grand rustic venue with high wooden beams and stone fireplace

Venue selection is about more than capacity and catering policies. It's also about finding the ideal space for your wedding's theme and style.  Although some couples find a big, blank slate inspiring, others may be overwhelmed. After all, it takes a pretty substantial decor budget to transform an empty room into something you might see in a wedding magazine.  Here are a few easy ways to find the right space for you!

Venue Cost vs. Decor Costs

Obviously, some venues that are very simple to decorate such as historical mansions or well-manicured gardens are going to cost more than the ballroom in the Best Western by the airport.  However, you should also evaluate that low price tag against how much it will cost to make that space look the way you want it to.  It could be that it ends up being more cost and time efficient to go with a more expensive, "pre-decorated" venue.  Architectural details like exposed wooden beams, Spanish tile floors, floor-to-ceiling windows can fill up the space for you.  So, as you are touring, ask yourself how much decorating your venue will really need to look great.

rustic stone fireplace and thick wood floors at wedding venue

Impactful Details

Those vintage lanterns that are costing you a small fortune?  Do you want them lost in a sea of plain white walls or to enhance the gorgeous rustic venue around you?  Study the real weddings you love with a closer eye, and you'll realize that each and every one of them most likely share a dynamic venue as a backdrop. A venue with a stunning fireplace (above) or other statement piece is instantly easier to build around, making those pricey details stretch further.

wedding at George Peabody Library in Baltimore

The Venue Stands Alone

Some venues don't even need any decor to make it a stand out. The George Peabody Library (shown above) with its floors of books makes this wedding seem utterly grand, and all without a single piece of aisle decor.  Below, this ballroom's magnificent chandelier is perfect for a bridal party and doesn't need any garland or streamers getting in its way.

bride stands under ornate crystal chandelier in grand ballroom

Outdoor Venues that Impress

When you are having a garden, it is equally helpful to find one that has impressive features for a backdrop, such as tall hedges (above), fountains, and arches.  When you take your venue tours, always look beyond the obvious to find great nooks and crannies for your event and photos.  Even if one section isn't large enough for your wedding, ask if it will be available for your portraits.

Aparat Photography copy

Exterior Features that Wow

Even if your wedding is indoors, a venue with plenty of picture-worthy features outside can make all the difference in your wedding album. Choose one of these pretty locations for your first look moment or family portraits.

Jana Williams copy
historic venue's gate doors decorated with moss monogram

If you are having your wedding at a historical manor, but just using the grounds, don't overlook the opportunity to use the beautiful house as a backdrop for your wedding welcome table.

welcome table with historic house in background

Credits:  Brinton Studios   |   Beall + Thomas   |   Love by Serena   |   Inga Finch Photography   |   Aparat Photography   |   Jana Williams   |   Stacy Newgent   |   Love is a Big Deal