Deciding which wedding venue you’ll choose for your special day is a big deal! While there are a million different factors to consider, focusing on the basics will help you narrow down the options and make your decision a little easier. Learn from my experience as an Annapolis wedding photographer and check out my top five tips for picking a wedding venue.
Tip #1: Number of Guests
Even if all the stars seem to align for the wedding venue of your dreams, the fire marshall won’t allow you to pack 300 guests into a space designed for 50. Before you even get started with looking at venues, take the time to come up with a general idea of how many guests you plan to invite. Expect 10-20% of those guests to decline and for new invites to be added as needed. When you
When you contact a potential venue or even check them out online, one of the first things you should determine is their guest limits. Keep in mind that they may have flexible spaces available, so don’t be afraid to call and ask if the general information provided doesn’t match your needs.
Tip #2: Budget
Many venues charge on a per guest basis. To get an idea of your general costs, take their per guest charge and multiply it by the number of guests you plan to invite. Note that some venues include bar costs while others break them down into a separate per guest price. Once you have this number, you’ll know if it’s close to your budget or way off base.
Don’t forget that wedding costs don’t stop at the venue! You’re going to need a dress, Annapolis wedding photographer, videographer, flowers, decor, invitations, etc. The list goes on and the dollars add up. Factor all of these costs in before you commit to any venue.
Tip #3: Availability
Even if your potential venue checks every single box on your list, it’s all for not if they don’t have your date available. If you are flexible with the date, this may not be an issue. However, if you’re laser-focused on a specific day during peak season or are hoping that a holiday weekend is available for your wedding day, please check with venues far in advance.
Tip #4: Get Cozy With the Contract
You don’t actually have to cuddle up, but it’s super important that you get familiar with everything included in the venue’s contract. This includes payment details (when they’re due and for how much), venue rules (what you can and cannot do on site), package details (what is and is not included), cancellation policies (I know you’ll avoid focusing on this area but take a quick glance at it, just to know what you’re dealing with), and more.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions until you’re comfortable with everything included in the contract.
Tip #5 – Love The Space
Not to add pressure to the decision, but the venue you choose will be home to all of your wedding day memories. It’s the place where your guests will greet you, where you’ll enjoy your first dance, and of course – will be the backdrop for all of your photos. Spaces can transform with a little effort and decor, but the basics remain.
Here are a few of the questions you’ll want to cover in your research or during your initial visit:
Is there a dedicated space for the bridesmaids and groomsmen to get ready or to rest? Does the layout flow well and encourage a positive experience for your guests? Are there any indoor areas for your Annapolis wedding photographer to use for bridal portraits in case of rain? I could go on and on. If you’re debating between a couple venues and just not sure which one to choose, let me know! I’d love to share my experiences with you and provide any insight that might be helpful when making your decision.
Now for the super fun stuff…
Once you’ve chosen your venue, tell me, your Annapolis wedding photographer, all about it! If we haven’t already booked your special day, connect with me by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll set up a time to chat. I can’t wait to hear all about the venue you’ve chosen and to start planning for the images that I know you’re going to cherish forever. <3 Hannah