Five Tips When Searching for the Perfect Venue

As a wedding & event venue, we know there are many obstacles when looking for your perfect space. There is so much to consider that it can become overwhelming! Here are 5 tips when looking for a venue.


When searching for a venue, you’ll first need to decide what your budget is. Your venue and food will be about 40% of your total budget. When searching online or touring a venue, be sure to not overextend on your budget unless you know you’re willing to cut back on other expenses. Remember, you know what is important to you when planning! Setting a firm budget at the start of your planning process will help make the process much more manageable and enjoyable!


When thinking through location, there are a few important questions to ask yourself:

  1. Do you have a specific city or area you’d like to be married? Maybe your hometown or somewhere that is important to you and your significant other? 
  2. Within that city or area is there a specific location you’d like to be? Close to the airport? Close to downtown? Maybe more rural?

When scouting out venues, make sure the venue you chose either meets your criteria or you think through how it will fit your vision if it doesn’t initially meet your criteria. Because let’s be honest, sometimes the perfect venue alters that vision!

Size of Wedding

One thing that makes venues so unique and special is that they all offer different experiences. A large part of that is the size of the venue. Some venues are created to hold 300-400 people. While other venues are created to accommodate around 100. Here’s our advice, don’t force it. If a venue is too large for your event, it’ll end up feeling empty and cold. If a venue is too small, you’ll spend your time trying to jigsaw a floor plan together that will feel crowded in the end. You know how many people you want at your wedding, be realistic about how much space you’ll need. Again, sometimes the perfect venue changes that! If you find a venue that accommodates less people that you planned, but it’s YOUR place, rethink your guest list. This is your day after all!

On Site Offerings

Another important question to ask yourself is, “What do I want to get out of my venue?” Do you want to get dressed and ready on site or off site? Do you want to have a location that offers unique photo opportunities on location or within walking distance? Is it important that the venue offers both outdoor and indoor options for both your ceremony and reception? All of these questions can help your decision making process. If you aren’t sure about the answer to some of these or disagree with your significant other, make a list! Lists always help provide clarity to confusion decisions.

Ellie McKinney Photography

Feeling At Home

This may be the most important aspect of choosing your venue. Do you feel at home? Remember, this place is the backdrop for your special day. It should feel like YOU! Don’t force anything. Just like you did with your love, when you know, you know!

We hope this helps you and your significant other when looking at venues! Remember, it is your day and you ultimately decide what is important to you. It’s all about balance and a little give and take! If you’d like more inspiration for your day, visit our instagram @mcalisterleftwich to see real weddings and photoshoots that we hope will show you just how special a venue can be!

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