We are so excited to bring you this guest blog from The Eloise
Hello Friends! I’m Stacey. My husband and I own The Eloise, a year round wedding and event venue located in Mount Horeb.
Figuring out how to choose a venue is one of the first steps in your wedding planning process. Before you jump into your venue search, it helps to have some criteria narrowed down. Refining your search can reduce mind-numbing scrolling, information overload, and get you to your perfect venue quicker.
1. DETERMINE YOUR BUDGET
When it comes to choosing a wedding venue, one of the most important factors is how much you can spend on the space. You should know your overall budget before you start the venue search. Break down your overall budget by category and then prioritize more funds for vendors that are higher priority. When it comes to your venue budget, you should know how much it will cost to execute the design and décor you want. If adding that on top of the cost of using the space blows your budget out of the water, you’ll need to scale back your design or look at more affordable spaces.
2. KNOW YOUR GUEST COUNT
How big do you want this party to be? 100 guests? 200 guests? 300+ guests? You don’t have to have your guest list set in stone but you should have a good idea of how many guests you intend to invite before you start your venue search. Knowing how many people you intend to have will help refine your search but also save you from headaches and heartaches of falling in love with a venue that is either too big or too small for your wedding day.
3. DETERMINE YOUR STYLE
Wedding and venue styles can be described in similar ways. They can be formal, bohemian, rustic, glam, modern, industrial chic, etc. This might seem obvious but you want to look for a venue that fits the vision of your wedding. If you’re planning a chic and modern wedding, you’ll want to look for venues with modern architecture. On the flip side, a wedding incorporating more rustic and natural aesthetics works well with outdoor venues and barns.
4. KNOW YOUR MUST-HAVES
Create a list of items that you must have when choosing a venue. Be realistic with your must-have items because the bigger the list, the bigger the budget you’ll need.
Your must-have list can include things like:
Ceremony space (indoor/outdoor)
Distance from accommodations
In-house beverage service
This list can go on and on but having a handful of items that are a priority can help refine your search when choosing a venue.
Pro Tip: An all-in-one venue might cost you more upfront compared to a venue where you need to rent your own, but you should get an estimate from a rental company to see how the pricing compares.
5. DO YOUR RESEARCH
This goes without saying but you need to do your research. Try to get as clear of a picture as possible before touring a venue. Doing your research ahead of time will give you the power of knowledge to ask really good questions and keep you focused on your venue search.
Check out places like WedPlan, The Knot, WeddingWire, Google, Instagram, Facebook, and the venue’s website. When you do your research, use steps 1-4 to narrow your selection. Does the venue fit in your budget? Can it accommodate your guest count? Does the aesthetics match the style of how you vision your wedding? Does it have some or all of your must-have items?
Pro Tip: Write down questions you have for your venue before you go on a tour. It is so easy for your excitement to take over and forget the questions you wanted to ask. Not sure what to ask? Check out our venue questionnaire pdf below. It has 15+ questions to ask your venue plus space to write your own questions and take notes. Download the pdf and take it with you to your tours!
6. GUT CHECK
It’s important to ask yourselves what feels authentic to you as a couple and choose a venue that represents who you are. Don’t try to force yourself into something you don’t like or be pressured into something that doesn’t feel right. You’ll end up with buyer’s remorse and heartache. If it doesn’t feel right, move on to the next one. There are a lot of options when looking at venues so find one that speaks to you and your fiancé.
Finding the perfect venue doesn’t have to be a daunting task. You can break it down to 6 actionable steps to keep you on track and having fun. Knowing your budget, guest count, and style will help narrow down your initial search. Then, when you research your top choices you’ll be able to refine your search to meet your needs and wants. By the time you go tour your top choices, you will have covered all of the basic information and be able to ask specific questions. Lastly, stay true to yourselves and enjoy the process.
Venue: The Eloise
Photographer: Valerie Halling Photography
Caterer: JL Richards
Desserts: Nothing Bundt Cakes
Florist: Simply Glamorous Designs
DJ/Band: DJ Aaron Jai