3 tips for choosing your perfect wedding venue | Virginia Wedding Photographer

3 Tips for Choosing your perfect wedding venue

When I was getting married and in the Wedding planning phase, one of the toughest decisions was finding a wedding venue. Luckily my husband and I were able to find a venue that had everything we were looking for. Our 5-year wedding anniversary is coming up, and I recently visited our Wedding venue for my Venue Spotlight series. You can read more about those here and here. A lot has changed, but would I choose it all over again? Well you’ll have to read the blog post next week to find out.  But in the meantime I’m sharing 3 tips to choosing your perfect wedding venue.

1. Consider the style of your wedding

When choosing a wedding venue, you have to consider the overall look and feel of your wedding day. What do you envision? Do you want to get married outside? Inside? Do you want a more modern space with tons of windows and natural light? Do you want a more traditional space with a large ballroom? Do you want to get married in a church and have your reception elsewhere? What is the overall look and feel of your wedding, and what is your style as a couple?


I know these are a lot of questions, but choosing a venue is very important and these factors are all important to consider.  Your personal style as a couple has a huge impact on the style of venue and even the style of your wedding day. After all, it is your wedding day and it should be a reflection of your personalities. So if you’re the type of person that loves bright colors, sunny days, and lots of natural light, you’re more likely to choose a venue that has lots of windows and a bright open space for your ceremony and/or your reception. You wouldn’t be as likely to choose a darker venue with limited window light, or even choose to have a candlelit evening ceremony.


Based on your wedding style, here are a few suggestions on the types of venues to consider. If your style is:



Modern/ Minimalist:

  • An Art gallery
  • A Loft Space with lots windows and modern fixtures
  • A rooftop space with city views
  • A Yacht
  • Museum
Liberty House Ceremony View with New York Skyline | New York Wedding Photographer



  • Industrial loft
  • Old warehouse
  • Foundry
The Foundry Wedding in Long Island City Bride walking down the aisle | New York Wedding Photographer



  • A church ceremony and a reception in a hotel ballroom
  • A Golf Club
  • A Mansion
Catholic Church in New Jersey | New Jersey Wedding Photographer


Garden style/Whimsical:

  • Botanical Garden
  • Vineyard
  • Country Club with lots of greenery
The Carltun outdoor Wedding Ceremony | New York Wedding Photographer


Outdoorsy/Nature- inspired:

  • Barn
  • Farm
  • Plantation
Bayonet Farm Barn Wedding | New Jersey Wedding Photographer

2.     Do you want to have your ceremony and reception in one place?

This is something to consider. When I got married, it was really important to us to have both the ceremony and reception in the same place. We lived in an area that had lots of traffic and didn’t want to take the chance of getting stuck in traffic on our wedding day. And we didn’t want that for our guests either.  Having everything in one place helps with the flow of the day too. Your guests can go straight from the ceremony and go to another room for the cocktail hour. But, if you prefer to get married in a church, temple, or other religious place of worship, then having everything in one place isn’t an option for you.


Pro tip: If you’re having your ceremony and reception in a different location, try to pick a reception venue as close to your ceremony space as possible. If you live in a high traffic area, traffic can be a major issue and delay your reception.

3.     What does the venue offer? Will you have to bring in outside vendors?

Does your venue include tables, chairs, linens, etc.? Does your venue include a caterer or do you have to provide your own? These are important factors to consider when choosing a venue. Some venues that normally host weddings provide tables and chairs and have an in-house caterer. Other non-traditional wedding venues like barns, museums, or even lofts may not include such things and you’ll have to hire outside vendors to provide these items. Depending on your style and what you need, this could get pricey and having a venue that already includes these items might be a better option for you. 


I hope this post was helpful and gives you something to think about when choosing your wedding venue.


Happy Wedding Planning!