Today’s lovely guest post comes to us from Derek of Celebrations, a luxury wedding venue in Bucks County, PA. Enjoy!

You’re engaged! Now what? Once the elation of getting engaged wears off, you might start to feel overwhelmed about wedding planning. Fear not, Bride-to-Be! As long as you know where to start, everything will go smoothly. The most important decision that you will have to make is where you want to host your wedding reception. Luckily, the expert wedding planners at Celebrations have put together a guide to finding a venue that is perfect for your special day.

Read the full post after the cut!

Set a budget.

Before you even start looking at venues, you will need to sit down with your fiancé and discuss exactly how much you can afford for the entire wedding. Then you have to allocate a portion of that amount to the wedding venue itself. Typically, 50% of your budget should be dedicated to the venue itself, including catering and alcohol (if you’re choosing to have it). If either or both sets of parents are contributing to your wedding fund, make sure they are also involved in the discussion.
Decide on a headcount. You don’t need a finalized guest list to start wedding venue shopping, but you should have an estimate of the people you think will attend. Many venues have a limit on the number of people that can fit into the space. Also be aware that some venues have a guest requirement minimum. Compile a rough draft of the guest list to ensure that the venues you are looking at will be able to accommodate your needs.

Determine a date.

While you may not already have an exact date in mind for your wedding, you should at least consider which season would be ideal. This will help when you browse for venues as you can receive a cost estimate for your desired month. Prices can change drastically between peak-season and off-season, so you don’t want to be stuck guessing about the cost.

Look at locations.

Whether you want to have a destination wedding or keep it local, start by deciding if you want to be married indoors or outdoors. If you want an outdoor wedding, be prepared to plan for the elements! There are a number of elegant places you can host an outdoor wedding, from vineyards and farms, to historic locations. If you want to have an indoor wedding reception, it’s best to host it at a wedding hall where all of the wedding necessities are handled under one roof.

Take a tour (or two).

Once you have a few options in mind, contact the venues to set up an appointment to take a tour. A knowledgably staff member will be able to go through all of the options for your wedding, including any catering companies, bakeries, and DJs they may work exclusively with. During your tours, keep an eye out for locations perfect for photos. Also, scope out the bridal suite and bathroom situations as well to make sure everything fits your standards.

Ask a lot of questions.

When checking out the venues with your fiancé, this is your chance to ask all of the important questions that you may have in mind.

  • Is it full service, or will I have to hire outside vendors?
  • Who will my point of contact be the day/night of?
  • Is there enough parking to accommodate my guests?

Asking these questions during your tour will ultimately help you make your decision. A venue should cater to your needs and work for you on your big day. Don’t hold back, ask away!
Planning a wedding is a big deal! Do your research to decide on a venue that you absolutely love, everything will go beautifully. Good luck, and happy planning!


Thanks  Derek! For more information about Celebrations, please visit their WeddingLovely Vendor Guide profile or head straight to their website.

Do you have any questions or comments for Derek? Add them to the comments below!