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Let’s find out how to plan a backyard wedding! A favorite of couples who would rather host a more intimate celebration or on a lavish honeymoon. We’ll cover what you have to take into account and a couple of gnarly DIYs you cannot miss!

Embrace the natural setting, let your imagination fly and make sure you follow at least some of these steps to plan a backyard wedding that is the GOAT!

Embrace the natural setting, let your imagination fly and make sure you follow at least some of these steps to plan a backyard wedding that is the GOAT!

A great place to consider having a ceremony is in a backyard, it can be breathtaking and so personalized. You may think a backyard wedding will lack that important TD effect. In reality, it’s more like Cinderella before the big ball. A hidden beauty bursting with potential; waiting for someone’s magical touch to turn it into the most impressive reception of them all.

Related: 28 Insane (but Amazing) Wedding Reception Lighting Ideas You Can Steal

A Checklist to Plan a Backyard Wedding Bash

Even though this checklist to plan a backyard wedding is by no means exhaustive, it will give you a head start.

 

First, let’s talk about available space and number of guests you can fit in it. We know you are keeping it real but you have these two numbers match. People gotta be comfortable, am i right? So, verify the number of guests that will attend. That way you know how to work with the space. If your backyard space isn’t ideal; consider using a family member or friend’s space. (Hint that it would be a great wedding present.)

If you have a roomy outdoor space, here’s the checklist for your backyard wedding bash.



Hanging lightbulb strings adds a charming ambiance to this backyard wedding. Lauren Apel Photo.

Hanging lightbulb strings adds a charming ambiance to this backyard wedding. Lauren Apel Photo.

How to plan a backyard wedding: don't forget the guestbook table!

How to plan a backyard wedding: don’t forget the guestbook table!

Defining the Space for your Flawless Backyard Affair

Defining the space is a key concern when planning a backyard wedding. Kind of why wedding venues let you know their occupancy depending on if you are hosting indoors, outdoors, sitting, standing, etc. So, unless you hire a wedding planner that can tackle this task, grab a map of your yard and start assigning areas. Here are a few to get you going.

1. Wedding Tables and Seating Assignments

Will you need tables for your guests? Round, rectangular, square? How large are they? How many of each will you need? Chairs, anyone?

Needless to say, there are many tables you may want to consider; cake or dessert, favors, escort cards and guest book, head table, guests tables, food and cocktail tables. Of course, to plan a backyard wedding in a limited space you will have to be creative and do away with some of these tables, right?

Do away with the chairs and try these alternative seating ideas for your backyard wedding. Photo: Yolanda Marx.

Do away with the chairs and try these alternative seating ideas for your backyard wedding. Photo: Yolanda Marx.

Rentals can really dress up your guest's tables.

Rentals can really dress up your guest’s tables.

2. Lit Food Options to Plan a Backyard Wedding

The fun of having a wedding in your own backyard is that you can personalize it to the max. Food options abound; pot luck, catering, homemade.

A fun thing for some budget conscious couples; rent food trucks. It can cut a $68 plate per person to $25 and cut down on the space needed for the caterers and food tables. But you will need a place to park them and maybe a permit.

Related: Mini Foods for Weddings, A Mini Guide to Serving Miniature Food

If you are setting your food  and drinks outdoors make sure you plan a way to keep them at a proper temperature and free of pests. Consider saving a space for the bar and cooling of the beverages.

Refreshing beverages in stylish dispensers for an irresistible look perfect for a backyard wedding.

Refreshing beverages in stylish dispensers for an irresistible look perfect for a backyard wedding.




3. Plan for Ceremony Space (Optional)

Planning to recite your vows on your backyard? Make sure to reserve a space for the wedding arch, officiant, wedding squad, family and a few guests.

The next step is to think about making transitions between the reception and ceremony areas. Whether you choose beautifully lit balloon archways or aisles of gorgeous potted plants you can’t go wrong. Of course, this only applies if you host the ceremony there too. If you get married at the courthouse or the church, this is a non-issue.

Garden pergolas are perfect for reciting your vows in the intimacy of your own backyard.

Garden pergolas are perfect for reciting your vows in the intimacy of your own backyard.

