The Do’s and Don’ts of Shopping For Your Wedding Venue

You’re engaged - congratulations! Now what? The first step in your wedding planning journey (besides saying YES to your fiancé) will most likely be choosing your venue. We always say that once you find your venue, the rest will fall into place. Seems cheesy, but it’s true! Your venue will set the tone, and oftentimes budget, for the rest of your wedding. While this decision seems intimidating, it doesn’t have to be! Planning your wedding is a fun and joyful process, and we’ve got your back. Keep these do’s and don’ts in mind while shopping, and you’ll be sure to find the venue of your dreams! 


DO look at non-traditional wedding days

Who says weddings can only take place on Fridays & Saturdays? Have you ever considered how beautiful a winter wedding can be? When you’re looking at a venue’s availability consider not only off-peak months but also non-traditional days like weekdays. This will increase availability options for not only the venue but your dream vendors too. Did we mention that it can also save you tons of money? Imagine being able to wear the dress of your dreams, or go on that extended honeymoon!


DON’T shop without a guest count in mind

Have you always dreamed of a big wedding? Does great aunt Karen make the invite list? Defining your guest count is key when searching for your venue because all venues have different capacity limits. While you don’t need an official guest count, you should at least have a rough idea of how many people will be joining you to celebrate your special day. 


DO trust your instincts

You’ll know when you’ve found the right venue. The perfect venue will fit your vision and budget. If you find yourself debating a venue with your partner, that means it’s probably not the one. We tell our couples that the mansion is their home on their wedding day, and that is truly what your venue should feel like - home.

photos by Clewell Photography


DON’T bring a large entourage 

Although we want the whole family to love the venue as much as you do, the more people you bring along on your venue search, the more opinions you have to consider. While other people can point out things you may have missed, good or bad, ultimately the only opinion that matters is you and your fiancé’s. Trust us, at the end of the day your friends & family want you to be happy. If you love it, they’ll love it! 


DO explore

Even if you think you know exactly what you want, it is always a good idea to explore different options. You may have never considered a European style estate for your big day, but end up falling in love. Just like no two couples are the same, no two venues are the same. It is important to find the perfect blend of you and your partner! While you want to find that perfect venue, if you are considering a date during peak wedding time, don’t take too long to decide otherwise you risk losing the venue or sacrificing your dream date.


DON’T forget one important detail

Have fun! This is the first step towards one of the happiest days of your life, so please enjoy it! We know wedding planning can be stressful, so why not shop for a venue that can help relieve some of that stress? An all-inclusive venue like the Van Dusen Mansion blends practicality and style, making it the perfect venue for anyone looking to check several items off your wish list with one decision.

By keeping these little tips in mind, we hope your venue shopping experience will be all the more enjoyable. Our knowledgeable and experienced staff at the Van Dusen Mansion will work with you from start to finish to ease some of your stress so you can enjoy the planning process. Curious about what this venue has to offer? Connect with an Event Consultant today!

Don’t know where to start with your planning? Check out our Wedding Budget and Vision Planner Quiz!​​​​​​​