Tips to Help You Pick Your Dream Wedding Venue

Josephiney Photography

Josephiney Photography

Last month we discussed key factors to consider when hiring a “month-of coordinator.” This month I wanted to take a step back and look at some of the key tips to finding your dream venue. We are on the final lap of engagement season...some couples have been on the hunt for months, while some have just started looking for a venue. So, whether you are still trying to find “the one” or you are just now diving into the search, let’s look as some key aspects for choosing the right venue for you!

Capture and Hold Photography

Capture and Hold Photography

Number of Guests

This is one of the most important factors to consider, before you set out on the search for your venue. Sit down and discuss with your partner how many people you are thinking about having at your wedding. The last thing you want is to fall in love with a venue that may be too small for your guest list. Being able to decide if you want a small intimate wedding or a larger crowd will save you a lot of time and crushed dreams. BUT, one of the great things about the industry today is that more and more unique places are popping up to get married at and people are getting creative with where they are deciding to tie the knot. And this brings us to the next tip.



Budget is sometimes treated like a dirty word when it comes to wedding planning, but it is absolutely crucial. It is so easy to lose sight of what you can do versus what you want to do. There are tons of useful online budget templates, and I also just found out from one of my brides that Google Docs has a great budgeting tool to use 😊 If you prefer to use your own budgeting methods, I suggest breaking down your wedding into categories, then prioritize and allocate funds to the things that mean the most to you and your partner. From there it is much easier to look at venues going forward since you have a better idea of the direction to move in. And better yet, consider hiring a wedding planner, they can help you put a budget in place and keep you within the budget you have set.

What is your vision for your wedding?

Like I mentioned in the previous blogs, some couples will drive themselves into the ground looking at all the Pinterest boards in the world and staying up until 2am searching on Instagram for wedding looks or themes. Talk with your partner and think about what you want out of your wedding. Do you want a romantic destination wedding? A boho chic outdoor wedding? Find what elements best suit you and your partner and run with them. After all it is about the both of you. One of the most frequent feedbacks we get at Stonegate Manor is that couples love that our venue can adapt to any type of theme or feel- it’s like a blank canvas for their dream wedding! Finding a venue that compliments your vision is important.


Keep in mind, so-called “housekeeping” accommodations. For example, as mentioned previously, does the venue offer in-house catering? If not, do they have a list of vendors they have worked with? Are tables and chairs included in the rental of the venue? What about bar services; do you need to hire a bartending company? Or do they have an exclusive vendor? Do they have areas for your wedding party and family members to get ready before the ceremony? And don’t forget the extras... do they offer event planning or coordination or even décor that can be used or rented? These are some of the most common things couples ask here at Stonegate. The beautiful thing about the internet and some of the great wedding planning tools like The Knot or Wedding Wire is that they have made platforms that venues can use to easily display most of this information. But, it also is good to create a list of questions in advance of visiting a venue.

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Anything else?

Consider in advance anything else you are looking for in a venue. Are you looking to make your furry friend a part of your day? If so, is the venue pet friendly? Also, think about what is nearby the venue, chances are if you have family coming from afar, they will be wanting to make this trip a mini-vacation! Venues that have surrounding tourist attractions and accommodations make it a win-win for guests that are traveling from out of town. Reviews on venue’s websites, like the Knot & WeddingWire can give you an inside look on the couples and guests experience at the venue. Being able to see what people are saying about the venue may give you a better insight, rather than just a perfect picture. And the most important thing of all, ask yourselves “Can I see us getting married here?” Choose somewhere that best represents you as a couple and feels genuine to both of you.

If you have any questions about Stonegate Manor, please email:

 Photography by Anji Monique Photography with

The author, Jennifer Marren is Stonegate Manor’s onsite wedding coordinator and marketing director. After obtaining her bachelor’s degree in marketing from Lake Superior State University, she decided to jump into the wedding planning industry to chase after her lifelong dream of being a wedding planner.

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