Intimate backyard weddings are adorably cute and number one for feeling comfy and homey all day.

Intimate backyard weddings are adorably cute and number one for feeling comfy and homey all day.

4. Remember the Much Needed Shelter

Unless you are planning to open up your house in case of bad weather or just because you want to decorate a tent, plan on providing some shelter for your guests. Deciding to rent a tent can be a life-saver if the weather shifts, however, they can be pricey (get an early start and shop for a good quote)

Related: 37 Creative Wedding Tent Decor Ideas That Are The Goat (Greatest of All Time)

Tents require space, Depending of the tent style, the more space is needed. Add that to your map. Are your guests still fitting?

Turn a necessity into a TD backyard wedding decor. Tents do take up more space so tread carefully.

Turn a necessity into a TD backyard wedding decor. Tents do take up more space so tread carefully.

5. What is a Backyard Bash Without Entertainment?

Consider where the DJ booth, the band, photo station and the dance floor will go. If you are planning on installing a dance floor, keep in mind it will require a very flat surface. Otherwise, invite your guests to bare their feet and enjoy nature!

How much space will you spare for the dance floor? Find out how to plan a backyard wedding. Floral decor by Flowers by Frankie and photographed by Clay Austin Photography.

How much space will you spare for the dance floor? Find out how to plan a backyard wedding. Floral decor by Flowers by Frankie and photographed by Clay Austin Photography.

How to throw a perfectly organized DIY wedding in your backyard.

How to throw a perfectly organized DIY wedding in your backyard.

6. Options to Plan a Backyard Wedding for When Nature Calls

Don’t forget about the bathrooms. Make sure the ones inside the house are fully stocked and cleaned throughout your event. It would be in your best interested to hire a bathroom attendant or to rent stalls. Just tuck them on the side of your property. Your guest bladders will thank you.

Gorgeous backyard patios area your guests will truly enjoy.

Gorgeous backyard patios area your guests will truly enjoy.

How To Plan a Backyard Wedding: Logistic Tips

Plan for parking and accessibility. Let your neighbors know that people will be parking and partying all night long. Ask your guests to carpool as much as possible.

Flowers, tents and you’ll never guess it balloons are pop items being used. Tents along with chairs and tables can usually be rented from a party warehouse for a decent price.

Related: Why you Should Consider Hiring a Day-Of Wedding Coordinator

Another item to be taken care of, is yard preparation. It may not seem glamorous, but skipping this can have guests not having a good time on your special day. It is not necessary to be an expert to pull these steps off just a little patience. First, treat the area for unwanted pests; nothing can take attention away from the lovely couple like a swarm of flies or nasty bites from ants. And if you have a grass garden, do not water the yard 2 or 3 days before your big event. A soggy lawn makes for muddy shoes and no one likes that.   Take care of any bare spots by planting sod and fertilizing way ahead of the big day.

As the guest list is small, when planning your backyard wedding, feel free to go all out. The Edges Wedding Photography.

As the guest list is small, when planning your backyard wedding, feel free to go all out. The Edges Wedding Photography.

Last, but not least, make sure you’ve enough power for the music, lights, and catering needs and proper liability insurance coverage. This is why, intimate backyard weddings are pop these days.

Try to embrace the natural setting, let your imagination fly and make sure you follow at least some of these steps to plan a backyard wedding that is the GOAT!

 

RELATED WEDDING PLANNING TIPS & IDEAS

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Photography credits: brides, bridalguide, Inspiração Decor, brooklynlimestone, happywedd, weddinginclude, chicvintagebrides, Tumblr, brit+co, countryliving, cuteweddingideas

If you are wondering about how to build your wedding guest list, pay attention to these tips. This task is rife with potential problems that are quite difficult to ignore or avoid.

Who would you miss the most if they were not present at your wedding?

Who would you miss the most if they were not present at your wedding?

So, before finding out how to build your wedding guest list, let’s go over a few fundamental questions. Keep in mind that there are no right or wrong answers but they will help you define the kind of event that will make you the happiest and the size of your wedding guest list.

