One of the first things on most couples’ wedding planning checklist is securing the perfect venue. The options are endless and can sometimes be overwhelming. Do you want a small intimate gathering? A blowout in your backyard? Or, perhaps a dreamy destination wedding on the beach? If these questions are running through your head, then you’re in luck. Today, we’ve got celebrity planner, event guru, and Zola Tastemaker Stefanie Cove here to dish on her tips for finding the perfect place for your big day.
Stefanie has established herself as one of the preeminent event producers in the world. With 15 years combined experience in the hospitality and event planning industries, and as the managing partner at Yifat & Oren Associates, Stefanie has unparalleled knowledge of how to seamlessly orchestrate an event, domestic or destination, from inception through completion. Molly Sims, Natalie Portman, Drew Barrymore, and Behati Prinsloo all count Stefanie as their meticulous yet calm wedding planner extraordinaire.
1 | Do Consider Your Guest List First
Finding the right venue can be totally overwhelming. I find it’s helpful to start by creating an accurate guest list, so you can be totally realistic about size when you start falling in love with venues.
2 | Do Keep Your Budget In Mind
Just as important as your guest list, is your budget. It may seem obvious, but definitely make sure you keep this in mind when visiting potential venues. Nothing is worse than reserving a location with a site fee that causes you to pull funds from somewhere else – like all of the décor!
3 | Do Think About Geographic Location + Time Of Year
Narrow down your wish list of locations (especially if a destination wedding is an option), so you don’t end up all over the map (literally!). The best way to do this is to sit down with your fiancé and weigh the pros and cons of each area.
In regards to location, pin pointing the time of the year you want to get married will become an important factor. Once you know what season your big day will fall in, make sure you check temperatures, precipitation and wind levels from years past (I always like to use Wunderground or ask the venue). This will help eliminate locations that don’t work weather-wise for your dates. If you’re considering a fall or winter wedding, remember that your event is competing with daylight, too. This is one of the most overlooked elements in planning and means that the sun sets earlier, which will determine your lighting for photos and the ceremony.
4 | Don’t Choose Your Dress Before Your Venue
Lastly, don’t choose your wedding dress until your venue is finalized. Although you may think you’ve found your dream wedding dress, it might be a nightmare for the terrain of your venue. There could be a long staircase or a walk to the ceremony that calls for less cumbersome attire. You want to look beautiful and be comfortable in your surroundings.
Still deciding on how many guests to invite to your wedding? Check out Stefanie’s post on the Do’s & Don’ts Of Deciding On Size.