How To Choose A Wedding Banquet Venue The Right Way

Outdoor event venues are usually a great choice for your wedding banquet.

Wedding planning has changed a lot over the past few decades. What used to be mandatory – like wedding dresses, cakes, and flowers – is now optional. The one thing you can’t skip, however, is the wedding banquet venue. Where else are all your friends and family going to gather to help you celebrate your big day?

Riverview Recreation Park knows how difficult choosing the right wedding venue can be. With all the things you might be considering, it might be confusing to try to decide. That’s why we gathered advice from wedding planners around the web to help you pick the perfect wedding venue.

Talk To Your Planner About Your Wedding Banquet Venue

Most people wait until their event venue is selected before they hook up with a wedding planner. However, that might mean you miss out on valuable advice for selecting the best wedding venue. “Planners are much more familiar with the capabilities of a space, the layout, and the time and items you’ll need to really transform it,” says Alliey Kline-Weichelt, CEO of Sash & Bow. Your wedding planner is going to know about the obstacles and benefits to every venue they suggest.

Look For A Wedding Banquet Venue That Matches Your Vision

Think about the aesthetic you want your wedding to have. That idea will definitely influence the type of venue you want to have. Kait Costanti, co-owner of Bash, suggests you check out art galleries, warehouses, or restaurant spaces for a modern wedding, but outdoor venues like parks, backyards, and ranches might still be a fit for something with more of a natural flare. “Choosing a venue that fits in with (and enhances) your theme will enable your wedding to feel more connected to the space.”

Consider How Many Guests You’re Going To Invite

It’s normal for couples to underestimate how many people they will invite to their wedding, often leading to the choice of a wedding banquet venue that’s too small for the guest list. Picking a space that can’t fit everyone who has decided to RSVP can lead to difficult situations later. Holly Patton Olsen, owner of Perfectly Posh Events, advises, “Knowing how many guests you’re expecting to invite before you go looking at venues will help save you from headaches and heartaches down the road.” She also adds that it will help you plan out your budget since some costs are tied to the size of the guest list.

Keep Your Wedding Banquet Venue In Your Budget

Let’s face reality, your budget is going to drive every decision when it comes to your wedding banquet venue. It’s not just the cost of the rental, either. If the venue is all-inclusive, you’ve got to consider the price-per-plate, décor, and other amenities they may charge for. “Décor and floral design will also drive the cost up,” says Kline-Weichelt. If the cost of your space plus the cost of your ideal design destroys your budget, you’re going to have to scale something back. By knowing the costs and what you can afford ahead of time, you’ll avoid fighting the uphill budget-battle after overspending on something early on.

Think About The Experience Your Guests Will Have

It’s not just the maximum capacity of the wedding venue you need to take into account when it comes to your guests’ experience, although most places aren’t very comfortable at capacity. Find out how many people the venue can comfortably fit and try to plan accordingly. Don’t overlook the out-of-town guests either. “If you’re inviting a lot of out-of-town guests or having a destination wedding, look for a venue that’s near (or connected to) a hotel,” says Kline-Weichelt.

Weigh What You’ll Get With The Wedding Banquet Venue

When it comes to a full-service venue, prices can change and affect your budget dramatically. Add that to the fact that included amenities often won’t fit anything beyond a basic theme, and you may discover that the full-service venue might not fit your needs. A venue that doesn’t automatically include all the décor, leaving room in your budget to rent the extras that fit your vision, might be a better choice. Olsen advises, “if you’re working with a venue that has in-house catering with a food and beverage minimum, be sure to include the tax and gratuity in your calculations. For example, in Seattle sales tax is 10%, so I recommend that my clients add at least 30% on to the food and beverage minimum to account for tax and a 20% gratuity. That takes a $10,000 minimum up to $13,000!”

No Matter What, Choose A Venue That’s True To You

Don’t allow too much of your decision process to take influence from the things you see on sites like Pinterest. While these make great points of inspiration, they may not always fit what you’re trying to accomplish. It’s most important to select a wedding venue that’s customizable to your vision.