Five Things To Consider When Choosing a Wedding Venue

Choosing a venue for your wedding is usually the first step in the planning process. After all, the most coveted spaces are usually booked nearly a year in advance.

How do you choose the best venue for you? Here are five things to consider:

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1. What Does The Rental Fee Include?

Different venues include different things in their rental fees. Some venues have places for the bride and groom to get ready, and some don’t. Some venues include tables and chairs and linens in their fees, while others don’t. Another thing you’ll want to consider is whether or not the venue has required vendors for you to choose from, which you may or may not appreciate.

2. Where Will You Get Ready?

Getting ready shots are important to many brides. If they’re important to you, make sure the space you’ve chosen for getting ready offers good light and doesn’t have too many distracting decorations. You’ll love your getting ready photos so much more if you pay attention to this piece!

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3. What Kind of Food Do You Want To Serve?

This seems silly, and maybe I’m the only one who thinks it, but since I chose a more upscale venue, I felt like I needed to have a more upscale menu. Which, in turn, meant more money too. When my budget got tight toward the end of planning, I was kind of wishing I could have gone a little cheaper on my food (even though the food we had was incredible!) but I didn’t feel like I could serve pulled pork at an upscale-ish venue. Again, maybe this is just me.

4. What Kind of Decor is Already in Place?

It might seem like a great thing if a venue has a lot of decor already in place, because it means you have to spend less, but it can actually be really bad for photography. If the bridal suite is loaded down with vintage decor, it’s hard to find a place that isn’t distracting to photograph the bride getting her dress on. If there’s all kinds of lawn decor, it really takes away from those outdoor shots. When you visit your venue, take a look around and see if you really want all their decorations in your photos.

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5. Where’s The Light?

This one is so, so, so important. Light is what makes images beautiful. It’s true that not every single image has to be perfectly lit, but man, the more the merrier. If your venue is outdoors, make sure where you’re standing for your ceremony isn’t going to be in direct light in the middle of the day if at all possible. If you can, visit your venue (or wherever you want to take couple & group photos) and see if there’s good sunset light anywhere. If everything is shaded by heavy trees all day, you won’t get those gorgeous backlit photos everyone loves.

6. BONUS TIP: Where Will You Take Group Photos?

Say you choose to shoot at a large, industrial building in downtown Columbus, Indiana (hint: The Loft) … there’s really no great place to take group, or couple photos there. That’s okay, because there are lots of great locations within a five minute drive from The Loft. There are some venue options that don’t really have great options for group or bridal photos and there aren’t any nearby locations either. That’s not good.

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I think you probably get the point. If photography is important to you, look at your venue from a different lens and think about each aspect of the day and where it could be photographed. It’s true that a good photographer is creative, but we aren’t magicians! If you think about your venue from the aspect of photography, you’ll end up with some truly gorgeous photos and your photographer will thank you!

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Ali HendricksComment