With a wedding planner on board and a budget set, it should be relatively easy to make a list of prospective venues. Once you have a list of possible locations in the general area where you would like to be wed, start looking at each locations specific benefits or limitations. Specifically, consider things to do in the area, guest accommodations, transportation and time of year.
Things To Do In The Area
Family and friends will likely come into the area for several days, and your wedding will only take up a few hours of that visit. It is important that there is something for your guests to do during their stay. Make a list of things to do near your venue. Golf courses, spas, outlet malls, amusement parks, museums, zoos, night-life scenes and parks are great examples of what you want near your wedding location. Make sure there is something near by for every age group.
Unless your family has an enormous house with enough bedrooms for all your guests, you need to consider what guest accommodations an area has to offer. Make a list of out-of-town guests and try to determine how many rooms you will need to reserve. Then check out local hotels. Ideally, you should be able to reserve enough rooms for all your guests with a single provider, but in rural areas this may not be possible. Call the local hotels and explain your situation. Find out how many rooms you can reserve and if they will give wedding guests a discount. Some venues may actually provide on-site guest accommodations and offer a discount on both the room reservations and the wedding venue.
Consider the transportation options near your venue. Will the whole wedding party have to travel to your destination or just guests? Once you have decided who you will need transportation for, find out what transportation options are available. Research the distance to the nearest airport, the availability of rental cars, the quality and availability of taxi services and public transportation options. Decide how the wedding party will be arriving at the wedding venue, and departing. For example, if you want to hire classic cabs or limousines, you need to find out if those services are available near your venue. A beautiful location may be impossible for your wedding if appropriate transportation cannot be arranged in the area.
Time of Year
Consider your wedding date, and look at each venue through the lens of the season. Some venues look amazing during the winter, while others look better in the spring. Also, consider the weather that is normal for that time of year and how it will effect the venue. You do not, for example, want to plan a wedding in an area prone to flooding during the wet season. You likewise do not want to plan a wedding in an area with steep hills during the winter. Outdoor venues are less comfortable during the very cold and very hot months of the year, but are typically beautiful in the spring and fall. Using a farmer's almanac or long-range forecasting tool to look at the projected weather for your wedding date before selecting a location is wise.
How to Choose the Perfect Wedding Venue Series : Part I Location, Budget, Wedding Planner and Dining