Wedding Planning

What to Do When You Can’t Find the Perfect Wedding Venue

What to Do When You Can’t Find the Perfect Wedding Venue


You found a venue you love, but it’s the wrong size.


You might be feeling like Goldilocks, frustrated that you just can’t seem to find a place that is sized just right for your guest list.  If you have found a great venue, but it is just too small, you might have to cut down the number of people. If, however, this is just the ceremony venue, remember that you can have a select group of guests for your ceremony, but invite everyone to the reception.


But maybe you are having the opposite problem. Perhaps you are only inviting your nearest and dearest, but your dream venue is a bit grand in size.  Look for ways that you can chop up the space to create smaller seating areas.  You should also ask if there are also smaller spaces that are available to use, even if you have to rent the entire venue.




Your dream venue isn’t available.


Insanely popular wedding venues can fill up for years ahead of time.  But most of the time, your first choice will be booked for several months beyond what you were hoping for.  You’ve got a couple options. There’s nothing wrong with a long engagement, and if this place is simply magical, then perhaps it is worth the wait. But otherwise, keep shopping around.  Inquire about a wait list in case one of the couples ahead of you gets cold feet.




You can’t seem to find the right style in your area.


You want an industrial loft venue, but you live smack in the middle of Nebraska.  Probably not happening.  You really want to find a rustic-chic mountain lodge that’s easy to travel to, but everyone lives in NYC.  With this one, it’s time to make the best of the situation.  Look for alternatives to create a ‘faux’ environment. For example, to find an industrial venue in your rural area, check out house rentals (someone else in Nebraska has to share your preferences). In NYC, look out for restaurants or boutique hotels that might have enough of a mountain lodge vibe to do your party justice.




You won’t be able to choose your own vendors.


Many venues have a preferred list of vendors. Most of the time you can use your own, but there is an additional cost (especially if you don’t use the in-house catering).  Another cause of extra fees can be if the venue is beyond the travel range for your vendors.  You have to weigh how much you love your vendors against how special this venue is. Before you completely reject the venue, do some research on their preferred list. It could be that you would love working with them!




There are limits to your venue that you hadn’t anticipated.


You want to have a dance-all-night party, but your venue requires that loud music gets shut down by 10. You can’t wait to serve a signature cocktail, but that ballroom you love is only licensed to serve beer and wine.  While these are actually easy enough issues to work around, for some couples they might be deal breakers. This is one of the reasons to read the fine print of that all-important venue contract. You don’t want to be locked into a venue when you realize that your wedding will have to be a little different than you had hoped.




You can’t find a venue in your price range.


Every engaged couple wants to have a memorable wedding.  And while that vision may differ from couple to couple, one thing everyone can relate to is having to adhere to the almighty budget.  It is such a disappointment when our fantasy and checking account won’t align.  Don’t despair! Some of our very favorite real weddings have taken place at cheaper venues. Check into state parks, local coffeehouses, children’s museums, and apartment building rooftops.  And if you are located near a beautifully-designed city hall (we’re looking at you, San Francisco), then all the better.




Your parents are paying for the wedding, and you don’t agree on the venue.


The downside to someone else coughing up the cash? They get a vote.  You and your honey adore that sweet little farm, your dad would prefer a traditional church and banquet hall event.  Since you are the one getting married, you probably will win the majority of the decisions, but not all of them.  Make sure this is one that you really want, even if it means having to compromise on other details later.




For more wedding venue ideas, check out our local vendors.