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How to Choose the Right Wedding Venue: What Factors Should You Consider?

You're floating on cloud nine, basking in the glow of your recent engagement, and now the excitement of wedding planning begins! But hold up, before you dive headfirst into the chaos of reaching out to a gazillion vendors, do me a solid favor. Take a moment to sit down with your partner, family, and friends to discuss some important stuff - priorities, budget, and who's got the final say.

Now that you've laid the groundwork and got your ducks in a row, it's time to embark on the exhilarating planning process. You've probably already chatted about the when and where of your dream wedding, so now it's all about finding that perfect place to bring your vision to life. Cue the daunting music! Trust me, I know the Memphis and surrounding areas are bursting with a plethora of incredible venues, but fear not, we'll help you navigate through the maze.


Finding the right venue can feel overwhelming. Trust me, as a wedding planner, I've seen it all – from charming barns to elegant ballrooms and everything in between. It's like finding a needle in a haystack, except this needle will be the backdrop of your unforgettable day. With so many amazing options to choose from, how do you know which one is the perfect fit for you? Grab a cup of coffee (or a glass of bubbly) and let's dive into the world of wedding venues. We'll explore the factors you should consider to find the venue that will make your special day truly unforgettable.


OK, ok, I know I might be biased, but remember when I said the venue search can be overwhelming? I don’t say that to scare you, but I know how busy you likely are - wedding planning likely isn’t your full-time job and you probably don’t have a ton of time to research, explore, and tour multiple venues, so if you haven’t thought about it yet, consider hiring a wedding planner.

Wedding planners also know the ins and outs of venues like the back of their hands. They can uncover hidden gems and provide insights into what each venue truly offers. From knowing what rentals are included to understanding the true guest capacity, they'll ensure you have all the necessary information to make an informed decision. We are masters of envisioning the big picture and can help you think about the overall flow and logistics of your wedding day. So, don't be afraid to lean on the expertise of a wedding planner during the venue search process. They'll be your fairy godmother, guiding you through the maze of options and helping you find the venue that ticks all the boxes.


You may not be ready to commit to a wedding planner or maybe you’d rather know your date and venue before hiring one - and that’s ok! If that is the case, check out our top factors to consider when choosing your venue.

Budget: Show Me the Money!

Let's be real: weddings can get pricey. That's why it's essential to set a budget from the get-go. Determine how much you're willing to spend on your venue. On average, most couples tend to spend anywhere between 25-35% of their overall budget on the venue, but that number can greatly vary based on what the venue offers (additional rentals, in-house catering, etc.). Knowing your financial boundaries will help you narrow down your options and prevent any heartache later on.


Guest List: Size Matters!

Before you start touring venues, finalize your guest list. Are you dreaming of an intimate gathering or a grand celebration with hundreds of guests? The number of attendees will directly impact your venue choice. You don't want your guests squeezed like sardines or drowning in a sea of empty seats. Find a venue that can comfortably accommodate your party size, ensuring everyone has enough elbow room to dance the night away. Pro tip: Ask the venue to show you sample diagrams from past events with your anticipated guest count!


Style and Theme: Picture-Perfect Vibes!

Close your eyes and envision your dream wedding. What style or theme captures your heart? Whether you're into rustic charm, modern chic, or fairytale romance, your venue should reflect your vision. Consider the architectural style, ambiance, and decor options. Some venues lend themselves better to certain themes, so choose one that aligns with your personal style and will enhance the overall aesthetic of your wedding.

Location: Near or Far

Location, location, location – it's not just a mantra for real estate! Think about the convenience and accessibility for you and your guests. Are you dreaming of a local affair or a destination wedding? Consider the travel time, accommodation options, and transportation logistics. If you have guests coming from out of town, having the venue near an airport and hotels or offering shuttle services can make life easier for everyone.


Amenities and Services: Let's Get Pampered!

When it comes to wedding planning, the devil is in the details. Look into the amenities and services offered by each venue. Do they provide in-house catering or allow external vendors? Is there a bridal suite for getting ready or a cozy lounge area for cocktail hour? Don't forget to ask about parking, audiovisual equipment, and any restrictions or regulations. The more services and amenities a venue offers, the smoother your wedding day will be.


Flexibility and Personalization: Make It Your Own!

You're unique, and your wedding should be too! Seek a venue that allows you to put your personal touch on the space. Some venues provide more flexibility than others when it comes to decor, layout, and customization options. If you have specific ideas or DIY projects in mind, make sure the venue is open to your creative genius.


Weather Plan: Rain or Shine, It's Gonna Be Fine!

Mother Nature can be a little unpredictable, so consider the venue's weather plan. If you're planning an outdoor wedding, ask about backup options in case of rain or extreme weather conditions. You don't want your dream garden wedding to turn into a waterlogged fiasco!


Alright, those were some of our top tips to consider when looking for the perfect place to host your wedding. If you are on the hunt for your perfect venue and are feeling overwhelmed by all the options and information, we’d love to hear from you! At Purple Door, we work with a lot of venues in Memphis and the surrounding areas and can save you from potential headaches and ensure that your dream vision is brought to life in a space that truly fits. Until then, here are two of my top questions to ask potential wedding venues when touring to help ensure it’s the right space for you (outside of knowing date availability and pricing)

  • Are we allowed to provide our own alcohol? How long can alcohol be served?

  • Are there getting ready rooms for the wedding party?

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