Hey y’all! When Tim and I first got engaged, one of the first things we did was look for venues. We knew that we wanted to get married in a church and have a reception elsewhere, and finding a church that met our expectations was harder than you think. I opted to find out as much as I could on the internet before visiting. After all that searching and participating in a few wedding forums, I’ve put together a list of things to keep in mind for someone who might be searching for their venue.
1. Capacity If you want to invite 200 people to your wedding, you don’t want to get your heart set on a venue that only allows 50 guests. Make sure you’re only looking at venues that will accommodate your guest list.
2. Style If you’re going for rustic chic, you won’t want your reception in a hotel ballroom. If you’re going for modern, you won’t want it in a barnyard. Browse for pictures of the venues before you spend time making appointments to tour them.
3. Other services offered Some venues offer catering, bar services, photography, and furnishings along with their venue. This can either be a good thing or a bad thing, as some of them won’t allow outside vendors.
4. Location Some people choose to have a destination wedding. If you’re having your ceremony and reception at two different locations, they should either be very close or you should provide a shuttle.
5. Parking This is actually something a lot of people forget about. Is there parking near your venue? Is there plenty of it? Will it cost your guests extra to park?
6. Policies Some venues have some weird rules. Some churches won’t allow photographers to take pictures from anywhere but the very back of the church. Some charge extra if they find gum left behind. Make sure that their policies don’t interfere with your plans.
7. Hours How many hours do you get with your rental? Can you set up the day before? You don’t want to be rushing around if you’re decorating the area yourself.
And for those of you in the South, here are my favorite (ITP) Atlanta wedding venues:
Of course I would choose my own venue as a favorite! This is where we’re having our reception. The Trolley Barn is a beautiful space, and has room for an outdoor ceremony as well.
Ashton Gardens is a new venue in Atlanta, and a copycat of its original in Dallas, Texas. It has a gorgeous chapel, which is a great option for someone who wants a churchy feel without the church.
Summerour actually had my heart from the start, but having our reception here would have meant delaying until the winter, or a whole year. We just weren’t willing to wait that long. But it is gorgeous, and if you have your heart set on this place, book it way, way in advance.
If you ever pictured yourself getting married in a castle and/or consider yourself a princess, you should check out Rhodes Hall.