After finding the love of your life – your next biggest wedding planning challenge is finding your venue. Choosing your venue involves a lot of budgeting, brainstorming and planning. It is the space that is going to display the overall theme and experience of your ceremony and the party to follow. With all of the venue options out there, it is so important to take the time you need to research options and make sure you’ve found the perfect place for you. To help ease the process, here are some tips to consider when picking out the perfect space for tying the knot.

1. Create your budget

The financial elements of your venue can become overwhelming if you don’t have a defined budget in mind. Knowing how much you want to put towards your wedding can help you determine the best venue for your vows or reception. It can also give you an estimate for what you can use the rest of your money for during the planning process — since the venue is something that you have to focus on as early as possible. Knowing this before you start looking at venues will really help you avoid the stress of falling in love with options you can’t afford.

The financial elements of choosing your venue can become overwhelming if you don’t have a defined budget in mind. Knowing how much you want to put towards your wedding can help you determine the best venue for your vows or reception. Instead of charging every expense to a credit card, taking out a personal loan for your wedding budget will help keep your spending under control. A personal loan has much lower interest, so you can save money while making sure you don’t spend over your intended budget.

2. Hire your wedding planner

No matter how you envision your wedding planning process or what outcome you are going for – everyone needs a wedding planner. We’d love to say everyone needs us as their planner 😉 but the truth is we believe you need to find a planner that fits your style, budget & personality. And that means that we may not be the best fit for everyone (though we fully believe we’re the best fit for many, many folks, of course!)

If you want to plan everything yourself – then look for a coordinator to help you execute your vision – we can do that! If you want help throughout the whole planning process, look for your planner right away to help with each step of the process. We can help you however you’d like and have an overwhelmingly awesome amount of expertise to share. Sharing your vision with a planner can spark additional ideas and inspiration that you may not have thought of beforehand, and can limit your stress when it comes to making decisions. Planners know of venue options that regular folks might not – so definitely use us as your insider resource.

3. Estimate your number of guests

Before you begin looking at a variety of wedding spaces, it is important to finalize your guest list. Having this number in mind before scoping out venues can really help you to determine how well each space can accommodate the amount of guests you plan to invite. Having a target number of guests to share with your wedding planner and each venue representative will serve as useful information when exploring how you can set up each potential space with tables, chairs, food stands, or a dance floor. If you’ve ever been to an event where the space was really crammed, you will be able to appreciate why you need to think ahead on this factor.

4. Location, location, location!

When choosing your wedding venue, it is important to take the location into consideration. Is there going to be an element of travel associated with your special day, or do you plan on picking a space that is easily accessible to your family & friends? Both options can be great – destination weddings can be so exciting for everyone, and hometown fun can be just as memorable. Figuring out what will work best for you and your group will help you narrow down your location search.

5. Determine your wedding style

With new wedding venue trends on the rise, more and more couples are looking into unique spaces — tree houses, museums, libraries, or natural areas. Whether you want a traditional vibe or a unique one, choosing a style comes down to your personal preferences. The best wedding venues reflect you and your partner’s personalities while remaining cohesive with the rest of your wedding plans.

If you are able to take these steps as you begin your planning process, you’ll be well on your way to finding the perfect spot for your I do’s!