How Do I Choose A Wedding Venue? A 5 Step Process with a Free Printable

Photo of Barrister Winery, Spokane, WA, courtesy of Ifong Chen Photography

Photo of Barrister Winery, Spokane, WA, courtesy of Ifong Chen Photography

Sometimes, choosing a wedding venue is straightforward. Maybe you've had the perfect venue picked out from the day after your engagement, it is available on the date that you want, and you've put down the deposit. If this is you, that is awesome! For other brides and grooms, the process might be a bit more challenging, so I wanted to help simplify the process. I hope you find this helpful in knowing what to expect and what to ask along the way!

Also, scroll to the end for the free printable list of questions to ask before booking your venue!

1. Research

After setting your guest list and budget, start your venue research! The internet is always a good resource, but don’t forget to ask family and friends for ideas. When I was looking for my wedding reception venue, my brother was actually the one who suggested the winery that we actually chose. I wouldn’t have even known about it had he not mentioned it!

2. Contact

I always like to send out initial emails so that I can cross options off of my list before getting too much further into the process. Things to ask about:

  • Wedding date availability (maybe you have a date picked, maybe you’re flexible)

  • Guest capacity of the venue (this is why it’s so important to have your guest list hashed out ahead of time)

  • Rental fees

3. Visit

Schedule visits with the available venues that are on your list. When you visit, it is a good idea to come armed with a list of questions about the venue. A few ideas on what to ask:

  • Are outside vendors allowed, or do you have preferred vendors that we must use?

  • What types and sizes of tables and chairs do you have?

  • What are your setup and cleanup policies? (Particularly, can we setup the day before?)

4. Narrow it Down

Did you fall immediately in love with a venue that is perfect for your wedding? Great! Move on to the next step. Or, you might still have so many options that you’re not sure which space to choose. If this is the case, it can be helpful to look at pictures of real weddings at each venue that you are contemplating so that you can get an idea of how your wedding might look in each space.

5. Book the Venue

Here’s the part where you will exchange money, so make sure you get everything in writing! Then, be prepared to communicate with the venue manager as your wedding day gets closer. He/she will want to know your table layout, final headcount, and timeline for the day, as well as a list of your vendors. Also, if you feel like you need to see the venue again while you are in the middle of your planning process, don’t hesitate to request another visit if you need it to help you with your design vision.

 Click below for a free printable list of questions to ask as you are working on choosing your venue. Happy planning!  


Are you in the midst of your wedding planning and feeling overwhelmed?

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