Finding The Perfect Wedding Venue

July 04, 2018

How To Find The Perfect Wedding Venue!

This is a guest blog by Jeanine Wilk from Niche Events.


Congratulations! You have officially popped the question, are on cloud nine, and loving the high of being engaged. Where there is a newly engaged couple, there is the wonderful world of wedding planning!

It can be intimidating when you first think about all the things that you need to accomplish, and I don't blame you! One of the biggest hurdles is picking out the wedding venue, which will help allow the overall direction your wedding concept to take place and be the foundation to the rest of the process. A lot depends on the venue.

Have no fear...I am here to give you some tips and tricks on how to find the perfect venue!

Why Is the Venue So Important?

As I first mentioned, it really is one of the first things you book above all else. Not only does it officially secure your wedding date, it creates a foundation for the rest of your vendors that you also need to book. What the venue looks like, where its located, the ambiance...all of it will help put into perspective the concept of the day, which will narrow down your wedding decisions to a much more manageable field.

For example, if you have decided to host your wedding in a gorgeous outdoor space, you will need to look into booking tents, additional furniture rentals, and maybe even a power source. Versus, if you were hosting it at an indoor venue, these items wouldn't need to be a concern.

wedding venue

Make Your Wishlist

Before diving head first into hunting for a venue, I always recommend sitting down together and creating your wish list. Put down anything that comes to mind that you would like or love to have! This all includes:

  • Will the wedding be held locally, short driving distance, or at a destination
  • If you want a specific wedding date or just a certain time of year
  • What your ideal budget is (be realistic!)
  • Inside or outside
  • DIY or full-service help
  • If you want to bring in your own caterer and liquor
  • Anything goes on this list! It’s a wish list after all!

Once you have your list done, note your priorities, items you can let go of, and what you can compromise on if push comes to shove. Sure, you would love to spring for a live band for the night, but if the budget doesn't allow it, then maybe a trio during dinner would be a good middle ground.

Don't forget to be genuine and authentic to yourselves! If you both love dancing and partying the night away, don't shortlist venues where the bar closes at 10pm and the music cut off is at 11pm.

Determine Your Guest List

I put this as its own section because it can make or break picking between a few of your favourite venues you may have picked out already.

While you are writing out your wish list, it is a good idea to make a rough draft of your guest list. Yes, a physically written list. Family, friends, coworkers, family friends and distant extended family...include everyone (and their plus ones and children) that you could potentially invite. You would be surprised how many more guests end up on this list than expected! Review and filter out some groups if you need to.

This will ultimately determine your approximate capacity that you need to look for in a venue. Look for and research venues that fit this number, or around this number if your guest list is flexible. Or, on the opposite end of the spectrum, if you have a dream venue in mind that you have to have, then you now know how many people you may have to cut from your list to fit everyone.

wedding venue

Consider Hiring a Wedding Planner

Overwhelmed already? It might be in your best interest to hire a wedding planner to help you through this whole process. A professional approach can help you weed through all the options faster and more efficiently, while providing expert advice on every step of the journey...not just with selecting the venue!

When you book a full-service planner, they will be with you every step of the way when it comes to sourcing out the venue, presenting the best options based on your priority wish list, and even arranging and attending the initial meetings so all the right questions get asked.

Most full planners also have fresh perspective on how to transform a venue into something unique and tailored to you. A different floor plan, specialty lighting, or drapery can make a huge impact! Plus, they have an eye for detail from working with different venues all the time, so they have a broad and realistic sense of what works and what doesn't.

The Research and The Hunt!

You know what you want, what you need, and what to look for. Now it's time to research some potential venues that match and setup your site visits to see them and ask all your questions.

wedding venue canada

First Impression

Some things to keep in mind:

  • Be real with yourselves – does it give you that "Ah! This is totally us!" vibe?
  • Ask about any hidden fees on top of the venue rental. Do you require extra permits, special event fees, service and gratuity charges?
  • Does this venue have exclusive vendor privileges, or are you able to bring in whoever you want?
  • Ask for a standard floor plan of the space of what it would look like with your initial guest count in mind
  • Consider the flow of the day...where will the ceremony be? Where will the cocktail hour happen? What would the transition to sitting down for dinner look like? Where will dancing happen?


Questions to ask:

  • Clarify your booking time...what time are vendors allowed to access the space? When are guests allowed to enter the space?
  • Can you setup anything the day before the wedding and/or teardown the day after the wedding (big perk for DIY-ers out there!)
  • Are there any residential restrictions in regards to parking and noise?

canadian wedding venue
All Inclusive vs Blank Canvas

By this point, you have a few venues in mind, but they are on the completely different end of the spectrum when it comes to having everything available or nothing more than a patch of land (which may or may not be covered).

The difference between selecting a venue that is more all-inclusive verses an open space (or blank canvas, as I like to call it) really circles back to that priority list you made in the beginning. Do you want something easy, or a little more difficult to get the desired look you have in mind? Which one checks off the most boxes? If it's an outdoor space, do you mind arranging tenting, power, and lighting, or does this venue supply all of that?

Booking your Dream Venue

You've done your homework, saw what you needed to all that’s left is picking something you can both see yourselves celebrating in and what is going to work the best for what you need and want.

Once you have made a decision, sign that contract and put down the deposit to secure the venue...then go out and celebrate! Huge milestone achieved! Everything else will naturally fall into place on what you need next, especially now that you have a date secured. 

Happy Wedding Planning!

About the Contributor
Jeanine Wilk is a wedding planner from Niche Events, based out of Vancouver BC, who specializes in celebrating the world of love from intimate elopements to luxury weddings, elaborate proposals and destination weddings, and everything in between. Her personalized, concierge style service gives couples the best professional-meets-best friend planning experience for any event.

Visit Niche Events online or follow them on Instagram

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