help! 


To get started with your wedding planning, we recommend making three decisions, an important first priority – before diving into any wedding related research and most importantly before booking any venues/vendors. It can be incredibly tempting to just dive in but we promise these three important steps will ensure your wedding planning experience is setup for success – as they promise to equip you with guides on how to get the most out of your experience, budget, time, and investment.  


These three critical steps to take are: 

  1. Build Your Wedding Budget 
  2. Identify Your Max Anticipatory Guest Number 
  3. Take Time To Curate Your Wedding Day Vision 


Once you have these three very important – dare we say critical planning facets – you are ready to get started with nailing your dream wedding venue. We recommend that booking your venue be the first “booking” step you take – unless of course you determine that the assistance of a wedding planner will help ensure you have a stress free and seamless wedding planning experience. 


So let’s go ahead and dive into how we recommend you get started with your wedding venue research. 


Wedding Venue 101 

First, let’s take a look at the general landscape regarding how venues – especially the top ones – are booking these days. 


Depending on when you get engaged – and your preferences/priorities as identified in those top three decisions to make first – some venues will book out as far as 24 – 18 months in advance. For this reason, you may be faced with some hard decisions as you start to explore venues – all of which may require some wiggle room in three preferences you have landed {see above} on prior to starting your research. 


Many couples are faced with having to make some tough compromises/decisions early in their planning process – especially as they start to learn about things like booking time frames/availability, costs, inclusions, and downstream investments. Don’t be afraid to make adjustments to the decisions you’ve made earlier/above – many couples decide that having their dream wedding may require:


  1. That they extend their engagement – in order to land your dream venue and dream date! 
  2. That they wiggle slightly on date/season/guest count/budget
  3. That they continue to do more research outside of their current geographic area. 


As you are working through your research, you will start to identify whether timing/location/budget will be a factor in your final date and venue selection. Armed with this general knowledge and encouragement to have some flexibility, we put together a small list of important discussion points that can help as you get started with your venue research. 


What You Need to Know Before Starting Your Venue Research 


Before you head to google or the knot/wedding wire to start your venue research, we want to arm you with some important decisions so that your time spent researching venues is fruitful, efficient, and helps you identify your top venue! 


Keep reading to learn about the top seven decisions we encourage newly engaged couples to make in order to help guide/inform their venue based research:   


  1. Seasonality
    • You will want to explore together as a couple what your season preference will be for your event if you have one. Are there specific times of the year that work better for your work schedule? Do you have a favorite season together as a couple? Chatting about the pros and cons of each season will help you identify your preferences here. 
  2. Ideal Date Range 
    • Industry experts typically recommend that you select date ranges that will both work and not work. This allows you to have more options at the venues that are of interest to you. Selecting a single date can be challenging especially if you are not interested in a longer engagement. 
  3. Location(s)
    • You will want to explore together geographic areas you are interested in holding your event. Think locations like regions, states, cities and then get as specific as identifying specific areas within those selections. This will help set parameters around where to start your research. 
  4. Guest Count 
    • We mentioned this above – but we 100% encourage you to have identified your max anticipatory guest count. Our free planning guide below includes guidance how to get started with quickly identifying your number and why it’s such an important guiding principle. 
  5. Budget
    • As we mentioned above, working through the development of a truly realistic and workable budget is critical to create guides for both your overall budget and the venue category specifically. If you are looking for tools help you quickly and efficiently create your budget, we have the perfect tool available in our shop. Learn More Here
      {word on the street is if you join our newsletter here – there are some amazing Black Friday Shop deals coming!} 
  6. Ceremony Location 
    • If your ceremony is not going to be on site – its important to consider proximity of ceremony location – specifically in regards to time to travel between the two & when guests can arrive after the ceremony is over). Travel time will be an important down the road consideration as it will impact guest experience, photography/videography timelines, etc. 
  7. General Style 
    • Finally, we encourage you to explore your general venue style preferences. Having a discussion with each other about what you are potentially looking for in your venue – will help you know before you get started what your preferences are. {Grab our planning guide below to help you get started with exploring all the different options & more helpful tips for what to do after getting engaged. Its a jam packed guide & it’s FREE!} 


Planning a wedding? Overwhelmed by where you should start? Tired of hours spent googling only to fall down wedding planning rabbit hole after wedding planning rabbit hole – looking at you outdated/unhelpful wedding blog. The kind of googling that gets you nowhere closer to what you are looking for? We have the perfect resource for you {and it mirrors this approach exactly!}! Grab your free wedding planning guide today! 


How To Get Started With Your Venue Search // Your Sweetest Day Events (#weddingplanning, #weddingresearch, #howtofindyourvenue, #weddingvenue #weddingvenueresearch )

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