The very first thing Chris and I did when we started wedding planning was look for a venue. Good venues book FAST, and even though we started looking a year and a half away, when we actually booked (only a week or two after we started looking!), we had limited dates to choose from.
We discussed where we would generally want it, and then I started looking online from there. We knew we didn't care if it was in the same city we're currently located or if it was the city we were from, etc., as long as it was only a few hours away from everyone, at most. We were very open to the location. Many of our friends/immediate family are in one location, so having something fairly close to everyone was important to us- even if we ended up in another state, we could always buy plane tickets for ourselves, rather than have EVERYONE fly.
We also knew what "type" of wedding we wanted- something more outdoorsy and rustic, not a traditional church wedding. A 'one-stop' location where we could hold the ceremony and reception was ideal.
I searched and found 5-6 places I thought fit the bill that I really liked, then I looked at them with Chris and we settled on one that was our favorite from the first time we looked at it. We called and made plans to check it out in person (which I think is incredibly important- it was smaller than what we saw from pictures, but it still worked for us) and discuss more details.
Once we saw everything and talked in more detail about the venue, what's offered, what the price was, etc., we decided that the price was what we could afford and was reasonable, especially for a place we loved!
The main advice I would give is to do your research and visit prospective venues in person. This will help you narrow down your choices and picture everything. Know what your venue provides, doesn't provide, and what restrictions they have. Our venue has a lot of regulations, so we have to either be okay with it or look elsewhere- I know everyone wouldn't be okay with a lot of rules. This is one of the most important aspects of your wedding day! Don't rush with your selection, but once you know, jump on it, as locations get booked quickly. Another helpful aspect is to be flexible with the date, if you can. Chris and I were very open-minded with ours, and it helped. Our place (and other places may too!) discounted some summer months- like IN HALF- so if we didn't care too much about it being half indoors/half outdoors, we would have taken advantage of it. We just couldn't do it though, since we live in Florida and wanted our guests to actually enjoy our day ;)
The picture above is not our venue, but one of the ones we were considering. I can't wait to share pictures of everything after the wedding!
Do you have any advice for couples looking to book a venue? Tell us about the location you choose!
Blog posts from 2014-2015 were transferred from my original blog on blogger, Oshiro Design, to my updated website, oshirodesigns.com