o'donnell house wedding photographer

How to choose your wedding venue

Your wedding venue will be woven throughout the core wedding memories that you associate with your wedding day for the rest of your life.

Furthermore, your physical environment not only affects your mood, but it will also serve as the backdrop for all of your photos!

Personally, finding my dream venue and photographer were the TOP two priorities on my own wedding planning agenda.

With that said, here are my top tips for choosing your ideal venue:

Define your aesthetic: Do you want a fairytale forest wedding or a classic garden party? Perhaps modern, industrial or urban are more your style. Not sure about your aesthetic? No problem, I’ve got you covered! You can take my wedding aesthetic quiz here.

Align on your price point: Once you’ve determined your aesthetic, it’s good to discuss with your partner what price point is a range that you’re comfortable with. Do a little research first to set realistic expectations before setting a strict budget only to find that everything is above your initial goal price range.

forest wedding in los angeles

Determine a tentative guest count: Many venues have a guest capacity and some even have tier-based pricing structures that change depending on your guest count. You can estimate slightly higher than your expected turnout, just to be safe. However, the best way to stick to your wedding budget goals is to cut down your guest list.

A good rule of thumb is to not invite any friends who you haven’t talked to in the past year or who you no longer speak with regularly. It’s totally okay if you’re no longer close with high school or college friends. There’s no obligation to spend hundreds of dollars on their attendance.

Is it all-inclusive or DIY: Some venues include everything and all you have to do is show up, while others include nothing more than the space and leave you to figure out all the logistics including catering, decor, and rentals like tables, chairs, linens, and dinnerware not to mention hiring a setup and breakdown crew.

Make sure you understand what is and isn’t included! Wedding planners are great at ensuring you have everything you need and the event goes off without a hitch.

Does it have strict start or end time restrictions? Are there noise restrictions that may impact the ability to let loose and enjoy the reception? A silent disco is a fun and creative way to deal with noise restrictions at some venues.

Check availability: Popular venues can book up quickly, so be sure to check availability early on in the planning process.

I hope these tips help you find the perfect wedding venue for your special day! For more wedding tips, subscribe to our newsletter or check out the blog.