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  • Writer's pictureIrene + Co Events

Top Tips for Picking the Perfect-For-You Wedding Venue 

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zion brides magazine

A Wedding Planner’s Guide to Choosing the Right Venue 

Every wedding–just like every couple–is unique. After nearly a decade of planning weddings, I fully believe that each couple deserves a wedding–from the planning phases to the day of–that gives them their most authentic wants, desires, and must-haves. 

Every element of a wedding, from the flowers to the guest list, should be a true reflection of their perfect-fit day–and the wedding venue they choose is no exception. 

What is a Wedding Venue? Types of Venues to Consider 

A wedding venue is a place you’re choosing to hold your wedding–a space where you and your soon-to-be spouse (and your guests) can have the ultimate celebration. 

In the past, wedding venues usually meant churches for the ceremony and some sort of social hall for the reception. Nowadays, wedding venues can be pretty much anything you want. 

Even though the opportunities are endless, there are a few must-consider, go-to choices many couples include in their wedding venue list. 

All-Inclusive Resorts 

All-inclusive wedding venues (like a resort!) typically pull out all the stops. They offer you the full package and then some–catering, a place for out-of-town guests to stay, day-of setup, additional spaces for other activities (a rehearsal dinner, a farewell brunch, etc.), and beyond. 

These types of resorts–like Alta Lodge– offer you a ton of options and plenty of support, so they come with a ton of advantages. Venues like these are set up to host weddings, which means they will have a list of approved vendors, specific pricing, and venue-only service policies. 

Grand Estates 

Picture beautiful estates with sweeping views, lots of property, and gorgeous facilities like guest rooms, great halls, and gardens. Estates (like Cedar Rose Estates, for example) are often considered blank canvases for a full wedding weekend, allowing you to design and plan the wedding of your dreams within their walls without always being tied to their preferred vendors. In this scenario, you’ll need to bring your own support–a wedding planner, setup staff, a caterer, and rentals. Essentially, a grand estate often lets you use their property to your liking, but you’ll need to fill in the blanks on your own.  

Open-Concept Properties 

If a grand estate is a blank canvas that’s ripe with possibility, an open-concept property is an infinite sea of creative opportunity. They’re typically beautiful pieces of land with plenty of room for a tented wedding, leaving space for your imagination to run wild. 

But often, they offer the bare bones of support. If you’re a couple who wants a stunning backdrop and the creative freedom to work with a planner and create a beautiful, one-of-a-kind wedding where you source your rentals, catering, staff, design, planners, and beyond, an open-concept property could be perfect.

Private Residence 

Private residences are homes and properties that are gifted to you for your wedding day–it could be someone from your family, a friend of a friend, or an acquaintance kind enough to let you hold your wedding in their beautiful space. 

Because this property isn’t set up with a wedding in mind, you’ll need to hire help to plan the whole thing. These can be great options for smaller, intimate weddings where you’d like to focus on the creativity and intentionality behind each detail while working with a smaller budget. 

Getting to Know the Venue: Which Questions to Ask Before Booking

Think you’re ready to book your venue? There are a few ways to make sure you’re choosing the perfect one. Before you book, take the time to sit down with your partner and address this checklist of questions: 

  •  What rentals–like tables and chairs–are included with the venue? 

  • Are there preferred caterers you have to work with–or can you choose your own? 

  • Is it possible to add a tent? If so, is there an additional fee or a preferred vendor? 

  • What does setup and takedown look like–do we have a few hours or a few days?

  • How many hours are covered in our rental contract (including setup and breakdown)?

  • Is it possible to drop wedding items off before the wedding day for storage? Can you pick up wedding items the day after the wedding? 

  • How often does the venue host weddings? Will they have another wedding on the same day or weekend?

  • If the wedding is canceled or the dates change, what’s the cancellation policy? 

  • Does this space represent what we want out of a venue?

  • Will this space hold the amount of people we plan to invite? Do they charge for additional guests?

  • Does this space give us that feeling we’re chasing? 

Your Wedding Venue + A Wedding Planner: The Perfect Pair 

No matter what venue you end up choosing, a true wedding planner is the key to helping you envision, create, and execute the wedding day of your dreams. Your wedding planner–not the venue coordinator–is going to have your interests and desires at the forefront of everything. 

The right wedding planner will be your advocate throughout the planning process–no matter what kind of venue you choose. They’ll be able to help you coordinate:

  • A realistic timeline 

  • Communication with preferred vendors 

  • An ideal layout for your venue 

  • Setup and breakdown 

  • Day-of logistics 

Even if a wedding venue has a highly qualified and experienced coordinator on staff, having your own planner on your team is absolutely essential. 

Your own wedding planner can help you read all your vendor contracts, negotiate your wants, and guide you toward the most realistic plan. While a venue coordinator might help with this, their job is to look out for the venue–your wedding planner’s job is to look out for you.

A wedding planner will handle your design, layout, and timeline execution. They’re hands-on, deeply involved, and committed to creating the day you’ve envisioned. A venue coordinator–even if they care deeply about your day–is paid to do a set list of things and remain relatively hands-off. 

If you’re seeking a guide, an expert, and a creative to help you choose the perfect-for-you venue and piece together a dream wedding day, look no further than a qualified wedding planner



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