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How to choose the perfect wedding venue


wedding venue gallery
How to choose a wedding venue by The Fountain South

With so many wedding venue options, you’d think choosing your wedding venue would be a piece of cake. But with the wealth of choices available, be it for the wedding ceremony or reception, selecting the best one for your big day can be overwhelming. There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing a wedding venue, such as the vendors you’ll work with, your theme, your decorations, accommodation options, and so on.


Although choosing your wedding venue isn’t easy, the perfect wedding venue for you will make the big day more fulfilling and memorable. Here’s our ultimate guide to selecting the best wedding venue that meets your budget and wedding theme.


Is the big day available?


Which one comes first? Getting married on a specific date or at the venue of your dreams? This is the first priority on your “choosing a wedding venue” checklist. Booking a wedding venue means you’ve already “set the date” for your wedding day. Whether you are looking for a specific date or a venue, the earlier you book, the better.


Most wedding venues are booked 8 to 18 months in advance. So the earlier you book the venue, the better chances you have of acquiring your top choice for a wedding venue and securing the services of the best vendors and suppliers.


Setting your wedding date should always be the first thing to do when planning your wedding. After all, unless you have a confirmed date, you can’t reserve the venue, vendors, or suppliers. If your wedding date is at least a year away, likely, the wedding venue you want is still available. However, don’t delay booking the venue, especially if you’re booking during peak season or the venue is in great demand.

 

Is the location and number of venues good?


You can further narrow down your options by picking the general location where you want the wedding to be held. This decision will affect all the other details of your wedding, from your budget to your venue options, and the availability of certain suppliers and vendors. You should also determine if the venue is easily accessible for everyone and if the directions will be simple enough for people to understand. Once you have decided on a general location you will also need to decide if you want a separate venue for the wedding ceremony and reception.


Transportation to a separate reception venue

If you plan to have separate venues for the wedding ceremony and reception. It is crucial to ensure that your visitors can get to and from your event without experiencing any inconvenience. You will want to know the travel time from the ceremony to the reception and take into consideration how your guests will travel to the venues.


The number of venues

Are traveling expenses limiting your options and budget? Or do you want a separate venue for the wedding ceremony and reception without the need to travel long distances between them? You can always look for a wedding venue with multiple event spaces available. It will be friendlier to the budget and provide more creative options for decoration, and photo-taking locations.


Accommodation options

You will also want to check if the venue provides accommodation or if nearby areas are available for a short stay. This is a top priority if you plan to have a destination wedding or need a space for dressing and preparing both the bridal and groom parties.

​The Fountain South is glad to offer wedding packages that include access to our two BNB suites. Our B&B suites are good as dressing and refreshment areas for the bridal and groom parties.

 

Does your guest count and venue capacity match?


When deciding on how to choose a venue you have to consider a lot of things. Do you desire a modest, private wedding location, a medium-sized location that can accommodate an ordinary wedding, or a huge open area for a lavish wedding?


The size of your venue may influence how cozy or spacious your reception will be and how expensive the venue will be. The cost of the venue ultimately depends on what you and your spouse desire, but larger venues are often more expensive than those with lower capacities. In comparison, a small guest list with a large venue might result in a lot of vacant space that might not appear well in pictures. A huge guest list with a small venue may result in your guests being uncomfortably crammed together and leaving little area for dancing and socializing.


Venue size

Every wedding location can accommodate a certain number of people comfortably. This capacity limit can make or break a wedding venue. It goes without saying that you can't place many guests in a space with a modest capacity, but the opposite is also just as problematic. To make a big wedding venue seem full and cozy with a limited number of guests would be very difficult and expensive.


Knowing your guest list

If you are still in the early stages of planning your wedding, you will still want an estimate of the number of guests you want. Come up with a list with your partner and families so you won’t be put in a tough spot in the future (you can always increase or decrease the number of visitors if necessary). And, if you are booking a separate venue for the ceremony and reception, you have to make sure that both can fit your total number of guests.


Stick to your budget

It is not just how much renting the venue will cost, having more guests will increase the price of catering, the number of tables and chairs, and the cost of décor and flowers.

 

Does the venue fit your vision?


The second thing you need to do is pick a venue that matches the aesthetic you are aiming for. Choosing a location that complements (and fits in with) your theme can help your wedding feel more at home there.


Consider talking to a wedding planner

Planners are significantly more knowledgeable about the venue's capabilities, layout, materials, and time required to effectively transform it. Your planner will be aware of any inventive ways to realize your vision for a perfect wedding venue.


Style

To make sure that the wedding venue meshes well with the style you want, you will have to choose a wedding venue with features that go well with your planned aesthetic.


Classic and traditional weddings

Classic weddings gravitate towards indoor venues like event halls, hotels, ballrooms, and country clubs.


Rustic weddings

Are you planning a wedding with a lot of rustic decorations? An outdoor wedding venue with panoramic views, gardens, and features that incorporate country and vintage ideas into the ceremony and reception will be a good fit for you.


Modern weddings

Spacious indoor venues are decorated with unique floral arrangements, graphic or monotonic color schemes for decorations, and on-trend foliage. Oftentimes the venue itself is the visual focus for a modern-style wedding, so other décor elements can be kept clean and simple.


Bohemian weddings

A Bohemian wedding is a chic vintage wedding style with a bit of modern flair. Think earthy elements, dreamy linens and lace, and lots of wildflowers. Boho wedding themes are all about free spirits, hippie-inspired whimsy, and an eclectic mix of textures and colors.

For a Bohemian-style wedding, the best choice is a wedding venue with wide open spaces.

