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How to Pick a Wedding Venue

A Checklist of Things to Consider

One of the first things you probably think about when you get engaged is where you will host your wedding. Your wedding venue location can really set the tone and help you figure out the style that you want. You can go from causal beach all the way to a fancy, grand ballroom. No matter the case, it can seem daunting to choose the location for your big day. To help you narrow it down a bit here is a quick run down.

Pick a general location first.

Maybe you and your fiancé are long distance and both of your families live states away. With this you could choose either partner’s home area, somewhere in between, or completely somewhere new like a tropical destination. Many people, even get married at the college that they met at or the town they currently live in. This is when your budget comes into play too. Some cities are more expensive than others, so keep that in mind as you think of the general location.

Figure out your guest count

This is extremely important! I recommend doing this before you visit any location to scout because if you have a 200 guest count and the venue you fall in love with can only accommodate 120 guests, you will be heart broken and only compare future venues to that one. It’s like trying on a wedding dress out of budget… don’t do it unless you are ready to make sacrifices.

What are your priorities?

Every couple is different, so spend some time talking to your fiancé about how you envision your wedding day. Maybe you want an outdoor ceremony or a traditional church ceremony (having a separate location for ceremony is another ball of wax but nothing to stress). Then maybe you want an outdoor cocktail hour with passed appetizers followed by a rustic reception in an old mill. If you want your dog part of the party, that is also a factor to add in (not all venues are pet friendly). There are so many options which can definitely seem daunting but when you talk it out with your fiancé, you’ll easily see where your styles are headed – urban or country, rustic or glam, traditional or modern, etc.

Narrow down dates.

Lastly, narrow down some dates that are in the season that you want to get married. Tip: most venues drops prices in “off-season” (winter)  and on Fridays. This is a great way to save huge. Plus winter weddings are so GORGEOUS!

Now you are ready to start your venue search! Pick out 5-7 different locations to tour with your wedding planner. Be sure to ask the venue all the nitty gritty questions you have and weigh the pros and cons. Once you have done all that and you are in love with a venue, sign that dotted line and get ready for the best day of your life!

Below you will find a list of some of my favorite venues in the DMV area.

Baltimore:

DC:

Richmond:

Springfield Manor in Thurmont, MD
George Peabody Library in Baltimore, MD
The Sagamore Pendry in Baltimore, MD

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