3 Tips to Choosing the Perfect Wedding Venue | Washington DC Wedding Planner

Choosing the perfect wedding venue may require you to evaluate certain things that you may not be thinking of. As a Washington, D.C. wedding planner who is familiar with the area, I can tell you that the options in our region are countless! To help you with this big decision, I’ve put together some tips. I hope you will find helpful as you search for the venue of your dreams!

The Culinary Garden at The Salamander Resort is a great spot for cocktail hour or dining al fresco. You can also have a tent or use their indoor ballrooms. | Photo Credit: Brett Denfeld Photography

Design and venue layout

Are the colors of the venue neutral enough to match any wedding colors? If you haven’t chosen your colors yet, will the venue décor limit you to a certain selection of color palettes? Check out elements like curtains, fabrics, carpets, tile shapes, patterns, and textures.

In addition, ask to do a walk-through of the ceremony space, as well as the cocktail and lunch or dinner reception space. Is the layout smooth and uncomplicated? Consider walking distances from one place to another, stairs and elevators. Think of guests that may need special accommodations.

Museums and historic mansions are classy and very elegant, but may have some layout disadvantages, especially for larger weddings (150 plus guests).

Also, ask about parking choices, especially for venues that are located in cosmopolitan areas, where parking spaces are at a premium. In cases like this, you may have to hire a company that does valet parking.

Anderson House | Washington, D.C Wedding Venue | Photo credit: Hunter Leone


Catering options

Many of today’s couples are foodies, and to say that cuisine is a key consideration of their wedding is an understatement! If your venue happens to be a restaurant or hotel, you should be 100 percent sold on the chef’s culinary offerings. With that said, ask to set up a tasting or visit the location for a dinner-date night and see how things go.

If you’re looking at a site where you need to hire a catering service, check out the venue policies in case you want to hire a vendor that is not on the venue’s pre-approved list. Typically, when a venue provides you with a preferred-vendor list, those service providers are tried-and-true professionals, so using their preferred options may be a prudent choice.

An advantage of hotels and restaurants as venues? Their kitchen equipment, dishes, tables, chairs and standard linens are likely to be included in your per-person fee!

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Bluemount Vineyards, Delaplane, Virginia. Photo Credit: Candice Adelle Photography. Wedding Planning: Terry Kaye.


Does the venue offer the type of outdoor and indoor backdrops that you are looking for? (think wedding photos here!) Carefully peruse the venue grounds, ask lots of questions and envision the full potential. Remember to have a clear vision of what you want from your wedding pictures.

Having on-site pictures is an advantage. It avoids some of the stress of getting from one point to another (who loves DC and Northern Virginia traffic, anyway?). Better yet, before your site tour, follow the venue on social media and check out pictures of past weddings.

Last but not least, does the venue make a strong first impression? If the answer is yes, chances are it will be a good fit for you!


For details on booking our wedding planning team, you can connect with us via our contact page.

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Salamander Resort pictures are courtesy of Brett Denfeld Photography

2941 Restaurant | Wedding Venue in Falls Church, VA. Photo credit: Sarandipity Photography



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