Going through this process myself recently, I have learned a couple of very important things. Choosing a wedding venue is one of the first and most important steps in planning your wedding. Your venue will help determine the theme/tone/feel of the entire wedding. It can be one of the most expensive parts of your wedding budget. And, it will often help determine the date of the wedding as well.
Here are just a few tips that will hopefully help you choose the perfect venue for you and your fiancé and the wedding you’re planning!
First, do your research! Look up venues in the area you are interested in. Resources like local wedding magazines (i.e. Oregon Bride, Bravo! Wedding Gide, Portland Bride and Groom) and bridal shows advertise dozens of popular wedding venues. And if you want to think a little outside the box, try looking at places that might not necessarily be advertised as wedding venues. There are plenty of beautiful spots in Portland that would be perfect for a wedding!
Once you find a handful of places you’re interested, start searching their websites. Go even further and see what is included and if there are any fees for decorations, alcohol, if they have limits on the guest list, etc. A lot of these websites will have wedding photo galleries for you to view and personal testimonials from couples who have gotten married there.
Next, narrow the selection to your top two or three places and set up tours. Once you’re in the space you can start to visualize the feel of the wedding and what the decor/theme will be. For example, is it a formal venue or more casual and fun; is it modern or classic; could you go with a rustic vibe or is it more chic? And most importantly, can you picture yourself getting married there?
Have all of your questions written out beforehand. Most times you will receive a packet with all the information you need, but it doesn’t hurt to have additional notes. Make sure you understand everything the venue offers and what they expect of you, like if they require you to use their caterers, or if you need to find your ownbartender, etc. And make sure you get a final price quote, so you can determine if it will all fit into your budget.
Last, but definitely not least, make sure you and your fiancé are on the same page! You want to be sure that the venue fits your personality as a couple and that it’s everything you were envisioning for your wedding. If you love it, hopefully he’ll love it just as much!