5 Things To Do Before Booking Your Wedding Venue

5 Things To Do Before Booking Your Wedding Venue

January 20, 2021

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5 Things To Do Before Booking Your Wedding Venue

January 20, 2021

Filled in :

I'm Alicia! The Houston Wedding Photographer that gets you the photos you want- minus the stress. 

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What to do before booking your wedding venue | Alicia Yarrish Photography

The first big task on every bride’s to-do list is to reserve their wedding venue, and therefore wedding date. And while that is the appropriate step after a lot of celebrating, there are some things you should know before even looking at wedding venues. Knowing these important answers will ensure you aren’t rushing into a decision. Rather are making the right decision when you do book your wedding venue.

Knowing Your Priorities

This one is a big one! Every couple has different priorities. AYP Couples value photography almost above all else because they know those are the way the memories are going to physically live on. Of course, getting married is the most important thing on their wedding day. Other couples may be complete foodies and the dining experience is the priority on their wedding day. No matter what your priorities are know as you tour venues what your big three priorities are. For my couples, the most common top three priorities I see are photography and a beautifully designed wedding, guest experience, and a fun reception.

Examples of wedding day priorities you can adopt & consider when touring venues:

– A lot of windows because stunning natural light photography is important to you

– A large bridal suite for all your girls to feel comfortable and enjoy getting ready time

– A fun grooms suite for your fiancé and his guys

– An indoor or outdoor ceremony space (and maybe both in case there is rain)

– Having an extensive dining experience or guests as the highlight of the reception

– Dancing all night long and not ending the night until midnight

– A live band because music is important to you and your fiancé

& more!

No matter what your wedding day priorities are ask how each venue can accommodate your priorities. Do they not allow outside catering, but you two are total foodies? That probably won’t be the best fit. Do you adore music and need a live band all night? Ask the venue if they can accommodate that naturally. Or if you’ll have to get very creative with floorplans and having someone come in to design a gorgeous stage. Is the bridal suite on the small side, but you have ten amazing bridesmaids?

Considerations like this before you book your wedding venue will ensure you two are making the perfect decision for your personalities and priorities. Leaving you with nothing to worry about on your big day other than enjoying yourselves and having fun.

What to Do Before Booking Your Wedding Venue | Alicia Yarrish Photography | Houston Wedding Photographers

Having a Good Grasp on Guest Count

Knowing your guest count might not seem important so early on in wedding planning. However, you need to have the approximate size of your guest list to make the appropriate venue selection. If you want an intimate wedding of 100 people, a massive venue that accommodates 500 people won’t be the best choice as far as aesthetics go. On the other hand, if you are planning a wedding with hundreds of guests you want to be sure there is more than enough room to seat everyone at dinner and keep them comfortable all night.

Knowing an approximate guest count will help you tremendously in your wedding venue search and will likely rule many out before you even begin to tour.

Your Wedding Day Vision & Aesthetic

Another very important consideration when planning your wedding and choosing the perfect wedding venue is your vision for the aesthetic of your wedding day. Are you wanting a modern feel to your day? A European vibe? Know that whatever wedding day feel and aesthetic you are dreaming up your wedding venue needs to be an accent to it. You should never attempt to “fix” or cover up parts of your chosen wedding venue because it doesn’t match with your aesthetic- it never ends well.

Instead, keep searching for the perfect venue that goes with your dream vision and enhances the venue. That way your vision comes to life seamlessly!

What to Know Before Booking Your Houston Wedding Venue | The Bell Tower on 34th | Alicia Yarrish Photography

Have a Drafted Wedding Day Timeline

Just like your guest count, it might seem too early in the process to create a timeline. However, knowing the rough outline of your wedding day will help tremendously when selecting a Houston wedding venue. A perfect example is the time you’d like to end your wedding day. When do you want to exit in the tunnel of sparklers to your dream car? Will it be 10pm, or would you night owls prefer midnight? Some venues don’t offer an option to go later than 10a or 11p. And that can put a damper on your plans. So if it’s a priority to have a certain timeline know that before booking your wedding venue.