First, what is the most important goal of your wedding? Sharing with the people closest and most dear to you or celebrating with everybody that has ever grazed your life?

Second, have you decided on the wedding style? Are you planning a tiny and intimate event or a large one where everybody will be invited? How small is small and how big is big?

Third, and now be realistic, how many people do you have to invite? Will your parents also invite people, and if so, how many?

Fourth, know your guests. Will you have to invite a lot of plus ones for your single guests? Will children be allowed and if so, at what age will you make the cut? How many will be honorary guests (those that you will send an invite to but will not attend)? Are most of your guests local or will you have some coming from afar? How many do you really think will attend?

Finally, what’s you budget limit and have you decided how you want to spend it? Think if you’d rather have a wedding just like you dreamt about or if you are willing to sacrifice some things to feed a few more guests and add to the fun?



A must-have wedding photo you will want share with your wedding guest list, amiright?

A must-have wedding photo you will want share with your wedding guest list, amiright?

How To Build Your Wedding Guest List The Traditional Way

  • Start by adding everybody that you know and would like to attend or feel an obligation to invite, be it family, friends, mentors, or any other acquaintances.
  • List all your family all the way down to your second cousins. Yes, even the ones who may not even attend. You may end up making them honorary guests and receive an invitation anyway. And you’ll need that count as well.
  • Next, start adding your closest friends. People you see often and they mean a lot to you.
  • Add your close colleagues, co-workers, clients and business associates to your wedding guest list. They will appreciate seeing you get married as they may have gotten to know you before you even met your spouse.
  • Think of other people who are a significant relationship in your life and add them to your wedding guest list.

Combine your list with your future spouse’s and your parent’s, if they get to invite people to the wedding as well. Now it’s time to trim your list down based on your budget and venue capacity.

What is the most important goal of your wedding? Sharing with the people closest and most dear to you? Or celebrating with everybody that has ever grazed your life?

What is the most important goal of your wedding? Sharing with the people closest and most dear to you? Or celebrating with everybody that has ever grazed your life?

Are you planning on printing fan programs? How many will you need?

Are you planning on printing fan programs? How many will you need?

Romantic vintage style bride and groom chairs. Unless you are throwing a super big bash and budget is no object, those plus ones that you have never met do not have to make it into your wedding guest list.

Romantic vintage style bride and groom chairs. Unless you are throwing a super big bash and budget is no object, those plus ones that you have never met do not have to make it into your wedding guest list.

Quick Steps To Decide Who’s In and Who’s Out

This set of questions will quickly help you weed out your wedding guest list. If you answer yes to all of them, that person definitely belongs in your guest list. If there answers are only 50/50, place them on a maybe list to be re-evaluated after your have a final headcount. That way, if there’s extra wedding budget to go around they can be added to the guest list. Otherwise, cross them off the list.

  1. Have you spoken to this person in the past year?
  2. Have you ever spent time together outside of work?
  3. Has your better half ever met this person?
  4. Would he/she invite you (or has he/she invited you) to their wedding?
  5. If this person would not attend your wedding, would it make a difference to you?

A few words of wisdom: If you’ve already chosen the wedding venue, keep in mind the location’s capacity.

Related Reading: Why you Should Consider Hiring a Day-Of Wedding Coordinator

Welcome your guests to your beach wedding with a simple and adorable table.

Welcome your guests to your beach wedding with a simple and adorable table.

Love this purple table decor with mirrors. Super fancy! Photo: Duke Photography.

Love this purple table decor with mirrors. Super fancy! Photo: Duke Photography.

What are your priorities? A perfect wedding or the more the merrier? Discover how to build your wedding guest list.

What are your priorities? A perfect wedding or the more the merrier? Discover how to build your wedding guest list.

Related Reading: How to Choose a Wedding Venue: Wedding Planning Tips You Must Read

Who To Cross off Your Wedding Guest List

There are some people who should automatically cross off your wedding guest list. And they are:

1Children of Family and Friends

Just because there are a lot of children in your family or amongst your friends does not mean you have to make your wedding kid-friendly. Unless that’s exactly what you want to do. Children imply special menus, care and entertainment. You will have to fend off many requests to sneak in their kids. No matter how well-behaved or how dear they are, and especially if booze will flow, children stay at home.

