Bride standing on a balcony overlooking the picturesque wedding venue, moments before the ceremony begins.

Steps to take before saying ‘I Do’ to my wedding venue

Diving into the world of wedding planning and feeling a bit overwhelmed? Don't sweat it—Zion Springs has your back! With years of industry wisdom under our belt, we're here to make the ride smooth and the choices snazzy.

Ready to lift the fog on finding the dreamiest of dream wedding venues? Our handy resource demystifies the nuts and bolts of venue selection. From budget-friendly gems to Insta-worthy aesthetics, we've got insider tips that will help you say "I do" to the perfect place without breaking a sweat—or the bank!

Evaluating wedding venues: budget, guest list, and style essentials

Starting your search for the perfect wedding venue involves thoughtful planning and clear priorities. Download your dedicated checklist here to compare your options and consider these critical aspects.

1. Setting your wedding budget

Allocate a significant part—around 40-50%—of your total wedding budget to your venue. Discuss with your partner and any financial contributors to establish a spending range. This helps you target venues within your budget, saving time and stress.

2. Creating your wedding guest list

Guest list numbers can make or break your venue options. The size of your venue should align with the number of guests you expect, affecting everything from space to catering options. It doesn't have to be an exact number, but a ballpark figure can guide your venue selection process and streamline other planning aspects like catering and seating.

3. Defining your wedding style

A venue that complements your wedding theme, be it vintage, boho-chic, or contemporary, elevates the overall ambiance. The existing décor and architecture should match your vision, potentially sparing you extra decoration costs while elevating your guests' experience.

4. Wedding venue location essentials

While a venue's aesthetic appeal is important, its location can't be overlooked. Take into account its proximity to the ceremony site (if different), parking availability, and public transport options. Nearby lodging for out-of-town guests can also be a significant plus. A well-located venue simplifies logistics, making the day smoother for everyone involved.

5. Seasonal factors in wedding venue selection

Your wedding's timing affects your venue options. Each season comes with its charm and challenges, like the need for indoor back-up during summer months or heating for a winter celebration. Consider how seasonal factors like weather conditions or flower availability might influence your final venue selection.

6. Digital pre-research: venue reviews and ratings

Before you tour potential venues, take the time to do some digital detective work. Check online reviews, customer testimonials, and even take virtual venue tours where available. This pre-visit groundwork will help you shortlist venues that meet your criteria, making your in-person visits more targeted and effective.

Finding your dream venue might feel like looking for a needle in a haystack, but remember, the right venue is out there just waiting to be a part of your big day. All it takes is a bit of planning and thoughtful consideration to make your dream a reality. Happy venue hunting!


Bridesmaids holding colorful bouquets, shaded by a stylish umbrella under the summer sun at a wedding celebration.

Critical inquiries during venue tours

Venue availability, package inclusions, vendor policies, and deposit requirements are vital questions to pose during venue visits. Knowing what to ask shields you from unforeseen costs and logistical hassles.

  • Wedding venue availability: Timing is everything when it comes to securing your ideal wedding venue. Peak seasons can see venues booked years in advance, so ensure your preferred dates are available. It's also prudent to inquire if other events are scheduled on the same day at the venue, as this could affect logistics like parking, setup time, or even the attention you receive from the venue's staff.
  • What's included in the wedding venue package?: Don't assume that all essentials are covered in the package price; always ask what is specifically included. Are basics like tables, chairs, and linens part of the deal? Find out if optional add-ons like dance floors, lighting, or audio-visual equipment come with an extra cost or can be integrated into your package.
  • Venue vendor policies: Vendor policies vary from venue to venue and can affect both your budget and customization options. Clarify if you're restricted to using in-house vendors or if you're free to bring your own. Make sure to ask for a list of preferred or prohibited vendors, and ask if there are any associated fees or licenses for stepping outside their preferred list. Will they work with your wedding planner; do they require you to use their venue coordinator too?
  • Deposit and cancellation policy: Understanding your financial obligations upfront can save you stress down the line. Get clear details on deposit requirements, payment schedules, and cancellation policies. This knowledge not only helps with budgeting but could also influence your decision on whether to get wedding insurance. 
  • Inclement weather plans: What alternative options does the venue offer in event of inclement weather? Do they have plans in place to assist you and your guests? Do they have heating and cooling systems, and are they able to clear snow from parking and entrances?

With these key questions in hand, you're set to make informed choices about your venue. This prep work not only guides your decision but also eases your mind as you advance in your wedding planning. Remember, the right questions today can save you from surprises tomorrow.

Insider tips for an exceptional wedding venue

1. Flexibility in venue choices

Choose venues offering indoor and outdoor flexibility to weatherproof your wedding day. Venues with this adaptability eliminate logistical headaches and let you enjoy your day without compromising your vision.

2. Accessibility and comfort

Choose a venue that's accessible to everyone, including those with special needs. Amenities like ramps, elevators, and accessible restrooms make a big difference in your guests' experience. Consider including a venue layout in your invitations to highlight these facilities.

3. Importance of good acoustics

Good sound quality is a must. Acoustic challenges can ruin important moments like vows or speeches. Check if your venue has noise restrictions and invest in a sound check to avoid last-minute glitches.

4. Lighting matters

The right lighting enhances the venue's atmosphere, whether it's the natural glow of a sunset during a beach wedding or a chandelier's elegance in a ballroom. Customizable options can help you adjust the lighting to sync with your wedding's mood and color scheme. Conduct a lighting test to ensure the venue meets your specific needs.

As you narrow down your venue choices, these fine points can be game-changers. Consider the cost benefits of weekday weddings and don't hesitate to negotiate prices during off-peak times. Timing is key; popular venues book up early. Incorporating these insider tips with fundamental considerations like flexibility, accessibility, sound, and lighting will help you secure a venue that's not just memorable but truly extraordinary.


Guests arrange seats on a lush lawn in preparation for a scenic outdoor wedding ceremony.

Bringing your dream venue to life

Embarking on the wedding planning journey can be both thrilling and daunting. But take a deep breath and envision this as your personal navigation system. From budgetary considerations to guest list advice and insights on ambiance, we've got you covered in your quest for the ideal venue.

The perfect venue is more than just a location—it sets the stage for your romantic narrative. By following our tailored approach, venue selection becomes less of a hurdle and more of an exciting adventure. Rest assured, a venue that flawlessly fits your vision is out there, just waiting for your arrival.

At Zion Springs, we're here to facilitate your dream wedding journey, enriching every aspect from wedding invitations to signature cocktails. Your perfect venue aligns with your unique love story and individual preferences. 

Whether you're eyeing an all-inclusive package or a customized approach, the choice is yours to make. Ready to start the journey? 

Consult with our wedding experts today.