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Choosing the Perfect Wedding Venue

Barn Wedding Venue

Choosing the perfect wedding venue is one of the most important things you will do when planning your wedding. Think of your venue as the backbone of your big day. It will help dictate style, size, budget and theme. And whether you are planning a classic country club wedding or nuptials on the beach, each potential wedding venue comes with its own set of challenges. To help you get started, check out our pros and cons list of the most popular wedding venues below!

Church

Church Wedding Venue
Copyright: Kate/ILS S’ Adorent Moments Photography

Pros:

Churches are a wedding staple for a reason. In addition to being the center point for religious ceremonies, churches offer great benefits that other venues do not. Chances are your minister knows you both pretty well and will be happy to customize your ceremony. This level of intimacy creates a lovely environment for both you and your guests. And church weddings are generally very affordable. Amenities like seating, dressing rooms, musical equipment and parking are already in place, you simply bring in your own decor!

Cons:

While you do get to bring in your own flowers and decor, most churches will not allow you to drastically change the atmosphere of the sanctuary. Be prepared to follow certain guidelines when planning your decor. Unless your church has a banquet hall, you may need to plan on having your reception in a different location. And there is always the possibility that you will not be the only wedding or service happening on your date, so time management can also be a concern.

Hotel

Hotel Wedding Venue
Copyright: Omni Hotels

Pros:

Hotels offer a one stop shop for everything wedding.  In addition to providing the seating, ceremony space, banquet hall, catering and reception space, they offer significant room and travel discounts for you and your guests. This is a huge benefit for a wedding on a budget. And hotel event coordinators are seasoned veterans when it comes to planning weddings. You can relax knowing that they are experienced and ready to troubleshoot any problem that might arise.

Cons:

Many hotels only work with preferred vendors. This means that you may not be able to use vendors not on their approved list. If your style matches that of their decorating staff, that’s not a problem. However many brides complain that hotel weddings seem impersonal and generic. And if you aren’t the only wedding occurring at the time you could find yourself sharing space and vendors with another couple.

Country Club

country club wedding venue
Copyright: Renee Sprink Photography

Pros:

Like churches and hotels, country club weddings offer all of the basic amenities you will need when planning your wedding. They also combine the beauty of the outdoors with the luxury of a private club. Most have stunning natural features that make for beautiful photographs. And the in house catering is usually top tier, so you can be sure your guests will leave happy and well fed.

Cons:

Cost is usually the main concern when planning a country club wedding. If you aren’t already a member, you could be missing out on significant discounts. And while you may be able to reserve certain sections of the grounds and buildings, you may have to share space with other members.

Restaurant

Copyright: Talula's Garden
Copyright: Talula’s Garden

Pros:

The obvious pro when planning a wedding at a restaurant or bar is the food! Your guests will have a wide variety of options instead of just a few catered entrees, and the bar tab will close when you do, so the party can continue well into the night. Additionally, restaurant weddings are very intimate and relaxed. And they come pre-decorated!

Cons:

Size matters. The actual space of the venue is limited, so 100+ guests may not appreciate being stuffed into a trendy downtown bistro for the evening. Restaurant weddings can also be quite costly, as you will need to compensate the owners for any business they may lose as a result of your reserving the space for the day. Lastly, many restaurants are not used to hosting weddings, putting a lot of the planning responsibility back on you.

Outdoors

outdoor wedding venue
Copyright: Jacilyn M Photography

Pros:

What better backdrop to your ceremony than a stunning mountain or miles of sandy beach? Outdoor weddings offer beautiful opportunities for photographs. They also set the stage to be as creative as you like. Having an outdoor ceremony allows you to start with a blank canvas and really customize the entire experience. From the altar to the place settings to the dance floor – you get to create it all!

Cons:

The biggest thing to consider when planning an outdoor wedding is the weather. You can check the forecast 20 times a day and still not be prepared for a freak thunderstorm that hits the moment your guests are sitting down to dinner. Canvas tents offer shelter without sacrificing the outdoorsy feel. Oppositely, make sure your guests are protected with sunscreen and bug spray during hot summer months. When choosing an outdoor wedding venue, take care to remember that you will be providing everything from seating to decor.

Private Home

backyard wedding venue
Copyright: Gia Canali Photography

Pros:

Whether your wedding is in a casual backyard or an elaborate estate, private homes make a great option for intimate ceremonies. Private homes allow you full control over every aspect of planning. There are no decoration or vendor requirements and your guests can all stay in the same place. This can also help you avoid large location rental fees.

Cons:

Similarly to outdoor weddings, what you are saving in location fees you may be spending on amenities. It is also important to remember that you are temporarily taking up somebody else’s time and home. Be prepared to clean up after the event and address any accidental damages that may occur.

Barn

Barn Wedding Venue
Copyright: Ben and Sophia Photography

Pros:

Rustic chic is a trend that is here to stay! The best thing about barn weddings is that they can be as casual or as elegant as you can imagine. They bring the outdoors in and provide shelter and ambiance, the decor is up to you! Barn weddings also offer a great transition from ceremony to reception, and give your guests plenty of space to boogie down on the dance floor.

Cons:

Regardless of the time of year, most barns are not climate controlled. Be prepared to manage the heat or chill accordingly. Your barn may also need some clean up beforehand, as many are home to animals and farm equipment in the off season.

Museum, Zoo, or Library

Museum Wedding Venue
Copyright: OpieFoto

Pros:

For a wedding venue as unique as you are, consider tying the knot in a museum, zoo or library! The sheer variety of themes any one of these venues offers makes them a great choice for any couple looking for something a bit different. The exhibits make a beautiful backdrop for your ceremony and reception, as well as a conversation starter for your guests.

Cons:

You will be counting on the exhibits as the main part of your decor. And as many of the artifacts and pieces displayed may be valuable and fragile you will be responsible for any damage that occurs. The lighting in many of these places is meant to enhance the displays on the walls, make sure your photographer is prepared to shoot in low light situations.

Remember, no two wedding venues are the same. Make sure you take the time to research BEFORE you start touring a wedding venue. Keep your budget and theme in mind and most importantly, have fun! Whatever wedding venue you choose, Marrygrams has the paper goods to match! Get your custom signs, place cards, menus and more on Marrygrams.com!