Wedding 101

11 Questions to Ask Yourself In Order to Find the Perfect Venue

Customize your own wedding checklist with due dates, personal reminders, and timelines for all your wedding to do’s.
You've found the perfect partner, and you're ready to shout "I DO!" at the top of your lungs... all that's missing is the place to do it. Before you jump ahead and book a hotel, estate, or spot on the beach, ask yourself these eleven questions to determine if this is actually the right venue for you.

What's the weather like?

Are you looking to have your wedding in the winter or summer months? Will the part of the world you’re in (or will be in for the ceremony) be hot or cold? The first step to choosing a wedding venue is to figure out what time of year you’re getting married and then, think about the optimal weather you’d like to have during the ceremony.

Will it fit your guest list?

Whether you’re planning on having 50 guests or 500, you’re going to need a space that suits the size of your wedding. Before you set your sights on the perfect ceremony or reception spot, make sure to do your research. Get in touch with the venue’s event coordinator and find out just how many of your loved ones they can accommodate
Photo by Samantha Gades on Unsplash
Photo by Samantha Gades on Unsplash

Is it available?

Now that you know this venue can support your guest list it’s time to check if it’s available on the date you’ve picked. Summer is the most popular time to get married, so weekends in the late Spring through early Fall need to be booked well in advance (over a year for some popular locations…). If you have your heart set on a certain location, a little flexibility about your dates will go a long way. Consider different options like booking earlier or later in the season, or opting for weekday nuptials, and always keep tabs on the venue for cancellations.

What's the layout like?

Are you planning to have your ceremony, cocktails, and reception all in one place? Does this venue have the feng shui to pull it off (without asking guests to step outside so that rooms can be rearranged)? This often isn’t clear from looking at an event online, so it’s best to plan a visit before making your decision.
Photo by Alasdair Elmes on Unsplash
Photo by Alasdair Elmes on Unsplash

How will catering work?

Some venues have restrictions when it comes to what food will be served. Hotels and other event spaces sometimes work with in-house catering teams or have a predetermined list of caterers you are required to work with. If you’re envisioning rustic nuptials with a local food truck or delicious specialty treats brought in, be sure that your venue is open to these requests before booking.

What are the rules?

Each venue is going to have its own set of house rules. This can include noise ordinances, start and end times, or decoration restrictions. If you’re looking to party into the wee hours of the morning, definitely check that the venue doesn’t shut at 11:00 pm sharp!
Photo by Mitchell Orr on Unsplash
Photo by Mitchell Orr on Unsplash

How will your guests get there?

Plenty of villas, castles, and private estates are as pretty as can be, but they’re not easy to access. Consider transportation options for guests, like whether or not the area has an airport or parking. At the venue, keep an eye out for staircases and narrow hallways that may present challenges for guests with walkers or wheelchairs.

Are you going international?

Be sure to do your research and check out the legalities. Are your passports up-to-date? Do you need to apply for a visa, or get any vaccinations? Are there additional steps required to have your marriage acknowledged in the United States if you tie the knot abroad. As soon as you have the information be sure to inform your guests as early as possible.
Photo by Harps Joseph on Unsplash
Photo by Harps Joseph on Unsplash

Whats the vibe?

If you want a beachy, laid-back affair don’t opt for a venue with a black-tie dress code for dinner guests. When setting your wedding theme also consider the seasons. Will your guests want to don breezy frocks on a chilly spring day, or a swelter in a heavy, three-piece suit during the summer?


Some parks and other venues don’t exclude the general public. If you’re looking for more privacy, make sure to check what the venue's policy is on this, and then obtain the necessary permits to host your event. Or, if you don’t mind sharing the spotlight with the public, find out if there is a secluded spot so you can avoid hoards of onlookers during your vows.
Photo by Harps Joseph on Unsplash
Photo by Harps Joseph on Unsplash

Can you afford it?

And furthermore, can your guests? While you may have your heart set on a stone castle perched on a hill in Scotland, is it really within your budget? Many couples make the mistake of stressing themselves out financially to plan a wedding that they just can’t afford. Consider dialing it back to a location or venue that everyone can plan to enjoy. If you do opt to spring for an expensive estate, be sure that your guests have a range of hotel options. Book away, Loverlies!
Kimberly Watson
About The Author
Senior copy editor at Razorfish.