What types of venues work well for virtual weddings?
Anywhere with good Wifi or cell service! If most of your guests will be virtual, then getting creative with your venue can save quite a bit of money. Many couples rent a nice AirBNB , use a favorite bar or restaurant, or simply bet married at home. We’ll happily work with typical wedding venues as well. Once you’ve picked your venue, your coordinator will advise you on decor and camera angles that will translate well virtually.
Securing your Venue
First things first, selecting your venue can be one of the more stressful parts of the planning process - but it doesn't have to be! Many of our Wedfuly couples have gotten creative about venues that cost little to no money at all. If you’re currently looking for a venue and you’re feeling like you’re getting nowhere, do not stress, we’re here to help. If you haven’t even started looking for a venue, you won’t even need to begin stressing because you have us by your side from the beginning!
There are a few things you need to do before touring or reaching out to venues.
Decide on your guest list. That way you’ll know what size venue will work for you. You’ll be able to immediately cross venues off the list and narrow down your search solely based on size.
Decide what your venue budget is. Use this handy tool to break down your budget into vendor categories so that you have a general guideline number to follow.
Decide on a general radius. If you know you want mountains, how far are you willing to go? If you want a city vibe, only look in the city!
Thinking more close to home? Have a friend or family member with a beautiful backyard or outdoor space? Reach out to them and see if they would be willing to host your special day.
These three things will immediately create a good, short list of tour-able venues. Book tours within a short enough timespan that you’ll still remember how you felt during the previous tour so you can compare them equally. Another pro tip -- be flexible with the date! Going in with a date set-in-stone will make it quite difficult for you to find a venue that checks all the boxes. If you have a date that is a must, that’s fine too, just know your venue options will be very limited. Having a general date range is a good way to go. Lastly, don’t knock Fridays and Sundays! You’ll have more options for dates, but you’ll also potentially get a lower price.
Things to keep in mind while venue hunting…
A physical space is not the only thing a venue typically provides. A good venue will also provide:
Tables and chairs. Renting a venue that also provides tables and chairs will not only make your life easier, but also save you from spending thousands of dollars more. If you hate the tables and chairs they already have, make sure you have the budget to rent other ones.
Getting-ready space. While not necessary by any means, it’ll give you a nice place to put everything during the night. The wedding party will have lots of stuff that they’ve brought along for the day so make sure if there isn’t a separate room for you all to crash, you’ve got a small closet or some space to put things. It’s also a perk if you want to have hair and makeup done onsite. While it may be more expensive to have the hair and makeup people come to you, you might be able to forgo the shuttle. Just things to think about!
A venue manager. Having a venue manager onsite is almost always a must! While we’ve worked at a lot of different venues throughout our time, we still don’t know the intricate ins and outs of a space. We won’t have keys to unlock power boxes for DJs to plug into or know which light switch to dim during the first dance. Having someone onsite who is 100% familiar with every aspect of the venue is immensely helpful for a smooth event. A venue manager is separate and holds a different role than a day-of coordinator, but we discuss that more here (link to venue manager vs coordinator article).
WiFi! Can't get married on the internet without the internet!
If you fall in love with a venue, but it doesn’t fit your budget or doesn’t allow your dream caterer, don’t knock it yet. Reach out to your Wedfuly planner and see what it would look like to book that venue. Maybe there’s another dream caterer out there that you’ve never heard of? Or maybe there’s an amazing photographer that we can show you that’ll save you a few thousand dollars. After all, the venue sets the tone!
Some venues do have a list of required caterers and bartenders. This is usually something that will make your life easier, as the caterers and bartenders will have worked at that venue multiple times and now how it works, but if you don’t want your options to be limited, keep this in mind. Some venues may even offer in-house catering and liquor handling. Again, this makes it easy for you and kills three birds with one stone, but if you want the flexibility of options, this wouldn’t be the venue choice for you. Some venues may have an open list, but won’t allow food trucks or fast-casual food places so make sure you get that cleared before booking.
Some venues will require you to work with a specific beverage provider group. They’ll either require purchasing and bartending from a specific, insured and certified group or they’ll allow you to bring in outside alcohol, but still required a certified and insured bartender to serve. You should always listen to these rules as the liability and potential risk is not worth it.
Last, but most definitely not least, DO NOT book any other vendors until you’ve secured your date with a venue. Putting a “hold” on a vendor on a date you *hope* to get is only a disaster waiting to happen! Vendors are plenty, venues are not always.
Pro tip: If decor is important to you, book the more affordable venue so that you can have leftover budget for floral and other decor.