Tips From a Wedding Planner on Choosing Your Wedding Venue
Updated: Jul 11
There are so many choices for wedding venues – churches, barns, rooftop patios, even breweries, the possibilities are endless if you can think outside the box! Deciding on a venue is one of the biggest decisions newly engaged couples need to make. Many things need to be taken into consideration when choosing your wedding venue. Budget, location, climate and overall aesthetic are all things that need to be considered when researching where to say “I do”.
One of the very first things you should do before looking into venues, is to determine your guest list. Your guest list can help determine the size of your venue – there needs to be enough room to comfortably fit all of your guests, taking into account any additional room you may need for a dance floor, lounge area etc.
Your budget also determines your venue choice. Your venue is generally one of the larger chunks of your wedding budget. If you only intend to have a small number of guests, you can generally save and look at smaller, more intimate venues. If you plan to have a larger wedding with 200+ guests, this will narrow down your venue choices to large capacity venues, such as ballrooms, and halls, which could cost significantly more overall.
When choosing between venues that provide tables, chairs, and linens etc. vs a hall or barn where all dinner items need to be rented externally, the costs can end up being quite similar. Many people assume they will save by renting an affordable hall, and furnishing it themselves, however, the cost of renting plates, glassware, cutlery, napkins etc, can be equivalent to using a venue where all items are already included, such as a hotel or golf course. Keep in mind, most venues will only provide basic white linens, silverware and tables and chairs, so additional rentals may be needed if you want a more elevated aesthetic.
Additionally, when choosing your wedding venue based on budget, factor in what the cost for décor and florals would be. A larger, more simple venue may mean more décor and florals, whereas a venue with more character or unique elements may not need much décor at all. The style of what you envision your wedding to be should always be in the back of your mind, when choosing your venue.
Climate and weather also need to be factored in. If you have your heart set on an outdoor mountain wedding, make sure you have a plan B in place, in case of rain or snow. Indoor weddings can be just as beautiful as picturesque outdoor locations, minus the need to worry about inclement weather!
If you are looking for a unique location for your wedding, look beyond the usual venues, and think creatively. The Calgary Zoo for example, is a great option for animal lovers! Breweries offer a more casual, fun approach to weddings, and even renting a large Airbnb property can be a unique location to host a wedding.
Choosing the place to get married to your partner is an important step in the planning process and hiring a wedding planner can help you make the right choice! A wedding planner will happily help couples choose their venue, as most planners have extensive knowledge of what is available in your city, and the general budget and size capacity of each. Wedding planners can help you decide on your venue, not only based on your style and budget, but by pointing out things you may have not taken into consideration, such as accessibility, or noise level restrictions.
Photos from Pinterest