One of the great things about planning a wedding these days is how much information is available to you 24/7 online. But that fact alone can make the whole process of researching wedding venues seem overwhelming. Don’t stress! This is actually a good thing and by doing your research online first, you will save a ton of time in the long run. CJ shares some amazing tips on how to research wedding venues to make the process stress free and easy!
Whether you use sites like TheKnot.com and WeddingWire.com to search for venues or just prefer to use Google, it doesn’t really matter. I suggest breaking the research up into 2 phases over the course of a few days. I also recommend using a laptop or desktop computer instead of your phone just for this part. It will make your life easier…promise!
Visit venue websites and see what appeals to you visually. Don’t spend too much time going into details at this point. If you can find out the capacity, great. But really, you are just looking for a vibe or sense of the space and what they offer. If you like what you see, Pin or bookmark the venue in your browser. You will be coming back in a few days to dig into more details and having an easy reference like a Pinterest Board or bookmark will be really helpful.
If possible, shoot for the Top 10 list at this point.
Now that you have a better idea of what types of event spaces could work for you, it is time to dig in.
Revisit each of the venues on your initial list.
Based on the information above, there should be a handful of event spaces that start to look really promising. Take your short list to your fiance or a trusted family member and discuss the pros and cons of each. Give yourself a few days to discuss options and together, select a top 5 to pursue.
Pro Tip: If all of this research sounds overwhelming, you can outsource it! Many wedding planners offer some kind of venue selection service. But if working with a planner isn’t your thing, there are also online options like The White Box who can do the research for you. And once you select the venue, The White Box can even help you create a one of a kind wedding style for that space. Pretty cool!
Now that you have some additional input from the people who matter most, contact the top 5 or 6 locations that fit your criteria. I recommend that you call the venue on the phone. I know this is an old school approach, but it is often the fastest way to check availability as well as a great way to get a good feel for the personality of the people who work there. You can email as well – or complete a contact form on the venue’s website. But calling them will put you at the front of the line for a faster response.
On the call, you will:
If the answer to both of these is YES, continue with:
Besides simply confirming information, you are getting a feel for the overall vibe of the people who work there. These are the people that you would be working with if you decide to book with them….so this is almost like a mini-audition for them to be a part of your wedding. Remember, if you don’t like the people you’re working with, or they aren’t as serious about your big day as you need them to be, the process will not be what you want and need to make your dream wedding a reality.
Now, armed with your research, you can narrow your list of potential sites down to a top 3- 5 venues to visit in person.
We hope these tips helped in with your wedding venue research! You can learn more tips for finding the perfect wedding venue on our blog!
About the author:
CJ Dickson is the owner and creative director of Nashville, TN wedding venue CJ’s Off the Square. She enjoys traveling around the world learning and speaking about weddings. She lives in Franklin, TN with her husband Andrew and two fur babies, Willoughby and Tara. When not watching PBS, she is probably on the patio enjoying a margarita (or three) and dancing to 80’s music with friends.