Finding the right wedding venue might require some detective work, primarily because there are so many popular choices that are booked well in advance of the ceremony. Outdoor wedding ceremonies and receptions are especially popular today, as are weddings and receptions hosted at rustic wedding ceremony venues. Regardless of whether you are planning an indoor or outdoor wedding, the same basic considerations are necessary in determining which venue offers the best setting for a memorable marriage celebration.

Themes and Types

Today’s weddings focus on what a couple enjoys, so themed weddings have become very popular. A venue that offers a different visual aspect or portrays a certain feeling that matches a couple’s personal style and taste makes a great option for indoor or outdoor wedding receptions. If thinking of an outdoor option, picture more than just ballrooms or outdoor gardens; imagine arboretums, rustic lodges, or even mansions.

Venue Size

The venue size for a wedding will be partially dictated by the number of invited guests, although furnishings and decorations matter as well. It is important to envision the space set up with decorations and open space, not just guest tables. Room may be needed for any type of musical entertainment and a dance floor, planned food and dessert stations, a walk-up bar, and all other typical wedding necessities.  All of this is affected by the estimated number of people who will attend.

Location and Parking

Choosing a venue within city limits can yield parking problems if there is no specific lot for guests. At larger, more suburban or country locations, consider whether there is a long walk from designated parking areas. With either option, determine if valet parking is available. These are important things to consider when making the right venue choice for a wedding ceremony.

Decorations, Setup, and Lighting

Each wedding venue will have different accommodations for lighting, tables, seating, and decorations. It is important to know what is available, how it can be used, and what items must be provided separately for a desired theme or look. The right lighting is especially important, since poor lighting can diminish the effort spent on setting up carefully chosen decorations.  Take a close look at the venue’s color scheme during both the day and evening to ensure that it will not clash with the chosen wedding colors.  Even if only a backdrop, a red barn with maroon attendant dresses and decorations may not be exactly what is wanted!

Noise and Acoustics

Different types of flooring and architecture can certainly affect how sound carries in larger rooms. Wood floors could very well echo throughout the room during a quiet wedding ceremony, while carpeting and draperies may deaden the sound of planned music. Good acoustics are important to allow music to carry without sounding like noise, while rooms that enhance every sound may cause too much noise and disruption.


It is important to know ahead of time if rental of a particular venue includes exclusive use, or if there are multiple rooms that could be hosting different events at the same time. Privacy is usually a consideration, with the understanding that total control of a venue is perhaps not possible anywhere. Receptions held at a public venue or a location that could be hosting multiple events will be less private than those held at private facilities. Perhaps the best choice, particularly for a rustic wedding ceremony venue, would be a location where only one event is hosted at a time, with the entire facility reserved for the wedding party.

Although many of these questions can be easily addressed by visiting the various venues, it is also recommended that a couple visit each location while an event is being hosted to get a complete impression during an actual event. Whether looking for places for indoor or outdoor wedding receptions, country wedding ceremony sites, or locations to hold elegant, formal weddings, a venue will look very different when set up and in use than when it is empty. With good research and careful inspection, an engaged couple planning their wedding should be able to find the perfect venue to hold the wedding of their dreams!

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Additional Articles:

Indoor vs. Outdoor Wedding Locations – Which Is The Best?
Wedding Planning – How To Handle Hot Weather Concerns!
How to Best Prepare For Outdoor Special Events!