Planning your dream wedding is an exciting journey filled with countless decisions. One of the most important choices you’ll face as an engaged couple is selecting the perfect Virginia wedding venue to host your special day.
Your choice of venue sets the stage for the entire event, so finding a space that matches your style, fits your budget, and will fill you with happy memories for years to come is important.
Here at The Inn at Virginia Tech, we understand the significance of this decision and are here to help you navigate the process. With our stunning backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains and elegant spaces, we have hosted countless unforgettable weddings for Hokies and non-Hokies alike.
Let’s dive in.
How to Choose the Perfect Virginia Wedding Venue
Here are some tips to guide you in selecting the perfect Virginia wedding venue.
Define Your Wedding Style
Every wedding starts with a concept of the style a couple wants to convey.
Are you envisioning a rustic barn wedding, a glamorous ballroom affair, a beachside ceremony, or an intimate garden party? Perhaps you’ve always dreamed of exchanging nuptials on the campus of your alma mater (like this Hokie couple did).
No matter the style of your dream day, exploring ideas with your fiance will help narrow your options and make your search more manageable.
Set a Realistic Budget
Weddings can be expensive, and it’s essential to establish a clear budget early in the planning process.
Here are some tips to help you establish a budget that aligns with your financial situation:
- Prioritize Expenses: List wedding elements by importance and allocate more funding to your top priorities.
- Research Local Costs: Research typical wedding costs in the area you wish to wed to get an idea of the budget you’ll need to allocate.
- Account for Hidden Costs: Include taxes, service charges, gratuities, and unforeseen expenses in your budget.
- Create a Contingency Fund: Set aside around 10% of your budget as a safety net for unexpected expenses.
- Stay Within Your Means: Avoid excessive debt by being honest about what you can afford.
- Be Flexible: Be open to adjusting your wedding vision to fit your budget.
- Track Expenses: Keep a record of all expenses to stay on track.
- Seek Professional Advice: Consult with a wedding planner or financial advisor if needed.
- Regularly Review and Adjust: Revisit and adjust your budget throughout the planning process to avoid overspending.
Be realistic about what you can afford and allocate a portion of your budget for the venue.
Remember to factor in costs like catering, decorations, and entertainment when determining how much you can spend on the venue itself.
Create a Guest List
Your guest list size will significantly impact your venue choice.
Ensure that the venues you consider can comfortably accommodate your anticipated number of guests. This will help prevent any overcrowding or space-related issues on your big day.
Consider the Season and Date
The time of year and date you choose for your wedding can also affect your venue options.
Popular wedding dates during peak seasons may be more expensive and require booking well in advance. If you’re flexible with your date you might be able to secure a more budget-friendly option. Planning a winter wedding can be a great option!
INNSider Tip: Not only does the season make a difference, so does the day of the week. Weekday weddings are not only more easily available to book, they can allow the couple to put more toward their honeymoon fund.
Visit Potential Venues
Once you’ve narrowed down your list of potential venues, schedule visits to each of them.
Seeing the spaces in person will give you a better sense of their ambiance and whether they align with your vision.
Here are some key questions to ask and considerations to keep in mind during your visits:
Ambiance and Fit:
- Does the venue match your wedding style and vision?
Capacity and Layout:
- Can it comfortably host your guest count?
- What’s the layout for ceremonies, receptions, and other activities?
Availability and Pricing:
- Is it available on your preferred date?
- What’s the rental cost, and what’s included?
- Are there extra fees or hidden costs?
Catering and Decor:
- Is there in-house catering, and what are the options?
- Are there decor restrictions or rules?
- Can you bring your preferred vendors?
- Are there preferred or exclusive vendors?
Logistics and Rules:
- Is there ample parking and accessibility?
- What are the rules regarding music volume and event timing?
Backup Plan and Insurance:
- What’s the backup plan for bad weather?
- Do you need event liability insurance?
Payment and Cancellation:
- What’s the payment schedule, including deposits?
- What’s the cancellation policy?
These questions will help gauge if the venue aligns with your vision and budget. Be sure to request a detailed proposal or contract for a comprehensive understanding of the terms before making your decision.
Ask About In-House Services
Some venues, like The Inn at Virginia Tech, offer an on-site wedding coordinator, in-house catering, and other services, simplifying your planning process and saving you a lot of stress and hassle.
Inquire about these options and compare them to outside vendors to see what best fits your budget.
Read Reviews and Ask for References
Before making your final decision, read reviews from previous couples who have held their weddings at your chosen venues.
Gaining insight into other couple’s experiences will help you make an informed choice. Don’t hesitate to ask venues for references as well.
Sign the Agreement and Plan Your Day!
After carefully evaluating your venue options and finding the perfect one that aligns with your style, budget, and vision, it’s time to sign the contract and start planning your big day.
Choosing the perfect wedding venue may take time and effort, but it’s crucial to creating the wedding of your dreams.
The Inn at Virginia Tech is committed to helping couples find a beautiful, affordable space to celebrate their special day.
Contact us today to schedule a tour and discover why our venue could be the perfect backdrop for your wedding. We look forward to being a part of your happily ever after!