​The Fountain South has two distinct event halls and an outdoor ceremony site ready for your wedding day. Contact us to book a free wedding consultation or a tour of our venues.

Décor and ambiance

If you want to utilize custom decorations, address any limitations so you can find a solution. Try to be aware of any potential restrictions or additional expenses, as well as whether or not their employees may be tasked with setting up the decorations. Pay close attention to the venue's current décor. Is the architectural style and interiors a good fit for your wedding style?


The less the venue's ambiance matches the theme of your wedding, the more decorating you'll have to do to compensate. Additionally, you will have to incorporate what kind of cutlery, linens, tables, and chairs are available for rent or included in renting the wedding venue. All of these will be crucial to achieving the aesthetics you have in mind for your big day.

 

What is included in the venue?

Most wedding venues offer packages and amenities included when booking. You may want to look for all-inclusive wedding packages, or somewhere you can bring in your own vendors and décor.


Wedding packages

Most wedding venues offer a wide array of options for wedding packages and wedding coordinating services. These usually come in different bundles that can fit any budget. Wedding packages have highlights and challenges when compared to booking each vendor separately.

​Wedding package highlights:

Wedding package challenges:

Easy booking of vendors

You don’t have to worry about which vendor to choose and which supplier can provide you with items for decorations. The wedding package will likely have it or the wedding venue has preferred partners for each type of service.

Limited flexibility

If you’re picky about every single detail you're working with, packages may not be the best deal for you. You may want to look for venues or event coordinators that offer customizable wedding packages.

Easy communication and less hassle

You will only need to be in contact with the wedding coordinator. The wedding coordinator will be in charge of all correspondence and coordinating with vendors.

Possible extra charges

If you insist on using your desired vendors for certain aspects of the wedding you may need to add a payment or upgrade your package. This is common on non-customizable wedding packages. Be careful as this may end up with you going way over your budget.

Easy booking of vendors

You don’t have to worry about which vendor to choose and which supplier can provide you with items for decorations. The wedding package will likely have it or the wedding venue has preferred partners for each type of service.

Possibly templated out

As packages are already laid out, it may be possible that the same teams, vendors, and decorations are being utilized. This may make your wedding look similar to other weddings you see. Make sure to check out how much personalization is possible and how much you can do to truly make your wedding day unique and unforgettable. Always look to work with someone innovative when it comes to styling.

Make your wedding unique and unforgettable with our DIY, premium, and all-inclusive wedding packages. Our wedding packages are customizable based on your budget, style, and needs. Learn more at our wedding packages page.

Booking different vendors:

Popular with those who want to customize everything or DIY weddings.

Booking different vendors highlights

Booking different vendors challenges

More flexibility

You will have more room for adjustments and will have way fewer restrictions. You can forgo certain details and replace them with something you could not have by default when getting a package.

Multiple contacts

You will be in contact with different individuals, which may be a hassle to coordinate with. Always do a background check to avoid possible major issues.

Your preferred suppliers and vendors

The choice is all yours to make. Bring in all possible vendors to make your vision of a perfect wedding come to life. You can utilize a certain vendor you want for a specific type of service which may be impossible when utilizing a package.

Multiple payments

You will be required to make multiple payment arrangements with different vendors which might cause you a lot of time, multiple trips, and meetings.

More room for customization

You have the opportunity of customizing every single detail you want with lesser possibility of incurring additional payments.

​Being hands-on is a must

You will be a lot busier with all the coordinating and communication with each individual vendor you hire. This may not be a good thing, especially for couples who don’t have the time to manage every detail.

Possible savings

Since you are hiring different vendors, you have the choice to exclude items that might have a significant impact on cost.

Possibly going over budget

Poor planning can lead to incurring more expenses. Be sure to check all terms with each vendor you hire.

In house catering

Make sure the food quality is up to your standards and can accommodate the dietary needs of your health-conscious guests when choosing a wedding venue with in-house catering.


Services and Amenities

Try considering the additional services and amenities the venue may provide when deciding what to seek in a wedding location. Make sure you resolve all these before choosing a wedding venue since they all matter in the big picture.

Different venues might offer roughly the same venue capacity and size, but one venue can only offer space, while the other may offer lights, sounds, catering, and dressing rooms for the wedding entourage.

One thing that can be a huge lifesaver is if the venue rental includes cleaning services after the celebration.

 

Choosing the perfect venue

Considering all the previous points you can now begin by narrowing down your choices to a list of five or so.


Reach out with a few questions

Now that you have narrowed down the list try to send each one a message with the intent of learning more about what they have to offer. Confirm if your desired wedding day is available, confirm the venue capacity, and ensure that the venue meets the top priorities you and your partner have set. You can also request pricing information to determine if the venue is within budget or not.


Pay a visit

One of the most important parts when choosing a venue is actually visiting the venue in person and getting a feel and tour of the space to decide if it’s the right fit for your desired wedding. Venues may look a certain way in photos, but look entirely different in person. You will also have the chance to meet the venue coordinator and ask additional questions and see if you can work well with the staff.


Weigh the pros and cons

Think about all the pros and cons of all the venues you have toured. And try to work out which venue is the best for your wedding.


Stay true to yourselves

It’s important to trust your gut feeling and stay true to yourselves. While a venue might have looked gorgeous with a different theme or design scheme, it may not be perfect for your wedding theme.

 

One of the most important phases in planning your wedding is selecting the venue. After all, it largely determines how the rest of the day will go, and even the most basic of venues may become a lovely wedding site.


As long as you take note of the points in this guide, I am sure you'll find the best venue where you'll hold the most momentous occasion of you and your partner's life.





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6769 Morrell Cove, Olive Branch, Mississippi 38654, United States

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