In this episode of my ongoing wedding Wednesday series for destination wedding planning, I’m sharing how we found our venue and how you can try to find yours! Click here for more Wedding Wednesday.
When Dustin and I started planning our wedding, we agreed pretty quickly that we wanted to go the route of destination. Once we landed on Phoenix, we had to pick the actual location of the ceremony and reception. We hadn’t even actually stayed at hotels in Phoenix, so we had a pretty limited idea of the options that would work for us. Ultimately, we picked a resort that my mom and I love to go to for the spa. Dustin had been there with us to get a pedicure on more than one occasion, we’d gone to almost all of their restaurants, and we’d even gone in the winter for ice skating.
They had one date in March available (perfect timing for Spring Training) so we took it. It was a pretty easy process, honestly. If you’re not quite as lucky as we were, here are my tips for picking a wedding venue from afar.
Think About Your Priorities
Even though you’ve probably already thought of a location that has a particular appeal to you, different venues will bring out different aspects of a city. Thinking about your priorities for the feel of your wedding can help you find the right place.
For instance, just in Scottsdale, we could have looked at venues that leaned heavily toward the desert, cowboy side of Scottsdale. We could have picked a super modern venue, or a spot with amazing views. Ultimately, it was important to us to spend time celebrating and taking a vacation with our friends and family, so a resort was the perfect place to have everyone around us (and around a pool!).
Find Options With Hotel Rooms
If you’re doing destination, chances are you have to think about transportation and lodging way more than the average bride. Alleviate yet another headache associated with wedding planning by finding a venue that either is a hotel, or is associated with a hotel.
Even if you do that, you might want to look for additional hotel options for your guests, but at least that first one will be a no-brainer!
Consult With a Professional
I’ll discuss this more at a later date, but hiring a wedding planner is hands-down the best decision I’ve made. When you’re planning from afar, you just don’t have the frame of reference to know the best vendors and venues in town. It’s a little harder when you can’t reach out to a friend and ask how she liked her venue, and if she’d recommend it.
Even though we found our venue before we hired our planner, Bloom and Blueprint, they’ve been great with helping us find other awesome vendors. Trust the professionals, they know what they’re talking about.
Make a Trip
Sometimes, in order to know for sure, you just have to see it in person. When we paid the deposit on our venue, we hadn’t actually seen the specific ceremony and reception spaces, or even a hotel room, at the venue. Luckily, we were able to arrange a trip to Arizona to check out our venue, and it blew us away.
Standing on the spot where we will say “I do” in less than a year was amazing, and it totally confirmed our decision and made us confident that we’d done the right thing. Plus, it finally made the whole thing feel real and got us super excited for our wedding!
If you’re able to take a trip to your destination early on in the planning process, I would highly recommend it. Your gut will know when you’re at the right venue for the wedding of your dreams.
Have you ever been to a destination wedding (or planned one like I’m doing?!) Tell me what the venue was like in the comments!