What to look for when wedding venue shopping


“Congratulations on your engagement!”

You may have received many emails of heard this if you have begun the wedding venue search or just engaged. Let’s be realBeing engaged will be the most exciting and stressful time(it’s impossible to not stress and a little stress is good, right?!). Whether your ballin on a budget or rolling in dough there’s a few things you should know about the Venue Hunt.


*No matter how rich or poor, everyone has to have a budget.

Now realize the venue will be the most expensive part of your wedding. Because usually, you need to coordinate ceremony &reception, food, drinks(booze), and etc. And if you’re like me you probably just thought of the big picture, oh girl have a seat there are the teeny tiny details too. So in my usual manner, I will bullet out things to be on the lookout when venue shopping. For the sake of simplicity, I am going to assume you want to do your ceremony and reception at the same place.

Ceremony & Reception:

These costs usually will be laid out very clearly, which is where they can trick ya. Most venues had the necessary stuff included, but some don’t so you will need to ask. Don’t be afraid to ask.

  • Tables( round dinner seating, cocktail, cake, guestbook, and gifts, DJ table)
  • Chairs( How many? What type? Chair Cover?)
  • Linens(Standard black and white? Colors?)
  • Security
  • Parking( Are there parking attendants)
  • Set up and tear down of event
  • Length of time can we use the venue
  • Quiet Hours
  • Onsite Coordinator
  • Ceremony Rehearsal
  • Discounts to preferred vendors
  • Venue Liability Insurance
  • A/V System( you’ll thank me for this one)
  • Can my dog be in the wedding
  • Candles/ Sparkler send off
  • Dance Floor

Catering & Drinks/Bar

Here’s where most of your money may go.

  • Catering Minimum( my personal favorite)
  • Use of outside vendors( Fee?)
  • Average cost per person for Buffet/Plated
  • Bartender( fee?)
  • Open Bar ( cost per person per hour)
  • Non- Alcoholic Drink Package
  • Bar set up fee
  • Bar Gratuity
  • Cake cutting services
  • Can the caterer make a cake


Could you envision yourself getting married or having a reception in the venue? If you can’t and feel like the place clashes with your vision or style, don’t do it, no matter how cheap, you’ll feel like you settled and that not a good start to planning your wedding. I have looked at a few venues that are very affordable but I can’t bring myself to even spend money on them. I promise you will find something that you will love. Side note: I’m not saying it will be perfect, but it won’t make you want to gag.

For me, I cannot do carpet. I don’t like carpet and usually, venues with carpet have crazy designs or outdated carpet that just clashes with my theme.


Remember to enjoy the process. Remember its all in the name love. Don’t let the little details get you, and remember to stay in your budget, I promise you it’s for one day and not worth blowing your budget, everything can be tailored to fit your dream. Remember you can’t always get what you want, but when you try so hard you get what you can. lol! If you are in the Indy area, if you’re struggling with venue shopping, I can send you some great places I have found.

***Let me know if you would like to me to make a Wedding venue worksheet. I’ve been thinking of making one for myself to help me decide on the best venue for me and I would love to share it. And I know there are probably thousands already out there, but mine would be super adorable and uber helpful.



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