What to Look for in a Wedding Venue - Westley Leon Studios


What to Look for in a Wedding Venue

Finding the perfect venue can be difficult because you might not know exactly what you’re looking for just yet. There are a lot of things to think about; the number of guests, wedding colors, overall vibe, organizing the reception, lighting, decor, flow of the room, etc. but don’t worry, I’m here to help!

Here are a few things to take into consideration as you’re touring potential wedding and reception venues!

Make Sure You Got All The Room You Need!

heritage prairie farm, chicago wedding,

Heritage Prairie Farm – Elburn, IL

One thing to consider before you get too far ahead is do you want everything in one location or would you have separate locations? Keep that in mind as you’re planning everything.


Before taking the tours of your favorite venues, you should first have a good idea of how many people you plan to invite. The last thing you want to do is pick a venue that is unable to hold all of your guests or the things you plan on doing there. You’ll want to make sure that the venue you choose is large enough to comfortably hold everyone that will be coming with room to be able to move around.

When you think of your wedding, what do you see? Do you envision eatery stations at the reception? Photo Booth in the back? A giant dance floor to lose your mind on? Places for your guests to visit and chat with one another? These are the things you’ll want to think about when picking a venue, especially for the reception.

After all, no one wants a cramped dance floor. 🕺

How to Find The Best Wedding Venue

  • Search the Preferred Venue Vendors page
  • Ask for photos from past weddings and events from the venue
  • Ask for videos from previous weddings and events from the venue
  • See if the coordinator will allow you to visit the venue during a real wedding or event


A great way to see if the venue is exactly what you need is to see it in action. If you’re able to, visit it during a real wedding. Definitely make sure that it’s during a time that you won’t be disturbing the couple getting married that day because no one wants that.


But if you can pop in for just a moment, earlier on in the day, you’ll get to see what the table layouts look like, DJ area, photo booth location, etc. It’ll really help you see what your big day could end up looking like. Because an empty ballroom can seem HUGE but it fills up quickly.


Be sure to look at photos, videos and speak with the coordinators to see if they might even be able to let you check out an actual wedding!


How Private of an Event Do You Want?


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Foley’s at Notre Dame Stadium – South Bend Indiana Wedding


There are many things that can set a venue apart from one another, one of those things is the privacy that it offers you and your wedding.


Some venues might have multiple events going at the same time, which means you and your guests might not be the only people celebrating at that location. Some brides and grooms don’t mind, especially if it means they get to have their dream venue. But others might prefer a little more privacy.


If you don’t want a time limit on your wedding reception, think about renting a private location or even a private property with a giant white tent so you can stay up till you fall down! 😂


Be sure to talk to your partner about just how much privacy do you two want for your wedding day and how important is it to you both. If you decide to go with a public park, local garden, or shared event space, just be aware that random people may wander around during your big day.


If privacy is a huge thing for you both, consider choosing a venue that offers a completely private experience.


Plus, you might just want a HUGE AF dance floor to party on with no outside judgment, no shame there! 😂


notre dame, dahnke ballroom

Dahnke Ballroom Wedding at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend Indiana

Mind the Vibe – How Does the Venue Flow?


Consider how you would set up the venue to create designated areas for eating, dancing, and any other activities you plan on doing throughout the evening. As you start exploring venues, try to think about where in the reception area each activity would take place. Think about the organization of the room for sitting, walking, gathering, especially if you’re having the ceremony in the same location as the reception.


blissful barn

Wedding Reception at Blissful Barn

To Match or Not to Match. Mind the décor?


During this entire planning process, you may have chosen a color palette (or two, lol). You will probably have a vibe all planned out which will also influence your surroundings. If you’re not wanting things to clash, there can be a few things to try and think about.

The walls, lighting, floors, chairs, space, color, etc. If you’re going to stop out at the venue, bring your colors with you if you have them. This will help you see what they’ll look like in the space.


Take note of the details.

Sometimes it’s the littlest things that are the most important! Take note of how much parking is available near or at the venue. If you love the space, but parking will be an issue, look into other modes of transportation for guests, like a shuttle bus or even a trolley. Keep in mind that, while parking issues isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker, it may mean additional costs.


You’ll also want to check out the acoustics in the venue and make sure there isn’t a huge echo that could distort the music. And be sure to take a look around and note the presence of electrical outlets, so your DJ or band will have all the power they need.


If you take the time to take note of the details in a potential venue and see how the space will work for your big day, you’ll have no trouble finding the perfect venue for your wedding!


Seem Like A Lot?


Don’t worry! It’s not like you do this every weekend like I do. Check out our Vendors page to see some of my favorite venues.


Honestly, I just want you to have the best freaking wedding day possible and that it’s exactly what YOU BOTH WANT! Do not feel pressured to do anyting to you don’t want to do. If you find yourself saying “Why do I have to do that?” or “I was told I have to….” … JUST.DO.YOU. 🥰


Have fun, live it up, do it your way! ❤️

See you on the dance floor!




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