January 12, 2023

What Makes a Great Wedding Venue | Janet Lin Photograph Seattle Wedding Photographer

Couples often ask me what my favorite wedding venues are. I’ll save that list for an upcoming post, but in the meantime, I want to share what is even more important than my favorites… things to look for in YOUR top venues to help you decide if it’s the one! Selecting a venue has so much to do with your personal style and the vision you have for your wedding day. If you’ve landed on my website, chances are you’re drawn to images that have a clean and light editing style with a fine-art aesthetic. Below are some tips to help you determine if your venue with be aligned with your style AND allow you to create a phenomenal experience for your guests.

  1. Great lighting conditions! For your indoor spaces, a venue with lots of natural light will compliment skin tones in images. Big windows, a clear top tent, or a greenhouse style venue are beautiful and provide you with crisp, clean sunlight that will look beautiful. For outdoor venues, think about whether the venue will offer both shaded options (like a garden, courtyard, or some trees) and open airy options (a sunny, lavender lined drive, sweeping fields with a beautiful view, or lush English Garden, for example!) for your guests and photos throughout the day. When we have both shade and sun to choose from throughout the day, we can create the most comfortable experience for you and your guests (and the most beautiful photos!)

2. Aesthetically aligned. If you are perusing my website, chances are you’re drawn to a natural, fine-art aesthetic. This means you want to select a venue that is in line with that style! Lots of natural light (big windows or outdoor spaces) neutral or muted color schemes, and fine-art details like beautiful architecture, lush gardens, or even a gorgeous feature wall or wallpaper as well as other natural features will help keep your entire event aesthetically aligned.

3. Breathing Room. Sometimes when the venue is tight, it can be difficult to keep things flowing smoothly from one portion of the day to the next. For example, if there’s only one available spot for your your ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception, things can be logistically challenging. Choosing a venue that has a few beautiful, usable spaces so you can move guests from one location to the next as the day flows will ensure a better guest experience overall AND will allow your wedding planning team to make sure each event of the day is as beautiful and intentional as the next. Ensuring you have enough space to spread out also helps with photos. If things are tight and every space is filled, it often doesn’t leave very many options for photo locations. It can also mean that if we are taking photos and guests begin to arrive, you’re in plain sight instead of somewhere more secluded so you can make a grand entrance during the ceremony.

4. … but not TOO spread out. While breathing room is important, you also don’t want your guests to have to go for a 15 minute hike to get from the ceremony to the cocktail hour! When things are really spread out, it can chip away at your timeline, too. This means we have less time to take beautiful photos (and for you to enjoy your friends and family) because so much time is spent moving from one location to the next. Yes, we want breathing room, but not too much!

5. A Luxe Getting Ready Space. It often feels like the getting ready spaces are one of the most overlooked details at a venue. You spend a LOT of time in this space the morning of your wedding, and in many ways it sets the stage for your day. You want a getting ready space that is well lit, (again, big windows are a huge plus!) aesthetically aligned, and accommodating. Ideally, it’s conveniently located so you’re close to everything, and is large enough to comfortably accommodate your bridal party, your parents, and your photographer the morning of the wedding.

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