Your wedding venue should reflect who you are. It’s important to create a day that will resonate with you as a couple.
In fact, who you are as a couple will also say a lot about who your guests are too. You want to make them feel comfortable, so this should be considered when shopping for the best venue for your wedding. But how do you know what the best venue will be for your wedding?
Whether you are looking for a wedding banquet hall or a hip rooftop venue, use this check-list to help you narrow down your choices, so you create the wedding day you’ve always wanted.
What have you been envisioning?
The problem with many weddings is they tend to fall in with the “norms” people expect. Taking the normal route makes it easier for you because you don’t have to worry about thinking too far outside of the box. However, is this really right for your personality?
To help you zero in on your options, here are the most common types of wedding venues:
A House of Worship
This is the most common option if you’re planning a religious ceremony. Most houses of worship offer a shared space you can rent for your reception, which is affordable but often lacks charm or character.
If you’re very religious and having a smaller scale wedding, this could be one of your best options.
In a city like Toronto, there’s an endless list of hotel options. This is a great choice if you are looking for a central location, whether your guests are all in the city, flying in, or coming from throughout Ontario.
You have different spaces to choose from, such as standard ballrooms, rooftop settings, bars, or quirky spots like libraries or dining areas, depending on the hotel. However, the issue with hotels is they tend to book up fast and sometimes have limited room.
A banquet hall has everything you could need, including a wedding planner. This works for larger weddings, but many venues offer smaller rooms as well. If you want a simple wedding where everything is handled for you and create your own unique setting, the banquet hall rules supreme.
A Farm or Barn
Rustic weddings are in nowadays and tie in with themes based on promoting locally grown foods and eco-friendly weddings. They can be very charming, but also prove to be a nightmare if the weather isn’t cooperating.
Also, keep in mind the location might not be so convenient (for those who will be drinking) with a shortage of places to stay and a car usually needed to get there and back. Imagine mud and local farm smells getting whipped up on the wind. However, weather permitting, this is a charming option if it suits your sense of casual, rustic romance.
This takes the rural idea to a higher, more elegant level. If you live for wine, what better place to create the perfect wedding? However, you might face the same transportation challenges as your farm or barn venue. If craft beer is more your style, you might also find a local brewery looking to get in on the wedding action.
A Park or Garden
Weather alerts aside, this is another idyllic setting, even if you aren’t planning a summer wedding. Beautiful outdoor locations are becoming popular all year round, including the stunning colours of fall and the magical world of the winter wonderland. But again, weather can also be the downfall of the outdoor wedding, leaving guests soggy, chilly, and miserable.
This is another upscale option that can be planned in a historic home or chalet type venue. You can sometimes get the best of both worlds at these locations, as they often feature a romantic garden, conservatory, or greenhouse to make things more Instagram-worthy.
A Country Club
The golf country club wedding can be a popular choice, but some might find them a little tacky. If you go this route, choose a venue with exceptional views away from people dressed in clicky shoes with cleats, short skirts, and plaid pants!
Just about any restaurant will be willing to shut down for a private party, even if they don’t have a banquet room. If you have a spot where you went on your first date, or where you just love the food and atmosphere, this can be a great choice for a smaller, more intimate wedding.
A Loft or Gallery Space
The list is endless from lofts to art galleries and museums to architecturally stunning commercial space lobbies. You would be surprised at just how open many commercial spaces are to renting out for private events.
If you see something that catches your eye, find out who to contact and find out if they are willing to play along with your wedding plans.
Once you get an idea of which venues sound good, you can create a shortlist. Next, you’ll want to get more specific in your considerations.
Consider Your Guests
The more eclectic and out there you get with your venue, the more difficult it might be for your guests. Look at who you’re inviting and where they are coming from. Here are some questions to help narrow it down:
- Is your spot easy to reach?
- Does it pose issues for people with mobility or transportation challenges? Will it be too hip for some guests?
- Is your guest list mostly fri9ends who will want something a little more fun and exciting?
- Is your circle classy or casual?
What’s included with the venue?
Wedding planning is a royal pain. But, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider making some calls if you’re going the more eclectic route. You never know what you might find out regarding what a venue is willing to do for you.
Just remember, on top of renting — say a cool loft or industrial space — you’ll often also have to hire caterers and servers, decorators, bakers for your cake, etc. This adds up to a lot of extra work. Make sure you understand all the services involved before committing to your venue.
Many venues allow you to customize the type of event you want to create. Your theme is really what’s behind your experience, so make sure your venue can deliver the experience you wish to create.
Don’t feel pressured by others to create a wedding they expect. Who you are should be the driving force in creating your ideal wedding. Don’t give up on a theme or vision just because it seems too difficult.
With the right venue, you can take your ideas and bring them to life. Together you can create the perfect setting for an authentic experience the both of you will love.