Growing up, my wife had a friend who had been planning her wedding since she was twelve years old. She would cut out pictures of dresses, cakes, tuxedos, and bouquets from magazines and paste them into her wedding journal. She had everything set and knew exactly what she wanted. Years later when she found the man who would forever hold her heart, the wedding dress styles and the cake themes had all changed, but they still said their vows under an arch in the chapel that she had always dreamed of. But it’s not always that easy. You’re ready to say, “I do,” but now where to? As one of the premiere Wedding Photographers in Washington DC , I know finding the perfect wedding venue is one of the most important steps in the wedding planning process.

Which means that it’s also probably the hardest step…unless you’re like my friend. So, some things to consider:


First decide on whether you want to have an indoor or outdoor ceremony and reception (or both—many people have one inside with the other outdoors). Do you want to go traditional with a church wedding, or are you looking for somewhere a little trendier? What speaks to your heart most? If you choose to have an outdoor wedding, ask the venue owners about weather accommodations (tents, heat lamps, fans, etc.)


Next, get with your partner and come up with a guestlist. As you visit venues, ask about capacity requirements—most have a minimum and a maximum. Be sure to leave lots of wiggle room. Usually anywhere between half to two-thirds of the people you invite will attend, but I’ve also witnessed situations where nearly the entire list showed up! You want to have plenty of room for everyone to get their best dance moves on!


If you’re going to serve drinks/alcohol ask the venue about their policy and what kinds of bar amenities they can provide.


Speaking of amenities, ask for a full list of amenities and services they will provide and what you need to find on your own. A few include:

    • Parking
    • Catering
    • Restroom access
    • Equipment rentals
    • Setup/cleanup crew
    • Tables, linens, and chairs
    • Kitchen with supplies/utensils
    • Wedding day preparation areas
    • Technology equipment and access

We hope that this list helps you get a get a good start on finding your fairytale venue. And remember, if you are feeling stressed out, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. At Rodney Bailey, we are not just photographers and wear many hats in our line of work. We have been in the wedding industry for years now, and with experience under our belt, we can confidently help you navigate the process. We know some of the best venues around that serve as the perfect backdrop for capturing your day of celebration and love! Best wishes!

As one of the premier Wedding Photographers in Washington DC, I know just how deeply the perfect venue can impact your big day!


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