Finding a wedding venues that suits you, boils down to this two-part question: “How do we find the perfect venue for us, and if we can’t find one that is ‘perfect’ how do transform a venue to fit our vision?” And so today this blog post is devoted to covering the topic of “Finding the Perfect Venue” in totality, and how to transform a venue that might need some finessing to fit your vision!

Perhaps the most daunting wedding planning task is finding the perfect venue for your wedding day. When there is so much emphasis on finding the perfect venue that checks everything on your list, sometimes brides struggle to find that venue with the ideal date and within your agreed upon budget range. It can also be a little challenging to envision how your wedding will look in an empty space! But, with a few tips, a little creativity and visualisation tricks that we have outlined here, you can find the perfect venue for your wedding day without the stress!

Finding the Perfect Venue

The most important steps include: Setting parameters, do your research, listen to your intuition and visit only 2-3 venues at a time. The key is to prevent overwhelm, so try not to visit every single venue you’ve come across in your search. It is most likely that there are 2-3 truly viable venues that you LOVE for your wedding!

1. Set criteria & parameters

Create criteria that your venue will eventually need to meet. Answer these questions to create your venue criteria:

– How many guests will you need to be able to host at your venue?

– Ideally does your venue need to have a ceremony location, cocktail pre-dinner location, and reception, dinner and dancing location?

– What are the most ideal dates for your wedding?

– Are there sufficient parking areas and restrooms on site? Does your venue have a generator on site?

– Is the venue close by to accommodation or hotels.

– What is your total budget for the venue?

– Does the venue have a preferred catering and bar and staffing vendor? Cutlery, crockery and glassware is included?

– What are some additional non-negotiables that your venue must have? Like photography spots or location.

2. Research

Put together a list of 5-7 venues you are interested in with an aesthetic you love or you feel you can work with!

3. Make Contact

Email each venue, request their packages and if you have any questions, follow up with a phone call. Speak with the venue manager at each venue, and ask them to send over dates of availability (or check to see if your ideal dates are specifically available) and a rate card for your review.

4. Organise Your Thoughts

Sit down with all of your information and begin applying your parameters and venue criteria to each option. Does this venue have your ideal date? Can it hold your guest count? Can it accommodate all aspects of the day necessary? Can it accommodate all of your non-negotiables?

5. Refine

Which venue(s) meets ALL or almost all of your criteria? Which venues meet the least amount of your criteria? Make a list of the top 2-3 venues that are the best fit, and set the others aside. It is super important to do a site visit at the top 2-3 venues with a venue representative, and take notes of what you love and what you don’t love as you walk through. Try to visit all options in one day, or over the course of two days.

Tip: Ask any and every question that you can think of during your tour. No question is a silly one, and venue representatives want to answer these questions for you as fully as possible! Being the most educated when making the decision to book a venue will make it that much simpler.

6. Listen to Your Intuition

After your tours, sit down with your fiancé and review the options, what you love and what you don’t love. Weigh the pros and cons, and visualise your wedding at the venue.

Once that venue option just seems to “click” in your head and heart, call your venue sales rep and get your date locked in with a contract and deposit!

Transforming a Venue into a Perfect Fit

For some couples, they find venues that are almost perfect; the venue might be a very blank canvas where everything must be brought in OR the venue might have the right foundation but need some finesse.

When Working with a Very Blank Canvas

When you’re working with a venue, like Laurent, that is a very blank canvas, the first thing we recommend doing is having your wedding planner (if you have one) or venue coordinator provide you with an ideal floor plan of the space with your guest count. This will help you see your wedding from a bird’s eye view.

It’s like decorating a room in your home — if you can see all of the pieces outright that you must fit into the room, you can begin visualising how to make it all fit well and then go about decorating and accessorising it. Knowing where your dance floor, stage/DJ booth, tables, chairs, bars and entryways are going to be allows you to see the space with all of its key components. Expanding your vision from here will be so much easier, less overwhelming and much more successful!

If you wish the venue had something a little more visually interesting, speak with your planner or coordinator about adding lighting such as chandeliers, add a photobooth, add a backdrop, add statement bars that are focal points or maybe a huge impressive head table. There are endless possibilities so do not be afraid to ASK!

From there, start working with your wedding planner or coordinator piece by piece — pick your lighting (maybe you want chandeliers or greenery on existing lighting), then select your table shape, then your chair style, then your linen style, then your place setting, then your center pieces, then your bars and then your entryways (maybe you want flowers, draping or signage by the door for a grand entrance)? Work piece by piece, step back, look at it, finesse, repeat.

When Your Venue Needs Finesse

When you’re working with a venue that has elements you aren’t completely in love with (ie: heavy drapes, patterned carpeting, colourful walls, ornate light fixtures that do not fit your aesthetic, very dim light, etc), our biggest piece of advice is this: bring in a professional creative vendor for a site visit. If you don’t have a wedding planner, bring in your floral and décor stylist (like our sister company – a|CREATE for example). Having a creative vendor “walk through” the space with you and your venue coordinator and share with you all the possibilities to “hide” something or transform it is one of our best kept secrets. Trust us on this one. A professional creative can take something you don’t love and find ways to make it work within a design.

You can add floor to ceiling white gauzy draping around the room to transform the space into a romantic, luxurious, and airy space. This can also work if you don’t like a carpet in a room — drape the room and add a bit of up-lighting to shadow the floor, which will draw your eyes upwards towards the draping and ceiling. And if budget won’t allow for draping, feel free to skip the draping but keep your up-lighting.


And there you have it! When it comes to selecting a venue, it can feel like a such a big decision to make but hopefully this post will serve you well in finding a venue that is perfect for YOU so that you may celebrate this milestone day to the fullest.