This is a great time to use that fabulous tool that modern brides are lucky to have at their fingertips: the Internet. Chances are, now that you’ve decided where you’d like to have your wedding, you’re thinking of a few places in town where you should start looking.
Go to their online sites
Google venues that meet your criteria in your area. Print out any info that pertains to you and your potential celebration: names of event coordinators at each place; catering packages; pictures of past weddings held there; capacity info for each scenario (cocktails, sit-down dinner, etc.).
Go through wedding magazines
Preferably, local ones that highlight places specifically in your area.
Run down your mental list
Recall weddings you may have attended in the area. Were any of them so memorable that you might consider the venue for your own?
Map out your plan
Once you’ve gathered all your little packets of printouts and magazines, grab your groom, spread the materials out on the table in front of you, and start making calls to the sites that look good to both of you.
Check for availability
Make sure a place is available by checking the site’s online calendar and set up an appointment to visit in person. A lot of places will let you come in just as they’ve set up for a wedding, so you can get an idea of what it looks like once decorated, as opposed to an empty room with duct tape covering the wires on the floor.
If it’s convenient for you, feel free to zip over to check out a site (church, ballroom, synagogue, hotel, park, etc.) on your lunch hour, even if it means going solo. Touring an entire site, top to bottom, accompanied by the site manager, can take a while — but if you just want to hit a bunch of places to narrow the field, go ahead. If you are dazzled by a certain site but have to dart back to the office in time for your 3 o’clock, simply sign up for a time on a Saturday when you can come back with a list of questions — and, of course, your groom.