Choosing the perfect wedding venue is foundational to planning the joyous occasion.
Deborah Simmons, who has over 25 years of event-planning experience, shared tips for choosing the best venue for specific needs.
1. Know your style.
Simmons said matching a bride’s style with a venue is the first thing to consider.
“It’s hard to take a rustic venue and make it elegant. Or, if she’s wanting a rustic venue, it’s hard to take a ballroom and turn it into something rustic.”
Simmons said about 50 percent of the brides she interacts with come in knowing their style beforehand.
“Some brides have been planning their weddings for years, (while) some come in saying, ‘I have no clue what I want.'”
For those who aren’t sure, Simmons suggests couples discuss what they have liked and disliked from weddings they have attended. She said this will help them choose a focal point for their wedding, whether that’s “fun,” “about them,” “elegant” or something else.
2. Know how many guests you’ll have.
The size of the guest list affects the available venues — so knowing the estimated number of attendees narrows down options and makes it easier to choose.
“Know before you book the venue the general idea of what your guest count is,” Simmons said. “At least have some names down.”
She warned against not having a large enough venue or having too large of one where it makes it seem like hardly anyone is there.
Crowds of 200 or fewer:
-Rickhouse by Manship, Jackson
-Spring Lake Venue, Pearl
-River Hills Club, Jackson
-Fairview Inn, Jackson
Crowds of more than 200:
-The Opera House 1853, Canton
-Old Capitol Inn, Jackson
3. Know what the venue offers.
Simmons pointed out that venues offer a variety of features. Some come with chairs and tables included, some have an onsite caterer, some have audio equipment and more. Knowing what comes with the venue makes it simpler to budget.
“Know what is included, know all the rules and restrictions and make sure it’s what you wanted,” Simmons said.
She said couples need to make sure to know everything upfront, so they will not be surprised by restrictions later.