There are a multitude of wedding venues out there. Finding one that fits your personality and style (and budget) takes some time and effort. Follow these simple steps to help get you started.
1-Have a budget in place (and stick with it!): I can't say this enough. It's not uncommon to have a bride that does not have a budget in place and that's where things can get sticky. If you have a good planner (she/he will ask you if you have one and will set up a breakdown of your expected expenses). Having an estimated budget in place will help keep the process running smoothly and will allow (if planned correctly) to have all the nice touches you've dreamed.
2-Determine the approximate number of guests before choosing the site. You'll need to have a general idea of how many guests you'll have in order to find the venue that will accommodate that number!
3- Consider the atmosphere you want to create. Will it be formal or informal? Does the architecture and style of the decor add to the ambiance you wish to create?
4- How far do you expect your guests to travel? You don't want your guests getting lost on their way to your wedding. Perhaps provide a shuttle service or detailed directions with a map.
5-Do you want a site that is all inclusive, or a site where you choose all the vendors separately? Sometimes having a one-stop-shop can cut down on costs, but you lose the control in having a specific vendor. Ask the venue site manager for a list of preferred vendors. Often times, having a vendor that has worked the venue can work in your favor.
6- When out visiting venues, take a camera or video recorder and take pictures of all the things you liked about the venue (as well as noting some things that you have questions about).
Choosing a venue can be daunting, but you'll know it when you feel it. Just do your homework ahead of time and you'll be in good shape.