Whether you’ve had your venue picked before you even went on your first date or if you have zero places in mind, there are a few things you’ll want to confirm before booking your wedding venue. This list of the top five things to consider before finalizing your budget is a great starting point to reference throughout the wedding venue search process and will help you start your wedding planning off on the right foot. Here are 5 Things to Keep in Mind When Booking a Wedding Venue.
Determine Your Budget
Like any large expenditure, there are several factors to consider when determining your wedding budget – and all of these should be considered before you book your venue. Make sure to ask yourself, “how much can I spend and how much am I willing to spend?” and consider all your funding sources. A typical wedding budget needs to have assigned costs for the venue(s), food and drinks, ceremony, attire, flowers/decorations, entertainment, photographer/videographer, stationery, wedding rings, and of course, a realistic contingency budget. When applicable, make sure to include tax and gratuity in your calculations. Also, if you are funding your wedding fully on your own, make sure to consider the cost of the rehearsal dinner and any additional pre-wedding events.
Create a Guest List
Much like a family of five would not purchase a sports car as their only vehicle, it would serve you very little purpose to look at wedding venues that cannot fit all your guests. Carve out 30 minutes to sit with your partner and anyone else who will be allowed to invite guests and realistically compile a guest list. Make sure to only include the people you want at your wedding and also be mindful of any necessary plus ones. And while your actual attendance will fluctuate from your guest list, it’s always best to have an estimated headcount to help avoid booking a venue too big or too small for your actual wedding.
List Out Your Priorities
Once you know your budget and estimated venue size, it’s time to decide what your priorities are for your wedding venue. Consider these the non-negotiables that you and your partner value the most. Do you want a seated reception? Will your ceremony be at the same location? Should this be kid-, pet-, or elderly-friendly? This should be a small list with realistic criteria that you can cross-reference when researching venues.
Narrow Down Your Time Range
Another element to consider when choosing your venue is the time of year. If you listed having an outdoor ceremony as a priority, you may want to avoid having your wedding during the summer heat or chilly winter. Or if you are a huge football fan, you may want to consider dates outside of fall. Keep in mind that some venues, especially around holidays like Christmas and New Year’s, are booked far out in advance, so keep your wedding planning timeline realistic.
Consider Your Guests’ Experience
While you and your partner’s opinions are the most important during the planning process, it is always helpful to keep your guest experience in mind when determining major decisions like your wedding venue. Consider the convenience of your venue for your out-of-town guests, parking options, food and beverage guidelines, and other factors that may play into your guests’ experience.
Now that you have established your budget, how much space you need, when you’d like to get married, and your priorities for yourself and your guests, it’s time to begin your wedding venue search! At The Mackey House, our unique and completely customizable venue offers several different location options to choose from, including inside or on the deck of our Southern mansion, in the lush garden, under our shaded pavilion, or amidst the breathtaking 300-year-old oaks on our property. We hope that these 5 things to keep in mind when booking a wedding venue. Contact us today to schedule your visit to The Mackey House, your premier Savannah wedding venue.