bride and groom at a tropical wedding venue

How to Find A Wedding Venue You Will Love

Nov 20, 2023
By Wedding Spot

The search for the perfect wedding venue marks the exciting beginning of your journey towards tying the knot with your beloved! It's a decision that sets the tone for your big day, reflecting your style, personality, and shared love story. 

With so many options and price points available, finding the ideal venue might seem like a daunting task. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! This guide will help you find a wedding venue, we walk you through the ins and outs of finding and booking your dream wedding venue, with the perfect tools to help narrow it all down! 

How to find a wedding venue you’ll absolutely adore

The first step in your venue search is to cast a wide net. There are several popular ways to source potential wedding venues.

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Wedding venue search engines

Wedding websites and directories like Wedding Spot provide an extensive database of venues, making it easy to browse and compare options no matter where you’re thinking of tying the knot. In addition to narrowing down venues by location, you should also consider what design style, features, and scenery you’d like to experience. You can even do a quick estimate to see if a venue works for your budget, right on the venue’s listing.

Social media

Social media platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and Pinterest offer a plethora of visual inspiration you can search for using keywords such as "wedding venue in [your location]". Follow local wedding planners, photographers, and venues to discover hidden gems near your preferred location. If you’ve already found some venues you’re interested in, see if they have social media accounts with videos that display different POVs of the site. Don’t forget to check posts they are tagged in to see real life weddings happening there!

Word of mouth

Word of mouth referrals are gold! Reach out to friends, family, and colleagues for recommendations. Keep in mind, endorsement from a wedding venue search platform you trust can also be considered a referral. Look for award winners and spotlights too. 

Wedding expos

Attend local wedding fairs and expos to see venues exhibiting in person and meet vendors! Just be sure to allot the appropriate amount of time and energy since these can sometimes be a little overwhelming if you’ve already got a lot on your wedding planning plate. Scope out the expo booth map ahead of time and target three to five wedding venue displays before you go. 


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Key factors to consider when searching for a wedding venue 

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  1. Budget. You should always establish a clear budget from the outset. Venue sourcing platforms allow you to filter venues based on your budget, ensuring you stay within your financial comfort zone. If you’ve fallen in love with a venue slightly beyond your maximum, contact them through your search website to see if they offer package deals with other major wedding services or can offer a discount. Never hurts to ask!
  2. Style and theme. Your wedding style and theme isn’t just about decor. It’s also about creating a guest experience. So make sure you consider the kind of atmosphere you want to create for your wedding ceremony and reception. Architecture, lighting options, and unique property features are all things to look out for when nailing it down. 

  3. Your guest list. Who you’re inviting to your wedding may affect what wedding venue you ultimately choose. For example, if a guest of honor needs special accommodations beyond what wedding venues are required to provide by law, you’ll want to make sure you choose a spot where they’ll be catered to. And if your families are located in different parts of the globe, you can consider locations that are central to them in addition to ones near where you currently live. 

  4. Location. Take the time to consider which location is convenient for you and your guests. Keep track of how far the average wedding guest commute will be (best guess is fine) as well as parking and the cost or availability of accommodation nearby. Also, take the time to visualize what a worst-case weather scenario would look like at this location. For example, the sidewalks might ice over in the winter, or you may have to consider the long walk from the parking lot to the venue in the heat of summer.

    Pro tip: Venue sourcing platforms like Wedding Spot often provide a map view for easy location assessment.

5 questions to ask before booking your wedding venue

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  1. Can you take a venue tour? Touring your venue in person before booking it is an absolute must. When you get there, pay attention to the layout, available facilities, and overall atmosphere. Have some screenshots or saved images of the venue that originally attracted you to it. That way you can double check that your dream of the venue matches the reality. If you need to narrow down your tour options, Wedding Spot's virtual tours can offer a preliminary look before your in-person visit.

  2. What is their availability? Check if the venue is available on your desired date. As you can probably guess, some venues have a higher demand during certain seasons. So if you’re flexible, ask to see cheaper dates in the weeks before or after your original date too. Like flights, sometimes expanding your dates even one week later can save you hundreds of dollars!

  3. What kind of services and packages do they recommend? Inquire about what's included in the venue's packages. Do they offer catering, decor, or planning services? You can also ask the venue representative which package is most popular or what couples typically do as far as using in-house services versus bringing their own vendors. 

  4. Are there any restrictions you should know about? Ask about any restrictions or regulations such as noise ordinances or preferred vendor lists. These can impact your plans and even (gasp!) budget. Any venue non-negotiables should be marked down now, because you never know what may come up later as you plan your wedding. For example, if your dream vintage disco-themed reception relies on you bringing in some rental lighting but the venue doesn’t have the correct electrical setup, then you’ll have to nix it!

    Pro tip: Cvent Event Diagramming, formerly known as Social Tables, allows venues to show you the exact layout of any space in 3D. You and your venue can collaborate to pre-plan tricky setups for entertainment that needs access to electrical plugs or any other practical features before you put that deposit down. 

  5. What is their bad weather plan? If you're considering an outdoor wedding venue, discuss backup plans in case of inclement weather. Details such as local transportation and sidewalk clearing to and from the venues, what happens if there is a severe weather warning, and refund options if cancellation is unavoidable are all things to consider! Also, make sure you discuss metaphorical bad weather i.e. what happens in the event of an emergency that delays the wedding? 

The process of booking a wedding venue

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So you’ve found a wedding venue that you just know is “the one” (or “the two” if you’re splitting up the day between different locations). Here’s the checklist you’ll need to get from shortlist to secured.

  • Contract and booking. This almost goes without saying, but you’d be surprised how often people sign contracts without thoroughly reviewing them. Make sure you do so before booking! Take the time to slowly read it through, paragraph by paragraph, and keep a list of questions that come up. If you’re not a lawyer, you’re not expected to automatically understand every little thing in it, so don’t be shy!

  • Confirmation. Once you've booked, make sure you confirm the details with the venue, even if you feel like it’s all sorted. Reiterate in writing what the expectations are for both sides including deliverables and due dates. Make sure they confirm you are correct in your assumptions and that these are also backed up in a copy of the contract signed by both parties.

  • Customization. Work with the venue's coordinator to personalize the space according to your vision. Now is the time to ask about hanging decor (like these stunning wedding ceiling pieces), bringing in rental furniture, and rearranging existing pieces. Make sure you bring in visual references like a Pinterest board or a 3D layout of your event design with the real life space measurements to the initial meeting so you’re both on the same page from the start. 

  • Coordination. As your big day approaches, communicate with the venue coordinator or planner to finalize arrangements. Again, don’t make assumptions. Get everything in writing and make sure you receive confirmation. And don’t forget to chat through backup plans for major moving pieces, such as guest wrangling and catering arrival and departure times (make sure you confirm these with your other vendors as well). 

Say ‘I do’ to the perfect venue

Choosing your wedding venue is a significant decision that lays the foundation for your matrimonial celebration. While the process may seem overwhelming, breaking it down into manageable steps can make it an enjoyable part of your wedding planning journey. 

Still scratching the wedding venue itch? Here are some stunning ideas on what couples want from their wedding venue to help you reflect on your wants and needs. You might also want to take a peek at the most popular wedding venue types so you can better understand the landscape before setting out on the journey!

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Wedding Spot

The Wedding Spot blog is designed to help couples navigate every step of the wedding planning journey. From before the engagement to after you say “I do,” our goal is to give you the tips, ideas, and inspiration to prepare for your big day — and all that comes with it.