I never wanted a big wedding.
To be quite honest, I always imagined myself having a Vegas wedding. I didn’t want to spend thousands of dollars on one day of my life for it all to be over in one blink of an eye.
When Ryan proposed my heart was set on a small wedding with close family and friends. We started looking into Vegas, saw packaged options and realized that a Vegas wedding was in no way a cheap option. Factoring in rooms and lodging for our family and friends the cost was almost reaching what I initially did not want to spend.
Vegas would also eliminate a lot of people and after a few months of comparing prices and packages we decided this was not the best option.
Small wedding. That was still my goal. These are the factors that I had to deal with.
- Guest List– How many people do I HAVE to invite and how many of those people will be super mad if I don’t invite them?
- Guest list is one of the most important aspects of choosing a venue. Many places have a cap at how many people are allowed in their facility. Start with an A list which are people that absolutely have to be there. Then move to a B and C list. The people on the A list plus a few (maybe 10) is the number that you want to use when looking for venues.
- Date– When will this all happen, and will the place I want have this date available.
- You found your venue! Wait… is the date available? My best advice is to have a few dates open. When we decided to put the deposit down on our venue all of our preferred dates were gone, we loved the place so much we decided on a later date in 2017 making it a 2 year engagement. I believe it will be well worth it.
- Amount of time – How long should my event be?
- What was surprising to me was that there were so many venues with limited time. Many of the ones that we saw has a cap of 5 or 6 hours. I didn’t like the idea of being rushed on my own wedding day. Which is why this was a high priority item.
- Budget– How much do I really want to spend on this thing?
- Budget in most cases can determine your venue as a whole. There are many different prices in venues. Some all-inclusive venues charge per person which makes it easy to determine how much you will be spending.
- DIY vs. Package -Do I want my own vendors?
- This was one of the hardest decisions when selecting a place. I knew that packaged deals would have been the best option for less hassle and stress, but at the same time I wouldn’t be able to be as involved in every decision. If I was going to spend all this money on our wedding, then why not make it exactly how I want it.
- Alcohol– Do I want an open bar?
- A lot of times we would fall in love with the venue, with the package, the scenery, the hours and then…. they would go over the bar options. Ryan and I decided very early on that we wanted to have an open bar. We loved the idea of taking care of our guests and allowing them to have fun on our special day. Which is why we decided to go with our venue where we are allowed to bring in our own alcohol.
- Groom– What does the groom want?
- Lastly, but probably the most important would be to incorporate what the groom wants too. I am so happy that Ryan and I have worked as a team to plan this wedding. We have both put in countless hours so far to make sure that everything is taken care of. Yes, we have a lot of little disagreements and that is completely normal. I want this day to be a representation of both of us and make sure that when we look back, we see this as one of the most beautiful days in our life.
After almost 7 location viewings and dozens of online requests for information we finally chose a place that made both of us happy.
I hope you enjoyed this list of what to consider when looking for a venue. I have 344 days left until this day and I cannot wait.
Love you all