With over 500 wedding venues in Central Florida, narrowing down your wedding venue search may seem impossible. If you jumped onto a venue search website like Wedding Venue Map or The Knot moments after getting engaged, you’re not alone. It is completely normal to have FOMO (fear of missing out) when it come to choosing a venue. After all, your venue will be the background to your happily ever after. But there is a fine line between having choices and being completely overwhelmed with options. So how do you narrow down your wedding venue search?
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Knowledge is Power
Yes, this may have been a cliche saying on a classroom wall at one point, but it is true. Before you even click search, start your planning with some preliminary information. Two of the most important things you can go into the wedding venue search armed with are your approximate guest count and a general idea of what you are wanting to spend. Venue options are going to be very different if you’re looking to host 30 guests versus 300. This allows you to quickly narrow your search to only venues that fit your guest count and desired budget.
Struggling on your determining your budget? Download our free wedding budget tracker.
Photo by: Jamie DiOrio Photography
Have a Vision
This one may seem obvious but often times couples start the venue search not even sure what they are looking for. Does your perfect venue have lush gardens or is a tropical beach more your vibe? Are you looking for classic and romantic or rustic and laid back? Narrowing down the wedding style you are looking for keeps you from having to look at every venue type from a chic city rooftop to tree-filled state park. It allows you to spend your time seeing venues that really fit you.
Not sure on your wedding style? Check out our Pinterest inspired Wedding Inspiration Boards for some ideas!
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Before you start touring venues, decide on when you’d like to choose your wedding venue. Setting a deadline can keep you from spending forever going on endless venues tours. Once you start touring venues, give yourself a max number of venues that you are going to see in person. For home buyers, the national association of Realtors recommends a maximum of ten home visits and ten weeks for the house hunting process. For your wedding day, you could safely cut each of these in half, limiting yourself to five venues in five weeks but definitely don’t see more than ten or you’ll start forgetting what details you liked or disliked about each.
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Compare Apples to Apples
Wedding venues are all really different (that’s why you’re looking at more than one – right?) Just as different as wedding venues are, wedding venue packages are just as different. Each venue chooses different features to highlight and menus to offer. Once you’ve started receiving wedding venue packages and later, formal venue proposals, be sure to compare them equally for what is included. Some items to look at that often differ from venue to venue include ready room and honeymoon suite accommodations, bar allowances (hosted bar versus consumption bar versus cash bar), quantity of hors d’eouvres and entrees. Comparing packages in this way ensures that you are getting the best “bang for your buck”.
Photo by: Kathy Thomas Photography
Consider Your Guests
If a lot of your wedding guests are coming in from out of town for the wedding, consider how close your venue is to local accommodations. Consider hosting your wedding day at a venue that offers plenty of rooms for your guests to stay. Also keep in mind transportation for these guests from the accommodations to the venue and activities for them to do on wedding weekend outside of wedding day itself.
Photo by: Jennifer Werneth Photography
Know Your Non-Negotiable Items
Whether it is staying in budget or walking down the aisle with your fur baby, it is important to know what is most important to you and stick with it. As you go through the planning process and start seeing venues, you may find yourself adding items to your want list. Keep your wants in order of most important to least, that way you don’t rule out a venue that has all of your key hot buttons simply because it is missing one that you really don’t care about any way.
Photo By: Alexis Kline Photography
Keep it Real
No one knows wedding venues like, you guessed it, wedding venues. As you tour venues and meet with venue staff, keep it real. Don’t love the venue? Be honest. Your venue contact may be able to recommend other venues in the area that better fit your needs. Love the venue but received a proposal that’s way over what you had budgeted? Let them know. They may be able to adjust the package to work within your budget if you are flexible with your date or package inclusions.
Photo by: Chyanna Pacheco Photography
Think you’ve narrowed down your wedding venue search and decided on “the one”? Don’t gamble with the losing your spot. Get it locked in! Popular venues and dates can book out up to two years in advanced, so if you’re date is available book it.
Photo by: PB & J Studios
Still looking for the perfect Central Florida wedding venue? Mission Inn Resort has three different venues on property that match any style. Check out our website and our instagram to see if we might be what you’re looking for. Happy Wedding Planning!