How to Choose a Wedding Venue by Jessica Rahill

How to Choose a Wedding Venue by Jessica Rahill

Photo by Ashley Porton

He liked it, so he put a ring on it!  So, now is the time to start thinking about where you want to have the wedding of your dreams. Many soon-to-be brides can get bogged down and stressed over planning the perfect day, but let me help you with the first step: picking a venue.

It is my opinion that picking the wedding venue first will allow for some much needed relief from planning. Once you have the venue, you have information to put on those cute “Save the Dates,” you have the freedom to daydream about the smallest of details (while you should be answering emails at work), and you have the help of the coordinators at the venue to make sure the layout and setup are taken care of (like me!).

TIP: Go see ANY venue that peaks your interest, even a little bit. Being in the space could sway your opinion in an unexpected way.




The Tours

Before you schedule appointments to go look at venues, here is some important information that coordinators like to know before hand:

  • Date
  • Guest Count
  • Style

If you have even a rough estimate on any of these details, it makes for an easier process on your end as well as for the coordinators at each venue.

Date: We like to know the date of your event before we schedule a tour so we can tell you availability. It can be a sinking feeling when at the end of a tour, realizing that the space you fell in love with is not available for your date. This is always the first question we coordinators ask at the Myriad Gardens. If you do not know a specific date, even knowing the month or season is helpful!

Guest Count: This is important information to know because coordinators can cater tours to fit what would be best for each wedding. For example, here at the Gardens, we have several outdoor locations to choose from. If a bride has a guest count of 500, I would show her the Band Shell and Great Lawn area that would provide plenty of room for her guests as well as some wonderful sights of Downtown OKC. If a bride has a guest count of 100, I would show her the outdoor settings that provide a more intimate feel for a smaller guest count.

Style: I add this on simply as a BONUS for the coordinators. Knowing the style the bride is going for can help us cater the tour to something we know you would want to see. If a bride wants to have a natural feel to her ceremony I would show her our venues that have water features, wood, stone, and (of course) plants! If a bride wants a more industrial feel, I would show her our indoor spaces with silver pillars, or our concrete areas with great structure.

While on your tours, take notes and take photos… of everything!! Ask as many questions as possible! No question is a stupid question because you never want to have an unknown piece of information creep up on you last minute.


After the Tours

Create a “Must Have” list or a rating system with your fiancé and figure out if any of these venues match what you’re looking for. This can make it easy to compare thoughts and ideas about what you’re both looking for. It allows a simple way of saying “yes” or “no”.

Once you have it narrowed down, THEN you can start thinking about details. You will find that it is much easier to visualize and imagine your wedding in two locations rather than 10.

When a final venue is picked SIGN THAT CONTRACT! Follow all the steps necessary to guarantee you are on that master calendar. Then, take a sigh of relief, high-five your future spouse and start to focus on the fun little details that will make your day perfect! Yay!


THIS could be you… 

Celebrating bride