What to Look for in a Wedding Venue

long table set for a wedding

The venue sets the stage for your entire wedding celebration. It’s where you’ll exchange vows and create cherished memories that last a lifetime, but with countless options available, choosing the perfect wedding venue can feel overwhelming. Fear not, lovebirds, this guide will equip you with some important factors to consider, transforming your venue search into a stress-free and exciting endeavor.

Envisioning Your Wedding Venue

The venue is the place where your wedding will take place, but there are other nuances to your entire wedding celebration to consider as you begin the planning process. Some venues will host both the couple’s ceremony and reception, while other soon-to-be-weds opt for two wedding venues, one for the ceremony and another for the reception. It’s important to understand what type of space you’ll need for your big day and what options are available to you with the venue/s that you choose.

Before you start the search for a venue, you’ll need to have a clear picture of your wedding style and aesthetic. Does your vision include an ultra-glam wedding, or a rustic farm? A classic hotel ballroom or contemporary art museum? Or an outdoor location where you can celebrate your love under the stars? You’ll also need your guest list in order to select a venue that can accommodate everyone. 

Lastly, having an understanding of your budget and what location to focus your search on will ensure the process of selecting a wedding venue is as efficient and seamless as possible. While you don’t need to know your exact wedding date prior to booking a venue, you should have an idea of the time of year when you’d like to tie the knot. Some seasonal venues, especially outdoor sites could be closed during certain times of year and others, especially during peak seasons could already be booked during your preferred time.

Choosing the Perfect Wedding Venue

Once you have your wedding aesthetic, budget, location and timeframe clarified, you can start the search for a venue. The location is perhaps the best place to start and whether you’d like an indoor or outdoor ceremony or a little bit of both. Consider the proximity to your ceremony location, reception area and accommodation for you and your guests, especially if a lot of folks are coming from out of town, and ideally choose a venue that’s easily accessible for everyone. 

Ensure the venue can comfortably accommodate your guest list, factoring in space for dancing, dining, and socializing and choose a space that reflects your desired atmosphere. The venue is typically a significant part of wedding expenses, and since the budget can be a limiting factor for some, request a clear breakdown of all venue fees, including rental charges, catering costs, and any additional service charges and compare them to the cost of other priorities like photography, attire, and entertainment.

Ask if the venue offers in-house catering, and if you’re allowed to bring in an external caterer. Inquire about the venue’s policies regarding vendors like photographers, DJs, or florists and if they have a preferred vendor list, or if you have the freedom to choose your own team. While a wedding backup plan is absolutely a must for outdoor venues, it’s also good to know if there are different options available at indoor venues as well.

Trust your gut instinct when you’re touring different venues and see which one resonates the most with you and your partner. Choosing the perfect venue is an exciting step in your wedding planning journey, and by prioritizing your unique needs and preferences, you’ll be on your way to finding a space that reflects your love story.

 If you’re planning a wedding in Pennsylvania, consider Historic Acres of Hershey. We have beautiful indoor spaces and can accommodate groups of all sizes. Contact us to learn more or to book a tour of our property.