How to Pick Your PERFECT Wedding Venue

How to pick your perfect wedding venue
It seem’s unreal that my wedding was a little over a week ago. I’m a married woman – whoa! I often get asked how we chose our wedding venue. If you are new around here, we got married on June 2 at West Shore Cafe & Inn in Homewood, CA (Lake Tahoe). 

Choosing a venue was easy… just look at this crazy, freaking spreadsheet I made. 

Carson Wedding Venue Organizer

I didn’t do it by myself, though! Kit, my sweet friend Rachel, and I sat down for an hour and looked up a bunch of venues that had a list of things we were interested in and just started typing a long. This was the result. ^

We narrowed it down to our top 3-5 and started emailing away. Okay, maybe we didn’t go as in depth once we started looking at the venues online, but  we did narrow it down!

How to pick the PERFECT venue for YOUR wedding

  1. Research, research, research —> seriously though ; this one is BIG. Know what your budget is!
  2. All-Inclusive or just the Venue? I opted for an in between option. I wanted the venue, cleanup, food, and some items to be included. But I wanted to choose my own videographer, photographer, florist, and others. Which one gives you what you are looking for?
  3. Sound Check —> are you a late night partier? Some venues must have music off by 9 or 10pm!
  4. Are guests in-state or out-of-state? Is there an airport near by, rental car shop, and hotels that fit people’s budget?
  5. Are you paying for the location? The view? The name? What is important to you in the venue you choose?
  6. Narrow down your options to 3-5!
  7. Book Appointments! Tour the Venue!
  8. See their catalog on pricing, do they give discounts on certain days?
  9. Talk it over with your significant other, can you swing it? Is it within budget with room for everything else you have to spend money on?
  10. Book it! Often, you must have a deposit to put down to book your big day, so make sure you have it!

Sweet, ya did it! I know it isn’t the easiest thing to decide on, but it’s the biggest part of the wedding planning process. Once you have the venue chosen, everything else will start falling into place and you can start booking other vendors. 

How did we pick the PERFECT venue for OUR wedding day?

Well, we basically followed the exact steps listed above… AND we also knew we wanted the venue, food, beverages, clean-up, and some hotel rooms to be available for guests. We were okay with spending more for the VIEW (Lake Tahoe Pier) and less on decorations. 

Some things that were important for us in picking a venue were that we wanted to bring in our own photographer, videographer, florist, coordination, cake, DJ, and other goodies!

On our list of 3-5 Venues, we went to our top pick, fell in LOVE with the venue and the view, asked what dates were available, attempted to negotiate the pricing (REASONABLY), and booked that day! We didn’t even look at the rest and it was so worth it!

In the end, what matters is what is important to YOU and your significant other on that day. It doesn’t matter what anyone else wants (parents, family members, friends), unless someone is helping to pay for the wedding. In our case, we paid for everything on our own and it was the best decision ever. 

*P.S. – the photos above were taken by my sweet friends Brooke (@brooke_batten) and Lorian (@lololorian).*

Where are you getting married? Tell me in the comments below!

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  • thesophiadiaries

    I’m starting to see a lot more wedding posts, and I love reading them! This was super helpful, thank you for sharing <3 saving this for the future! x

  • Omg I’m stressed just looking at that spreadsheet! Great list, I wouldn’t have thought about the sound check!

    http://www.andthenwetried.com

  • Oh wow, that’s crazy and so much work! That’s exactly why I am shying away from getting married. I have been with my boyfriend for 8 years now and we both don’t feel like getting married soon. I am sure it is super fun but I think it’ll stress me out too much. Your spreadsheet looks lovely though. Definitely something to keep in mind 🙂
    Love from Austria, Theresa

  • I’m not getting married, but remembering this post for the future!

  • Brittnee Miller

    This is perfect! I’m not engaged but I’ve been a relationship for some years so saving it, just in case (;

  • Great post! I know nothing about planning a wedding, so maybe I’ll need this one day. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    Cassie
    Cassie’s Big Adventure

  • Figuring out what is important to you is so key!! There are so many different factors that have different levels of importance for every one.

  • First of all… CONGRATS GIRL!! Such an amazing time of your life. Choosing a place is definitely a huge deal. I also think it matters that you have a certain feeling when you walk through the place. I narrowed mine down to two and based my choice on what felt right for both my husband and I.

  • Congratulations!! There are a million factors that go into choosing the right wedding venue- it looks like you made a great choice!

  • Love how you narrowed down the venues! Will definitely be using this strategy when I’m planning my wedding 😉

    Kristen | http://www.sophisticatedgal.com

  • mckenna bleu

    Remembering the stress of this! But once you narrow it down its a huge relief!

  • great tips! we definitely got lost in a sea of spreadsheets when choosing a venue!

  • Macarena Ferreira

    What an amazing venue! I love Lake Tahoe.

    xo // http://www.thematerialgirl.co

  • Ashley Vickney

    These are such great tips! Looks like a fabulous venue!