After so much effort building your wedding guest list you get to welcome all of these amazing people!

After so much effort building your wedding guest list you get to welcome all of these amazing people!




2Long Lost Friends

Should old acquaintance be forgot. And never brought to mind. You know how that goes. Yes, you may think of those friends from time to time, but the day of your wedding is not the moment to get re-acquainted. Wedding receptions are filled with things to do, people to say hello to, dancing, speeches and photo sessions. We assure you there will not be time for this.

Beautiful and simple table decor. Love the chalkboard place settings.

Beautiful and simple table decor. Love the chalkboard place settings.

3Co-workers

This is a very special occasion to be spent with loved ones. So, unless you have a co-worker who falls into the friend category, you can safely cross them off the wedding guest list. You reception is not a place of business and neither should you be using it to plan your next promotion. If things go awry at work, you’ll regret having them on your wedding photos.

Destination weddings tend to have a small number of guests and a larger number of events. Indigo blue and copper tablescape, Mykonos Island, Greece.

Destination weddings tend to have a small number of guests and a larger number of events. Indigo blue and copper tablescape, Mykonos Island, Greece.

4Reciprocal Wedding Invites

Yes, they invited you to their wedding but do you still keep in touch? Don’t feel obligated to add them to your wedding guest list.

Dreamy fairytale wedding. Are you going all out on your wedding reception?

Dreamy fairytale wedding. Are you going all out on your wedding reception?

5Plus Ones You Have Never Met

Unless you are throwing a super big bash and budget is no object, those plus ones that you have never met do not have to make it into your wedding guest list.

Even beach weddings in Tulum, Mexico, need a headcount. Photo: Tec Petaja.

Even beach weddings in Tulum, Mexico, need a headcount. Photo: Tec Petaja.

6Family You Are Not Close With

Friends may take up quite a few spaces at your wedding, but they may be much closer to you than some of your family members. Don’t feel guilty removing family from the wedding guest list when they are not close to you. Putting close friends in their place will make your wedding much more exciting. You want people there who know you well as their support will make your day much more special.

Garden weddings can also welcome their guests in style. Flowers by Lace and Lilies, Colorado.

Garden weddings can also welcome their guests in style. Flowers by Lace and Lilies, Colorado.

Now that you’ve got your wedding guest list ready, check out these wedding planning ideas and guides from amazing planners!

Amazing Photo Gallery Wedding Planning Ideas You Cannot Miss

Start browsing some seating chart ideas because that's what comes next!

Start browsing some seating chart ideas because that’s what comes next!

Discover More Stunning Wedding Ideas

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Photography credits: wedding forward, Stylish Wedd, bermudian weddings, Nebula, elo7, intimate weddings, Modern Wedding, moonlight bridal, Oh Best Day Ever, happy wedd

Looking for original venues to get married in Vegas? Look no further! We scoured the place to bring you eight of these fab locations. Check them out!

Wealth and luxury at this #Vegas wedding #venue Terrazza di Sogno at Bellagio.

Wealth and luxury at this Vegas wedding venue Terrazza di Sogno at Bellagio.

We rounded up a list of the 8 most original venues to get marred in Vegas. So, if you are considering Sin City, read on!

Sin city isn’t just the easiest place to tie the knot; in Vegas, you will find the most original venues to get married. Although famed for its casinos and neon wonders, Las Vegas has arguably the best and most memorable places to get hitched in the world.

You can get legally married in Vegas indoors, outdoors, in a chapel, at a hotel or at a drive thru by a Priest, a Rabbi or an Elvis officiant as long as they are appropriately authorized!

A Look at 8 Most Original Venues to Get Married in Vegas

Nowadays, couples look for immersive and unique experiences to celebrate their nuptials. Gone are the days of the traditional wedding location. So, we went looking for the most original venues to get married in Vegas. Nothing like Sin City to find the absolutely extraordinary and totally experiential. Enjoy and take your pick!



1Botanical gardens Spring Preserve

The Spring Preserve is a sprawling 180 acre of indoor and outdoor botanical gardens. Imagine this: saying your vows as you interact with the Western elements and giant Cacti of the desert.

