Selecting a wedding venue may seem like an easy part of the planning process, but once you start exploring options, it quickly becomes apparent that even the most popular venues have their upsides and downsides. As such, making compromises as a couple and negotiating your way through what works for your wedding—and what doesn't—becomes an important part of the process early on. Here are some of the most common compromises couples will be on the lookout for when choosing a venue.
Early End Times
A venue's end time is often dictated by the regulations of the county or city. As such, it's nearly impossible to negotiate ending the party later than the time set by the venue. In most cases, couples will justify this compromise by starting the celebrations earlier in the day so they can have the maximum amount of time with friends and family.
Restricted Vendor and Catering Choices
Many venues will have a roster of approved vendors they require you to work with, as well as an in-house catering team that has exclusive use of the property. There are some venues that are more flexible with vendor restrictions, but it's common that couples will have to work with an in-house caterer who may not be their first choice.
Most couples don't necessarily want to bring in shuttles for their wedding guests, but many venues require this mode of transportation because they don't have on-site parking or aren't comfortable with guests driving to and from the event.
Having to Bring Everything In
Bringing in furniture, an electricity generator, restrooms, lighting, and more can quickly soak up your budget at the start of the planning process. Choosing a venue without the basics can mean that you'll need to make compromises that are budget-related later on.
Location, Location, Location
Finding a venue that's walkable to all of your guests' hotels, while still providing beautiful views and a great setting for a wedding is extremely difficult. Location compromises are a factor for most couples, as there's no "perfect" place for a wedding venue.
Hotels and ballrooms are notorious for setting minimum spends that extend beyond the wedding day. For example, a hotel with multiple event venues may set a catering minimum that's meant to encourage a couple to host their welcome party and day-after brunch on-site. Similarly, a winery may require couples to purchase a minimum quantity of their wine for the wedding day. For some couples, this is a caveat they're willing to work with while for others it may be too great a financial burden.