From a Photographer’s Point of View: My Best Tips for Choosing the Right Wedding Venue

May 15, 2024



Choosing a venue for your wedding is likely one of the first things on your to-do list once you’ve decided to get married. It’s a significant decision that requires dedicated time and energy. You’ll spend time researching, touring, and comparing different location options. It can be a lot of work!

Through my work as a wedding photographer, I have been able to visit lots of incredible wedding venues. I love the chance to spend time in a new location and learn about what makes that spot unique. Over the years, I have learned a thing or two about what makes a venue stand out.

As a newly engaged couple, facing the prospect of finding the ideal place to hold your wedding may feel overwhelming. As you research different venue options, there are a few key things to keep in mind that will help you make the best possible decision.

From a photographer who has worked in the wedding industry for years, here are my top things to consider when booking a wedding venue:

Does it fit your wedding style?

The venue you choose will become the foundation of your wedding design. Does your vibe align with something rustic, like a barn or orchard? If your style is more elegant, maybe a downtown hotel or ballroom is a better option. Selecting a venue that aligns with your vision will help your day feel cohesive and natural.

Is it accessible?

As you’re envisioning your big day, put yourself in your guests’ shoes. Will this venue be difficult for any of them to navigate to? Is there an appropriate amount of space for everyone who will attend? Your ceremony and reception should be large enough for all your guests (photographer included) to easily maneuver between aisles and tables.

What amenities are available?

It’s common for venues to provide amenities for the weddings that are hosted there, but each location’s offerings will vary. Consider things that you might need or want, like bridal suites, on-site bathrooms, kitchen areas, or other equipment like tables, chairs, and speakers.

Is it appropriate for the typical weather during your wedding season? 

Unfortunately, even the most prepared couples can’t predict the weather. Trust me, if I could magically wish for perfect sunshine on all of my client’s wedding days, I would. Since I can’t, be sure to ask your venue if there are contingency plans for inclement weather like rain, snow, or heat. It’s important to always have a backup plan ready.

What are the restrictions that you’ll have to follow?

Every venue will have a list of regulations that may affect how you plan your wedding. Specific rules vary from place to place, so you may need to do some thorough research. Ask your venue if there are certain things you can’t bring, or if they provide vendors and decorations.

And here’s a bonus tip:

Try to visit your wedding venue at the time of day you plan to have your ceremony. Check out what the lighting is like and see if it will align with your vision for your wedding photos.

Ultimately, asking these questions will clear up any miscommunication or confusion that may occur down the road. Going into each venue tour with these ideas in mind will keep you on track and set you up to make the best possible decision.

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