If you’ve already chosen your wedding planner, they have likely created this for you or will be showing you venue options that only align with your desired timeline. Yet another great reason to hire a professional wedding planner.

Know Your Desired Amount of Control

Sounds strange to know the amount of control you want over your wedding- all of it, right? It might seem like the obvious answer is to want all the control over your wedding vendors and how your day flows. But the truth is every bride is different. Some brides are okay with all-inclusive venues that offer packages that include many different vendors. Meaning in those situations, you would not choose your own vendors.

Whereas other brides have a specific vision for their day and want to ensure each of their vendors is hand-selected and go together perfectly. In this situation, you want to ensure your venue allows outside vendors of every type so you can piece together your wedding dream team! Again, whereas another couple might not prioritize hand-selecting their vendors and entrust that to the venue.

No matter what you’re comfortable with, knowing before you book your venue can save a lot of heartache. If you’re thrilled about working with a certain florist or caterer to later find out they aren’t allowed in your venue- that’s a tough situation. All those heartbreaking situations can be avoided by simply knowing how much control over your vendors you want to have.

What to Know Before Booking Your Wedding Venue: Recap

  1. Have your priorities on lock so you can find a venue that aligns with those beautifully.
  2. Know your estimated guest count, give or take some. But be firm on intimate, medium, or a large guest count.
  3. Have a solid vision for your wedding day and know the aesthetic you’re after before booking your wedding venue.
  4. Create a rough timeline so you can ensure your venue can accommodate and align with the flow you want.
  5. Understand how you want to approach vendors and how much control you want in selecting your wedding team.

Bonus: Know if you want to include your dog! Many wedding venues are dog friendly in Houston. If that’s a priority seek out a venue that allows pets.

What To Do Before Booking Your Houston Wedding Venue | Alicia Yarrish Photography

Reserve Your Houston Wedding Photographers

Ready to discover if we’re a great fit to work together to capture your precious memories? Use the contact form below and I’ll reach out with next steps to ensure your memories are captured thoughtfully, and beautifully.


What to do before booking your wedding venue | Alicia Yarrish Photography

The first big task on every bride’s to-do list is to reserve their wedding venue, and therefore wedding date. And while that is the appropriate step after a lot of celebrating, there are some things you should know before even looking at wedding venues. Knowing these important answers will ensure you aren’t rushing into a decision. Rather are making the right decision when you do book your wedding venue.

Knowing Your Priorities

This one is a big one! Every couple has different priorities. AYP Couples value photography almost above all else because they know those are the way the memories are going to physically live on. Of course, getting married is the most important thing on their wedding day. Other couples may be complete foodies and the dining experience is the priority on their wedding day. No matter what your priorities are know as you tour venues what your big three priorities are. For my couples, the most common top three priorities I see are photography and a beautifully designed wedding, guest experience, and a fun reception.

Examples of wedding day priorities you can adopt & consider when touring venues:

– A lot of windows because stunning natural light photography is important to you

– A large bridal suite for all your girls to feel comfortable and enjoy getting ready time

– A fun grooms suite for your fiancé and his guys

– An indoor or outdoor ceremony space (and maybe both in case there is rain)

– Having an extensive dining experience or guests as the highlight of the reception

– Dancing all night long and not ending the night until midnight

– A live band because music is important to you and your fiancé

& more!

No matter what your wedding day priorities are ask how each venue can accommodate your priorities. Do they not allow outside catering, but you two are total foodies? That probably won’t be the best fit. Do you adore music and need a live band all night? Ask the venue if they can accommodate that naturally. Or if you’ll have to get very creative with floorplans and having someone come in to design a gorgeous stage. Is the bridal suite on the small side, but you have ten amazing bridesmaids?

Considerations like this before you book your wedding venue will ensure you two are making the perfect decision for your personalities and priorities. Leaving you with nothing to worry about on your big day other than enjoying yourselves and having fun.

