my experience selecting a wedding venue

To me, our wedding venue was going to set the tone for the wedding so initially, aesthetic-appeal was top of mind (I’m a graphic designer – I can’t help it!). Location and budget were also important, but there are many more factors that will help you select your wedding venue.

I’ve compiled some thoughts I learned along the way when shopping for a venue…


Venue staff will play a key role in your day

Your venue may or may not include: an event coordinator, servers, bartenders, kitchen staff, a decorator. And the absence of any of these team members means you may have to outsource and you have to ask yourself if you are prepared to do that?

Our venue includes a coordinator and all catering and kitchen staff. There isn’t an official decorator on site but the coordinator can help as needed. As a bonus, the coordinator is calm, caring and customer-focused.


When budgeting the venue cost, don’t forget tax and gratuity

Most venues will give you an average cost/person – this can be based on food, food and alcohol, or an all-inclusive event. What isn’t included in this cost/person is the tax and gratuity, which will add approximately 35% to your total cost. I, thankfully, was tipped off to this knowledge before shopping for venues and was able to factor it into my initial budgeting.


Be open to new ideas and don’t put all your eggs in one basket

I had one venue in mind when we initially started our hunt. I had seen the venue set up for a wedding a couple months prior. It looked perfect and I couldn’t wait to view it as one of our options.

We ended up visiting our final venue before going to our initial first choice and we were completely wowed! Our venue is Cooper’s Hawk Vineyards in Harrow, Ontario and we are so happy we had an open-mind when visiting it. Our previous first choice truly doesn’t compare (in my opinion)!

What did you learn when selecting your wedding venue?


2 thoughts on “my experience selecting a wedding venue

  1. When we were planning our wedding, I was set on not having our event held at a traditional wedding hall which my parents wanted. We had a selected a brand new modern hotel and we got a great deal because the banquet hall was still under construction and we were booking in advance. Two months before the event, and just before we had the invitations printed, we went to visit the venue only to realize that it was built smaller than the original specs.

    The problem was that we were not going to be able to fit all our guests, the bar, the band and a dance floor in the room. We were forced to cancel our booking and scramble to search for a new venue two months before our wedding day. Needless to say, I was in tears and panicking. After visiting hotels, golf courses and meeting centers, we settled on… you guessed it, a wedding hall.

    In the end, the wedding hall was the best decision we could have made. There was ample parking, the food and service was top notch and less expensive than the original hotel we had picked. I decorated the room to reflect our taste and we had an amazing band.

    From my experience, the venue is important, but what people remembered was the food and service and the band; 6 years later and my guests are still talking about the amazing Crepe Suzette station we had at midnight. So what I learned is to focus on the food and entertainment as the rest is just details.


    1. Wow! So glad everything worked out in the end for you and clearly your guests had an amazing time. Plus, makes for a good story 🙂

      Totally agree with you that food and entertainment are key!


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