One of the first items to check off of your wedding planning to-do list as a newly engaged couple is to find a venue and set a date. How do you go about finding the perfect venue? Here are some things to consider before you make a final decision:
1. What do you want as your backdrop? Knowing whether you want a beachside ceremony, fairytale ballroom, or a rustic barnyard wedding will help you narrow down the choices. There are so many great options, especially here in San Diego: winery, beach, country club, garden, hotel ballroom, ranch, estate, museum, or even on a sternwheeler cruising around the bay! The Bahia Resort alone has so many different types of venue to offer for weddings; they have grand ballrooms with a view of Mission Bay, they have a private sandy beach, a tropical garden with a gazebo, or you could even hold your ceremony and/or reception on a sternwheeler!
2. What is the style you are going for? I find that going through Pinterest is helpful in figuring out whether you like something modern and clean, rustic and whimsical, or glittery and glammed up. Your style should match your venue, and you can even draw inspiration from your venue. I recently went to take a tour of the U.S. Grant Hotel in downtown San Diego. You could try to turn it into a beach theme, or try a rustic floral look, but this venue is actually perfect for those brides who are looking for a fairytale-like fancy ballroom experience. The detailed architecture and shiny crystal chandeliers that this fantastic venue has adds to the charm and character of your wedding.
3. How far away do you want your guests to travel? Take into consideration your out-of-town guests: Will they be staying at a hotel nearby? Is there any kind of shuttle transportation that the hotel can provide or will there be any issues with parking? Perhaps you are planning a destination wedding - your guests might need to spend more on airfare to reach the destination and that may affect your guest count in the end. Transportation to and from the venue seems like it's not a big deal, but it is definitely something worth considering. My suggestion is to find a venue that has easy access to a private parking lot close by or to look into finding alternative transportation for the guests.
4. Think outside of the box! Is there a special place that marks a milestone in your life as a couple? Maybe the university that you attended together? Perhaps a library or the train station where you first met? If you are both big foodies, what about holding the reception at your favorite chef's restaurant? These places would be cute for an engagement shoot, and has the potential to also be the perfect wedding venue!