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Sarah
Savvy May 2021

Choosing a Venue

Sarah, on July 1, 2020 at 3:26 PM Posted in Planning 0 33
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Looking for some tips/advice, anything will help! We got engaged back in December, and at first we just enjoyed the moment and didn't rush right into wedding planning. Finally in February we started looking into venues, I majorly overwhelmed myself which has caused nothing but stress for me in this process. Everyone always talks about enjoying the process, and so far I have not, but wish that I could start. I have toured a ton of venues, and without exaggerating I mean over 30+. Unless I am decided on something & strongly opinionated on it I tend to be a bit indecicive. I have decided on my wedding party, colors, type of ceremony, type of meals, etc.; though I just can't pick a venue! I feel any of them could be perfect for our wedding day!

As of now, I have it narrowed down to 4, but am having a hard time choosing between the 4. I tried taking dates into consideration; initially I was hoping for September 2021; though with Covid a lot of that has been impacted. I also am slightly nervous, I do not want to put myself in the place that the poor 2020 brides have been put into, I can't imagine being in their place right now! So I am nervous if 2021 will be a definite, or if I should just bump out to 2022 to be safe. I really want to be able to have all of our guests, and am hoping for minimal restrictions. However 2022 is so far away, and I want my grandmother to be a part of my day, though she is getting older. So bottom line I am so overwhelmed and confused with what I want, please help! I am hoping once this decision is made I know to approach decisions differently and will be able to enjoy and not overwhelm myself with the remainder of the planning process!

33 Comments

  • Caitlin
    Expert January 2021
    Caitlin ·
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    ME TOO!!! I've been planning my wedding since August of 2019, and my wedding is six months away and I have nothing done because I'm so indecisive. Venue and dresses have been the hardest for me because I can't find the perfect venue for myself within reason and I love every dress I put on. I'm having a difficult time with the venue for the opposite reason that you are, though. I feel like none of them are going to be perfect for our day because I have a specific vision and need to be financially smart about everything. I, too, have had the world's most difficult time with enjoying the process. Up to this point, the process has been complete hell for me. Seems to be much, much more difficult for me than it appears to be for other brides. Maybe I'm just extremely picky? I don't have much advice, but just wanted to let you know that you're not alone. Other brides are experiencing the same dilemma and it's so frustrating! Try to kick back and remember that this is all supposed to be fun. I will say - I wouldn't bother bumping your wedding out to 2022 because even then, there's no telling where COVID will be. Don't halt your life and wedding due to COVID. Cross that bridge when you get there. I'd imagine that things should settle down by September 2021, so if that's your dream date, I'd go for it. Worst case you can postpone. I'm right in the middle of the hurricane because my wedding is in January and we will be in the midst of the second wave, which sucks, especially because we are already married so this is basically a party for our guests and if we cut down our guest list, it'll be pointless and we would've spent money for nothing. Regardless, you deserve to enjoy all of this and shouldn't be expected to yield your wedding based upon where COVID will be in over a year, so I'd continue planning as if nothing happened and confirm with vendors regarding a potential postpone if necessary. Good luck girl!!!
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  • Cristy
    Master May 2021
    Cristy ·
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    Hi Sarah!

    Congratulations on your engagement!! Wedding planning can be an enjoyable experience, although it can also be extremely frustrating! I get you!

    You never said anything about money, so I'm thinking you guys can afford the 4 venues you narrowed it down to. If cost is an issue, then maybe you can narrow the choices further using cost as your guide.

    I'll tell you what I did. My FH and I sat down and talked about what kind of wedding we wanted. He had been married twice before, and I have never been married. So, here we are at the age of 52, planning a wedding. Since this is my first (and only), I wanted certain things. So we talked about our priorites. We eventually realized that we essentially have the same top three priorities: good food, good music, and our favorite people in the world there to celebrate with us. That actually made it easier for us to make decisions from that point forward. We found what we thought was the best food/drink, and it was part of a package at this particular venue. So, we booked it, and then went about looking for our other vendors with our priorities in mind. Example: we looked at a lot of photographers. We want great pictures, but we don't want to spend a large percentage of our budget on that vendor. So, after a lot of research, I found what I think is the best photo/video package for us. But it took some negotiation, and a ton of research to get to that point.

    What I'm saying is that if you're willing to take the time to do the research, you can usually find the perfect vendors for you (including venue) and your vision for your day.

    You're not alone in feeling overwhelmed. A lot of us do. This is a great place to talk about that, and the frustrations of planning.

    Maybe compare the 4 venues, on an item-by-item basis, to see which one offers you the most for your money.

    Some couples even take their guests into account when choosing a venue. Are there accommodations nearby for out of town guests? Is there enough parking? Are there any restrictions that guests need to know about? If you choose this venue or that one, will we be forced into a large time gap between ceremony and reception?

    Those are the kinds of things a lot of couples look at when choosing a venue. You can also look at whether or not any of them allow outside catering? You can sometimes save money when bringing in outside food and/or alcohol.

    Like I said, sometimes it takes a lot of research, and a lot of talking to come to a decision. Good luck to you, and happy planning!

