Things to Keep in Mind When Selecting a Wedding Venue

May 19, 2022

After getting engaged, one of the first things most couples do is start looking for a wedding venue. And although this can be a fun part of the process, it can also be quite overwhelming. There are so many beautiful venues to choose from, and you want to pick just the right one to suit your style, budget, and location.

At some point, you may find that you have tons of tabs open on your laptop. How can you possibly narrow down your options when they all seem to offer a whole host of wonderful things. 

Because you’re reading this blog, I think it’s safe to say that wedding photography is important to you. You want your photos to authentically capture the beauty of your day and your venue. So today, I’d like to give you some things to keep in mind when selecting a wedding venue – from a photographer’s perspective. 

These tips should shed some light on what photographers see when looking at a space and how these elements will get you the best wedding photos.  

The Venue’s Aesthetic

Consider your wedding style, theme, colors, and decorations when you start thinking about potential venues. These will help guide you to a space with a similar aesthetic. Especially if you are looking to have a theme, you will want to select a venue that reflects that theme. 

For example, a romantic wedding theme will have a different look and feel than one with a modern edge. Elegant historic buildings, estates, and ballrooms work perfectly for romantic themes. Whereas industrial buildings, hotels, and rooftop spaces are ideal for modern-style weddings. 

Of course, you can always bring in your own décor and style the venue to fit your vision. But the overall look of a place should already encompass what you’re going for. This will ensure a cohesive look and beautiful photos. 

The Surrounding Area

Take a look at what surrounds a venue – the landscape, backdrops, and natural beauty. Do any unique areas stand out to you? Are there gorgeous garden spaces with fountain features? And can you access them for photos? 

Look for venues that provide backdrop options and unique locations for variety in your photos. Outdoor spaces are especially lovely, as the open air and natural light capture the truest form of the scenery and essence of the day.

If possible, visit your potential venue in person so you can walk around the area and get a good idea of what the space is really like. You’ll also get a good sense of what the venue offers both inside and out. 

Your Ideal Wedding Location

Where in the world would you love to get married? Literally! Knowing your destination will help you narrow down your venue options. 

Once you have your destination determined, you’ll have quite a few things to keep in mind when choosing a wedding venue. Consider travel arrangements for guests, accommodations, transportation to and from the venue, and find out if there are any travel restrictions. 

You’ll also want to think about seasonal factors. Some places are closed during certain seasons. And I always recommend researching what a venue looks like during the season you’re getting married. If you’re looking to get fall foliage photos, you may only have a limited window of time in certain areas. 

If you’re having a destination wedding, your event will likely be over the course of a few days. In that case, you’ll want to make sure that the venue you choose has accommodations and things for your guests to do nearby. Make it easy for them to get to and from your events and provide them with a fun list of local activities/restaurants/shopping in case they have free time and want to explore.  

Indoor or Outdoor 

When selecting a venue, something else to keep in mind is whether you want to have an indoor or outdoor wedding – or a mix of both. 

Cathedrals, castles, ballrooms, and estates are all beautiful options for indoor weddings. And most have outdoor spaces that are just as lovely where you can get gorgeous photos.

You might look to resorts, restaurants, vineyards, gardens, and seaside venues for an outdoor wedding. These are idyllic for open-air ceremonies, cocktail hour, and receptions.

And if you just can’t choose between the two, you can always mix it up and have an indoor ceremony and outdoor reception. Or vice versa. Just make sure you have a backup plan in case of inclement weather.   

I hope this guide helps you narrow your search for your perfect wedding venue. Or, at the very least, close a few of those tabs! 

Whichever venue you choose, I would love to capture its beauty – and your wedding! Please reach out, and let’s talk about your photography needs. 


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For nearly a decade Ashley has photographed captivating narratives of perpetual romance around the world. For her, it’s not about clicking a button.

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