Congratulations, you’re engaged! Now, it’s time to hit the ground running. When you first start to plan your wedding, all of the details can be overwhelming. Don’t panic. There are a lot of great resources out there to help brides and grooms to plan their special day. At Pure7, we recommend that selecting a venue be one of your first steps in the process. We recently wrote another post about our favorite wedding venues in 30A. But before you make your selection, what are the most important things to consider?

Before you even look at venues, you should have a budget in mind. Even if you don’t have something set in stone, you should have a strong understanding of your cost breakdown so that you don’t end up booking a venue out of your price range.

How many guests are you planning to invite? Your venue will need to comfortably accommodate everybody. It’s easy to underestimate the number of people you’re inviting. Before you start looking at venues, it would be a good idea to sit down and make a rough list of the friends and family that will be in attendance. This number can have some wiggle room, but it’s good to have a general idea so that you don’t drastically over- or under-plan.

Are your wedding ceremony and reception going to take place at the same location? Or do you prefer to get married in a church and hold the reception at a separate venue? If the latter is true for you, you’ll have to consider a venue’s proximity to the location of your ceremony. In general, you probably shouldn’t make your guests travel more than 30 minutes to get to the reception. Do you have a lot of guests coming in from out of town? You might also want to consider the venue’s nearness to a hotel or inn where your guests can stay. Many hotels will book rooms in “blocks” so that your guests can all be together and possibly reserve a room at a cheaper rate.

What is the overall theme or aesthetic that you’re going for? Do you want to be indoors or outdoors? Do you want a formal wedding or something a bit more rustic? Some venues have different options: beachfronts, lawns, gardens, churches, pool decks, lake houses… It’s good to familiarize yourself with these things before you make an appointment to look at a venue.

Once you look at a few options and actually start narrowing things down, don’t forget to consider what’s included with each venue. Different venues price things out differently – some have flat rates for food and drink options, some include rental of tables and chairs, linens, etc., some have more a la carte options. When you price out your top choices, remember that these details can really sway the overall cost.

Remember, don’t lose sight of your end goal while you’re planning your wedding. Committing yourself to the one you love far outweighs any of the tiny details that might be stressing you out. Take a deep breath, and don’t be afraid to ask any questions along the way. At Pure7, we have had lots of wedding experience, and we want to make your day uniquely special. Reach out to us with any questions.