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  • Molly
    Dedicated August 2021
    Molly ·
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    If one of them has catering and bar services included I would lean more towards them. Then you don't have to worry about hiring a caterer or bar tenders. My venue does both and it has made the rest of the planning process simpler so far!
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  • Lena
    Devoted May 2021
    Lena ·
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    We also looked at a lot of venues but the one we chose felt right. After the tour my fiance and I looked at each other and nodded. All the other venues felt like something was missing and this one just felt like us. Smiley smile

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  • V
    Master July 2019
    Veronica Online ·
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    I would talk to your fiance and get his opinion. I would think he would have an opinion on where he wants to get married. If not, I would make a list of pros and cons. No one knows what's going to happen with the pandemic so I can't really say when to book your wedding. My husband went with me to tour the venues and we picked the venue together, but I knew which venue I wanted from just looking at photos online.
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  • Sarah
    Savvy May 2021
    Sarah ·
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    Thank you so much! It is such a relief knowing that there is another bride out there struggling the same as me! I agree with not pushing to 2022, it's just another one of those ideas that keeps popping up. I work with Covid pt's so I have accepted this isn't going anywhere anytime soon, but just can't help but worry about it when you see it everyday! Thank you so much for reaching out, bets of luck to you, I'm sure your day will be beutifull!

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  • Sarah
    Savvy May 2021
    Sarah ·
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    Thank you so much! We have taken some of those factors into consideration already, and all the venues price wise are comparable but we had not compared the different packages venue to venue; so we will have to give that a try and see if that helps! My fiancé cares most about the food, but other than that just says whatever will make me happy is a go with him.

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  • Sarah
    Savvy May 2021
    Sarah ·
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    3 of the 4, do their own food & bar, the other you choose from 4 caterers they routinely work with; for that reason alone we have been tending to lean away from that one. Just 1 less decision to have to make down the road.

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  • Sarah
    Savvy May 2021
    Sarah ·
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    I have also made him come along on many tours, and tours that he has not come on if I like the venue, I brought him back to view the space. So he has been a pretty good sport about me dragging him venue to venue lol. Unfortunately the one we both really like, does 2 weddings a day with set times; I personally do not want a day wedding, but feel the evening wedding is too late of a start time, I feel like I'll be sleeping by dinner lol; so that is a reason we are hesitant to jump on board and book

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  • Sarah
    Savvy May 2021
    Sarah ·
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    Ya, he has been pretty involved in the sense he'll tell me yes or no to a venue; but ultimately he just cares about good food and that I am happy with wherever we choose! I have made many pro & con lists as we've toured, unfortunately I can find a con in almost every place including my top choices lol. I had a big problem online at first, I found that I loved a few venues online that when I went to tour in person, I would look at my fiancé like why are we here?

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  • V
    Master July 2019
    Veronica Online ·
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    It sounds like you just need to pick one then. I think it would be next to impossible not to find one con in every place. I absolutely loved my venue, but that doesn't mean it didn't have faults. It was a hotel in the city and didn't really have a lot of outdoor places for photos, but we ended up not taking a lot of outdoor photos because it was about 100 degrees on our wedding day.
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  • Molly
    Dedicated August 2021
    Molly ·
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    Well at least that does narrow it down a bit but, 3 is still a lot to chose from. I'm normally indecisive but, when I visited my venue I knew I was done looking. I saw you mention one that you really liked did two weddings. In my opinion I would be nervous about that. What if you did do the evening wedding and the couple that did the day wedding goes overtime or are not cleaned up by the time it's your turn to set up. It seems like too many things could go wrong. But, then again maybe if they do this all the time they have things down pack to not go wrong.

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  • V
    Master July 2019
    Veronica Online ·
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    I just read your other comments about two of the venues you are considering. If it were me, I wouldn't want a venue that has two weddings within one day so I would eliminate that one from my list. I also wouldn't want to have to pick between four different caterers are I would eliminate that venue as well. That would leave you with two venues to pick from if you eliminate those two. I would then compare the pro and con lists you made for those two as well as the packages for those venues.
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  • Sarah
    Savvy May 2021
    Sarah ·
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    Very true! It is truly the people their that will make my day, I just tend to sweat the small stuff lol. Thank You!

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  • Sarah
    Savvy May 2021
    Sarah ·
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    Ya I don't like the 2 weddings in one day at all, especially not the set times. I had inquired about if there was any option to choose your time, and there is but of coarse it cost more, and I'm not sure we really want to spend extra money on something we are getting without paying extra at other venues.

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  • Sarah
    Savvy May 2021
    Sarah ·
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    Ya my only dilemma with that is 1 of the remaining ones does not have dates until 2022, but I most likely would have already chosen it if they had 2021 dates that I liked still available; and the other I have recently read some negative ways which they have treated 2020 brides needing to move their weddings, so I'm not sure I would want to book with a place treating their brides poorly. Sorry not trying to shoot all your suggestions down, I'm just so overwhelmed, I really do appreciate the help

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  • V
    Master July 2019
    Veronica Online ·
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    It almost sounds like you need different venues all together. I wouldn't want to wait until 2022 to get married and I wanted want a difficult venue. All four sound like they have pretty major cons.
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  • Natalie
    Dedicated November 2020
    Natalie ·
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    Here are some “tips” and/or things you may want to think about to help you choose your venue:

    How many people does it accommodate? Would it be too big or too small for your guest list?

    What do online reviews say? Check multiple places to see what others have said. If they offer their own catering, what do people say about the food? Do they also provide the linens?
    Is there a day of coordinator who will help things run smoothly?
    How much decor will you need? Does the venue have its own ambiance, or will you be needing to really dress it up (or cover it up!)?
    If having ceremony and reception at the same place, what are the options for ceremony locations? If outside, do they have backup space for inclement weather? Will you have to rent chairs? Are there places on site to take photos, or would you have to go somewhere?
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  • Sarah
    Savvy May 2021
    Sarah ·
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    I know exactly! It just seems like I've looked at so many, I don't know what else could possibly be out there! I want my grandmother to be a part of my day, and in 2 years a lot could change, so I am just stumped at what to do.

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  • Sarah
    Savvy May 2021
    Sarah ·
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    Thank you so much! We will have to consider some of these points!

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