What to Do Before Booking Your Wedding Venue | Alicia Yarrish Photography | Houston Wedding Photographers

Having a Good Grasp on Guest Count

Knowing your guest count might not seem important so early on in wedding planning. However, you need to have the approximate size of your guest list to make the appropriate venue selection. If you want an intimate wedding of 100 people, a massive venue that accommodates 500 people won’t be the best choice as far as aesthetics go. On the other hand, if you are planning a wedding with hundreds of guests you want to be sure there is more than enough room to seat everyone at dinner and keep them comfortable all night.

Knowing an approximate guest count will help you tremendously in your wedding venue search and will likely rule many out before you even begin to tour.

Your Wedding Day Vision & Aesthetic

Another very important consideration when planning your wedding and choosing the perfect wedding venue is your vision for the aesthetic of your wedding day. Are you wanting a modern feel to your day? A European vibe? Know that whatever wedding day feel and aesthetic you are dreaming up your wedding venue needs to be an accent to it. You should never attempt to “fix” or cover up parts of your chosen wedding venue because it doesn’t match with your aesthetic- it never ends well.

Instead, keep searching for the perfect venue that goes with your dream vision and enhances the venue. That way your vision comes to life seamlessly!

What to Know Before Booking Your Houston Wedding Venue | The Bell Tower on 34th | Alicia Yarrish Photography

Have a Drafted Wedding Day Timeline

Just like your guest count, it might seem too early in the process to create a timeline. However, knowing the rough outline of your wedding day will help tremendously when selecting a Houston wedding venue. A perfect example is the time you’d like to end your wedding day. When do you want to exit in the tunnel of sparklers to your dream car? Will it be 10pm, or would you night owls prefer midnight? Some venues don’t offer an option to go later than 10a or 11p. And that can put a damper on your plans. So if it’s a priority to have a certain timeline know that before booking your wedding venue.

If you’ve already chosen your wedding planner, they have likely created this for you or will be showing you venue options that only align with your desired timeline. Yet another great reason to hire a professional wedding planner.

Know Your Desired Amount of Control

Sounds strange to know the amount of control you want over your wedding- all of it, right? It might seem like the obvious answer is to want all the control over your wedding vendors and how your day flows. But the truth is every bride is different. Some brides are okay with all-inclusive venues that offer packages that include many different vendors. Meaning in those situations, you would not choose your own vendors.

Whereas other brides have a specific vision for their day and want to ensure each of their vendors is hand-selected and go together perfectly. In this situation, you want to ensure your venue allows outside vendors of every type so you can piece together your wedding dream team! Again, whereas another couple might not prioritize hand-selecting their vendors and entrust that to the venue.

No matter what you’re comfortable with, knowing before you book your venue can save a lot of heartache. If you’re thrilled about working with a certain florist or caterer to later find out they aren’t allowed in your venue- that’s a tough situation. All those heartbreaking situations can be avoided by simply knowing how much control over your vendors you want to have.

What to Know Before Booking Your Wedding Venue: Recap

  1. Have your priorities on lock so you can find a venue that aligns with those beautifully.
  2. Know your estimated guest count, give or take some. But be firm on intimate, medium, or a large guest count.
  3. Have a solid vision for your wedding day and know the aesthetic you’re after before booking your wedding venue.
  4. Create a rough timeline so you can ensure your venue can accommodate and align with the flow you want.
  5. Understand how you want to approach vendors and how much control you want in selecting your wedding team.

Bonus: Know if you want to include your dog! Many wedding venues are dog friendly in Houston. If that’s a priority seek out a venue that allows pets.

What To Do Before Booking Your Houston Wedding Venue | Alicia Yarrish Photography

Reserve Your Houston Wedding Photographers

Ready to discover if we’re a great fit to work together to capture your precious memories? Use the contact form below and I’ll reach out with next steps to ensure your memories are captured thoughtfully, and beautifully.


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