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How to start searching for a wedding venue

One of the most important parts of planning your wedding is finding a venue that suits your needs. In this post, we look at how you can start searching for your ideal wedding venue!​
How to start searching for a wedding venue - The Wedding Club

There are so many things to look out for when trying to find that perfect wedding venue. From the location, area, and cost right down to the style you’re going for. 

That’s why it is so important to be prepared for your search finding a wedding venue that suits your needs and has the kind of vibe you’re going for without breaking the bank.

Let’s find out how you can accomplish that in this post!

The Editable Wedding Planner templates are fully customizable in the free version of Canva, and include everything you need – from the wedding budget, guest list, and catering, to planning a bridal shower, engagement party, and more!

How to start searching for a wedding venue

In the last section of this post, I go into detail about your wedding venue budget, but I want to mention it here as well because it is super important. A realistic budget for your venue can help you plan out everything like you want to without over compromising, and without shooting for a venue that is beyond your reach.

Thorough budget planning (for your venue, as well as other aspects of your wedding) can make your big day a success.

Have a look at my editable wedding planner for all the templates you need to plan your entire wedding budget as well as many other worksheets that will help you plan out all the finer details of your big day.

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Wedding venue search info sheet

One of the most useful sheets you can have to find your perfect wedding venue is an info sheet. I have added one to the wedding planner, but you can easily just grab a piece of paper and take note of the sections I mention here below…

Your wedding date

The first thing a wedding venue coordinator will ask you when you enquire about them is your wedding date. They will need to check if they are available.

Tip: If your heart is set on a specific wedding venue and your wedding date is not available, you may want to consider moving your date to accommodate the venue – unless your date has significance, then you’ll need to make another plan.

Wedding venue areas you're considering

On your wedding venue info sheet, make a list of the areas you’re considering. This will help you to easily eliminate the venues that fall outside of these locations which can make it easier to narrow down your research.

Your price range

The most important deciding factor of a venue (besides the availability on your wedding date) is if you can afford it. If a venue falls outside your budget, take it off your list immediately!

Tip: Instead of trying to break the bank, take out a loan, or borrow money from someone to pay for your venue (which are all bad ideas by the way), rather read about 8 ways you can transform a plain/unappealing wedding venue into a pretty one!

Wedding guest list count

It’s no use you’ve got your eye on a spectacular wedding venue but they can’t accommodate all your wedding guests. So make sure you double-check this before researching the venue even further.

Your wedding venue requirements

Your specific needs will also determine the type of wedding venue you’re looking for. For example, you might want a venue with ample photo opportunities, a good wine selection, and a bridal room. If a venue doesn’t have at least two of those, maybe take it off your list?

Wedding venue styles and vibes

Each couple has their own vibe or style that they’re normally would like in a wedding venue. If your style is modern and industrial chic, try finding a venue that suits your style.

Wedding Venue Workbook - Wedding Planner-Wedding venue search info sheet-The Wedding Club

The Editable Wedding Planner templates are fully customizable in the free version of Canva, and include everything you need – from the wedding budget, guest list, and catering, to planning a bridal shower, engagement party, and more!

Your wedding venue vision

Having a clear vision of what you want in a wedding venue will help locate the ones that fit the description a little easier.

Elaborate on your wedding vision

You can easily grab a piece of paper and scribble down some notes on your ideal wedding venue – style, price range, area, perks, etc.

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Potential wedding venues

Consider having a few potential wedding venues which you can compare. Having a few options available will keep you encouraged to carry on with your wedding planning process.

I have designed a nifty “potential wedding venue” worksheet which you can get as part of the venue planner – included as a bonus in the wedding planner templates. You can print one out for each wedding venue you’re considering.

Wedding venue, area and cost

For a potential wedding venue, consider taking notes on things like the area, costs, availability, etc. so that you can compare the different venues you’re interested in.

Wedding description

Make sure to describe your wedding venue so that you remember which one is which. You can easily forget this if you have many venues to compare and choose from.

Pros and cons of the wedding venue

Also, make sure to write down what you love about each venue. What made you say “I love this!” and gave you proper wedding planning inspiration?

Similarly, also take note of what you didn’t like about the venue. Do you have to use suppliers only they recommend? Aren’t you allowed to bring your own decor and floral arrangements? They don’t have a bridal room? You’re limited with areas to take photos or accommodate guests?

It’s worth noting both the advantages and the disadvantages of each wedding venue you’re interested in so that you can find The One in between all the venues you like.

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Your wedding venue budget

Lastly, and most importantly, your wedding venue budget should be a major factor when searching for the ideal location for your big day!

Wedding venue budget overview

Having an overview of your wedding venue budget will make it easier for you to see where you can shift some money around. Have different categories and budget amounts according to how important you view them as:

  • venue hire (also note what is included in the venue hire fee!)
  • food and catering
  • beverages
  • decor hire
  • floral design (this will include all the floral decor needed for your entire venue)
  • sound/music system
  • waiters
  • bar staff
  • cleaning/staff hire (if not provided by the venue)
  • gratuity
  • taxes, insurance, etc.

These are only a few of the line items you can budget for. There may be other aspects you need to budget for, too…

Do a thorough venue budget breakdown

Make sure to break down your line item costs so that you can see where the money is going. For example, with your floral design budget, you can allocate more money towards the reception flowers vs the ceremony flowers…

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The Editable Wedding Planner templates are fully customizable in the free version of Canva, and include everything you need – from the wedding budget, guest list, and catering, to planning a bridal shower, engagement party, and more!

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by Tanya Viljoen

Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, Tanya Viljoen has been an active contributor and planner in the wedding industry since 2016. When not writing useful content for brides and wedding professionals, she can be found designing templates for her Etsy shop, TWCprintables

Hey, I'm Tanya!

I’ve been an active contributor and planner in the wedding industry since 2016. If you’re here to find out about all things wedding, you’re in the right place!