Finding the perfect wedding venue is one of the biggest challenges for engaged couples. Not only does your venue set the tone for your entire wedding day, but it has the power to leave your guests awestruck or, quite the opposite, sadly unimpressed. Since many wedding venues often require booking a year or two in advance, you should prioritize finding the perfect wedding location so that you can avoid settling for a venue you’re not completely in love with. If you’re newly engaged (congrats!) and ready to plan your special day, here are some tips to find the right wedding venue for you and your soon-to-be-spouse.
Do Your Research
Before you get into the nitty gritty, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Are you dreaming of getting married overseas on a Caribbean island? Or maybe you’re envisioning a more local destination wedding in the beautiful countryside. Regardless of what you have in mind, make sure you research the local bylaws and consider how they may affect your special day, especially when it comes to alcohol consumption and noise restrictions. If your venue is “all that” they will have that information for you.
Once you’ve narrowed down your options, plan a visit to the venue to look around and speak to the venue staff. Keep in mind that many outdoor venues may not be open during the winter months to visit, so a good option is to attend upcoming open houses they may be having. It’s important that you are in love with the venue and that you can envision you and your guests having a great time there.
Remember Your Budget
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when choosing your wedding venue is forgetting about your budget. It makes no sense to choose a venue that you can’t afford. Sit down with your fiancé(e) and find out how much you both are willing to spend. Remember that your budget should include more than just the cost of renting the space. Depending on what the venue provides, and their packages, your costs will include food, rentals, beverages. You should also consider external factors such as décor and floral designs, transportation to and from the venue, and the music—all of which you may have to source on your own. There are many helpful resources online that help you plan your budget, so be sure to do your research ahead of time.
Know Your Approximate Number of Guests
Before you choose a venue, you should know how many guests you are planning to invite. Many venues have a maximum capacity and limit the number of guests that are permitted, so choose your venue wisely. If you make the mistake of choosing a venue that is too small for your guest list, you may find yourself in the difficult position of having to cut down your guest list. Trust us: it’s easy for couples to underestimate how many people will RSVP, so consider how many people you plan to invite early so that you know what you are working with. The number of guests you invite is the biggest factor to staying within the budget you are comfortable with.
Maybe you have to exclude children from the celebration? It seems harsh, but this is how many couples manage to have the wedding they want, at an affordable price.
Consider Your Guests’ Experience
If you are inviting a lot of guests who live out of town or who need to spend the night, look for a venue that is nearby or connected to an Airbnb or hotel, as well as one that has enough parking (preferably free). Ask if the rental package includes tables, chairs, tablecloths, and non-alcoholic drinks. Also, find out if the venue uses an exclusive catering service or allows you to choose your own. Does the venue provide a cash bar? Can you bring your own alcohol (BYOB)? Bringing your own alcohol is a HUGE cost saver. What about washrooms with wheelchair accessibility? All of these factors can greatly impact your guests’ experience.
Lighting & Acoustics
Two aspects that are easy to forget are lighting and acoustics. If you are hiring professional photographers to film or photograph your wedding, the more natural lighting they have, the better. Find out if the venue has good lighting inside, and if there are areas outdoors that you can use for photography and filming. You should also find out if the venue has good acoustics. You may want to hire a live band or DJ, which means that they will need the right outlets, electrical capacity, and environment to produce quality sound.
Have a Backup Plan
It’s hard to imagine your wedding day not working out exactly as you’ve planned, but things happen that are beyond your control—especially the weather. This is why having a backup plan is so important. If there is any chance it could rain on your wedding day, find out if the venue provides shelter like tents or if you can bring them and install them yourself. Many outdoor venues may provide an indoor space that can be set up as a “plan b” in case the weather doesn’t cooperate.
Lastly, but potentially the most important tip of all: book your venue as early as possible! Many venues book at least a year in advance, so depending on the date you have in mind (end of May to mid-October is the busiest time for weddings), if you don’t book early, you run the risk of the venue being booked up. The sooner you reserve your wedding date, the better. You should also mention the number of people you expect to attend and make sure the venue can accommodate your ideal guest count.
Book at the Perfect Rustic Wedding Venue in Caledon, Ontario
If you are looking for a beautiful location to celebrate your wedding day, look no further than Cadogan Farm Estate. We are a premium wedding and event venue in Caledon, one of Ontario’s most breathtaking areas. We cater to couples looking for a unique and elegant country barn venue to host their wedding. Our venue is situated on a 200-acre horse farm estate, and our amenities are unrivalled in the industry. We offer exclusive access and total privacy so you can have an intimate event with your loved ones. For more information and to book an appointment to visit the venue, call us at (905) 584-0955 or send us an e-mail.
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This post was written by Gina