Education: Choosing A Wedding Venue
You're scrolling through Pinterest, Instagram, or looking through a wedding magazine and you see these couples getting married in exotic or unconventional locations! How the heck does one even begin to plan finding the perfect wedding venue when there are SO many to choose from? We've decided to bring in the experts! Collin and Jenna Buchanan of He&She are here to give you some insight into this overwhelming part of wedding planning.
If there's ONE thing we recommend for planning your wedding day, it's to find a good wedding planner to ensure it's as stress free as possible! Venue planning is one of the many, many things they can provide that will make your dream wedding a reality!
"We are Collin and Jenna Buchanan, the husband-and-wife design team behind our wedding curator brand, He & She. We believe in curating intimate gatherings, through unconventional means, by incorporating authentic details. We are all about nontraditional weddings and stepping outside the lines of conformity, but here are some hard and fast rules that we think should always apply when picking out your wedding venue:
1.Tell your story first and foremost.
The biggest mistake most couples make is picking their venue right off the bat, and then forming the rest of their wedding to fit the vision of the space. Your wedding day should tell the story of your love and the journey you’ve been on together. Choose a venue that fits your vision, not the other way around.
2. Choose a venue with good bones.
Pick a space that is already aesthetically pleasing, even before the decorations. Don’t waste time and large portions of your budget trying to change or cover up something you think is ugly.
3. Be creative!
It doesn’t have to be stamped with the words “wedding venue” to be the place you vow to belong to one another. Heck, it doesn’t even have to have a roof. (Parking garage wedding, anyone?) Chances are that your favorite bookstore, coffee shop, or restaurant would consider it an honor to serve as hosts for your wedding day. Plus, you’ll get major brownie points for having such a unique venue!
4. Read the fine print.
Does the venue have an exclusive caterer, or are you free to serve your favorite local food truck? Will you have enough time to set-up and decorate the venue, or will you need to hire additional staff to do it for you? Does the rental rate include chairs and tables, or does that cost extra? Hidden fees can sometimes double the expense of the venue, if couples aren’t careful to ask exactly what their contract includes.
5. Serve hot dogs.
Okay, the important note here is not actually the hot dogs, but rather owning the freedom to serve whatever you want to eat! Have a potluck, do a smore’s-only bonfire reception, or serve thirty different varieties of soup. Whatever you choose, be okay with somebody not loving it.
6. Stay true to yourselves.
Your venue should match your personality. Just like how your home says a lot about who you are, so should your wedding venue. Don’t shy away from including those intimate, little details that make up your relationship.
7. Be Realistic.
Unless you’ve been blessed with a budget fa dayz, you’ll probably have to make some compromises with your Pinterest board along the way. If your venue is costing you more than half of your total budget, you probably ought to think twice and look for a better fit.
We want to release couples from feeling burdened to throw a fantastic, impressive party for your guests. If you’re being creative, honest, and genuine, it will be a truly beautiful celebration. Just choose a space that is special to you and simply marry each other there. If it means something to the two of you, it’s good enough for the people who love you.
9. Pictures, pictures, pictures.
Okay, we know this isn’t technically a tip for picking the right venue, but it’s definitely related and important! Make sure to hire a photographer who values capturing authentic and honest moments of your wedding day. There is nothing you’ll cherish more than those raw, intimate, and unmanufactured memories caught on film (with a sweet venue as the background!)
10. Forget all this and ELOPE!
If you’ve gotten this far and everything we've just shared with you sounds like a nightmare that you don’t want to live through, then have peace in knowing you don't have to! Elopements are beautifully intimate and we think you should bring Zach & Rosalie (and us!) along with you!
Collin + Jenna
Thank you SO much to Collin and Jenna for taking the time to provide this content!