When you first get engaged, often times one of the first decisions you will make in the wedding planning process will be choosing a wedding venue. And while it’s arguably one of the most exciting things to book, it’s also one of the most important. As an Ottawa wedding planner, when couples come to me after they’ve already booked a wedding venue, they often don’t realize how many decisions they have made about their wedding day without even knowing. Not only will the wedding venue you choose dictate a large portion of your wedding budget, it also plays a huge role in the style of wedding that you end up having, the vendors you end up booking and the amount of guests you can invite – not to mention the possibility for extra costs.
Like I mentioned, choosing a wedding venue is often one of the first and most exciting decisions you’ll make! With that in mind I do have a few recommendations when it comes to choosing a wedding venue for your Ottawa wedding. If you are looking for an Ottawa wedding planner, I would love to chat more about your wedding day vision here or you can learn more about my wedding planning packages here.
Set Your Wedding Budget
You don’t necessarily need to have an exact figure before you start looking but you should have a general idea of what you hope to spend and the maximum amount you’re willing to spend. I recommend couples start with a budget range instead of trying to create their wedding budget based on arbitrary figures on the internet. If you are interested in more information about setting your wedding budget, make sure to check out this post here.
Once you have a number in mind it will give you an idea of what you can realistically afford to spend on a wedding venue. Again, this doesn’t need to be set in stone at this point. I always walk my clients through different options based on their priorities. Perhaps a more affordable venue in a great location is the right choice (and then we can use the extra room in your budget for more florals or upgraded chairs). Alternatively, the better option might be splurging for the more expensive venue that includes a lot of the upgrades you want to make. I won’t give a blanket answer here, it all depends on you and your priorities.
Create Your Guest List
Once you have a wedding budget in mind consider how many guests you are hoping to invite to your wedding. Start to list out the different groups of wedding invitees: family, family friends, colleagues, friends from school, your wedding party, etc. You might realize the list is longer than you thought! Although you can paredown the list (and add a few more), having an idea of the guest list you need your wedding venue to accommodate is paramount before signing up for venue tours. You want a venue to accommodate your guest list, not the other way around.
Consider your Wedding Style
I consider your wedding budget and your guest list logistical essentials you need to have in place before deciding on a wedding venue. Now, let’s get to the fun part. One thing that I love about the couples I work with in Ottawa is that most of them are as passionate as I am about making their wedding day their own. In general, it is easier to work with the style of your wedding venue and than against it (ie. trying to make a rustic barn wedding venue look elegant will cost you more than choosing an upgraded venue to begin with). As a wedding planner, this is often when I start the design process with my couples. I create a mood board for their approval and we watch as all of the elements on their wish list come together flawlessly. This is one of my favourite parts!
Hire a Wedding Planner
Can you believe we haven’t actually talked about booking the wedding venue yet? As you can hopefully see in this blog post, there is so much that goes into choosing a wedding venue. If I could give you one more piece of advice, it would be to hire a wedding planner that you feel comfortable with executing your vision. We want to have the logistical pieces down before we start committing to anything (including the venue) to ensure it will fit your long term goals and vision for your event. If you are in Ottawa or Prince Edward County, you can find more details about my wedding planning services here.
Book your Ottawa Wedding Venue
If you have any questions about booking an Ottawa wedding venue, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me here. Although I have stressed how important this decision is, I don’t want to take away from how exciting it is. When you book your wedding venue, you officially have a wedding date. In many ways, it’s one of the first official steps you take to start planning your wedding (other than your proposal – of course!). After you book your wedding venue, make sure to pop some champagne and celebrate. Congratulations!