How original is a Botanical Garden Wedding at a desert? Springs Preserve in Las Vegas, Nevada.

How original is a Botanical Garden Wedding at a desert? Springs Preserve in Las Vegas, Nevada.

2The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

The Cosmopolitan is one of the most elegant hotels in Vegas. Standing on Las Vegas Strip, its iconic view overlooks a perfect, breathtaking backdrop for as you exchange vows beside or above the ritzy city shimmering at nighttime.

Pop up weddings and elopements are all the rage with millennials. What better place than Vegas for one? The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.

Pop up weddings and elopements are all the rage with millennials. What better place than Vegas for one? The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.

RELATED READING: Las Vegas Weddings: A Guide To Getting Married in Vegas (Part I)

3Sky Las Vegas

Ever wanted to have a cloud wedding several feet above mere mortals below? Sky Las Vegas high rises are thrilling venues that demand a romantic sophistication. With alluring rooftops and elegant condos, what more can you ask for?

A popular choice for couples who want to have an intimate in suite reception with spectacular Las Vegas skyline views. The Skyline Terrace Suite at MGM Grand.

A popular choice for couples who want to have an intimate in suite reception with spectacular Las Vegas skyline views. The Skyline Terrace Suite at MGM Grand.

4Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas

One of the most original venues to get married in Vegas is the Mandalay Bay. If a tropical backdrop of water laps at the shores of its beach, who says you cannot do a beach wedding in Vegas? For your big day, Mandalay Bay Beach also houses a private cabana for a walk down the aisle.

If you want a really unique experience at The Mandalay Bay Shark Reef Aquarium, take a peek at what happens behind the scenes and feed sharks, stingrays, or sea turtles.

A Vegas Hotel that can cater to your every dream: Mandalay Bay.

A Vegas Hotel that can cater to your every dream: Mandalay Bay.

MIX Restaurant at the Mandalay Bay Hotel, Las Vegas.

MIX Restaurant at the Mandalay Bay Hotel, Las Vegas.

Archway to the Valley of the Falls at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV. Photographer: M Contreras Photo.

Archway to the Valley of the Falls at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV. Photographer: M Contreras Photo.




5Graceland Wedding Chapel

The iconic Graceland Wedding Chapel has wedded A-list stars for decades. Located on the Las Vegas Strip, The King is ready for you. An ever-ready Elvis Presley to walk you down aisle and sing “Viva Las Vegas” to wrap the ceremony in that classy Vegas fashion. Talk about one of most original venues to get married in Vegas.

Get married by Elvis at the Graceland Little Wedding Chapel. "Can't help but falling in love" with this idea.

Get married by Elvis at the Graceland Little Wedding Chapel. “Can’t help but falling in love” with this idea.

6Flamingo Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas

The 15 acres of garden and pool area is one of the most original ways to get married in Vegas. Why? Flamingo Vegas boasts of a lush greenery, crashing waterfalls, and protects up to 300 birds. In addition, let’s not forget its swank indoor and outdoor chapels that will leave couples joining in bliss.

The Flamingo Las Vegas hotel with Art Deco aesthetic and tropical theme is a self-contained casino and resort offering everything an adventurous couple could want; including a tropical Wildlife Habitat and a 15-acre Caribbean-style water park.

The Flamingo Las Vegas hotel with Art Deco aesthetic and tropical theme is a self-contained casino and resort offering everything an adventurous couple could want; including a tropical Wildlife Habitat and a 15-acre Caribbean-style water park.

7Neon Museum

Satisfy your inner geekiness inside a museum of more than 150 neon lights. Then you can latter say I do amidst a neon collection that represents famous casino resorts and motels that dating back to the 1930s. Needless to say, your wedding photography will be unique and colorful.

One of the most original venues to get married in Vegas. The Neon Museum and Downtown Las Vegas. Photographer: KMH Photography.

One of the most original venues to get married in Vegas. The Neon Museum and Downtown Las Vegas. Photographer: KMH Photography.

Gorgeous and original vegas wedding locations. The Neon Museum. Photo: Laura Grier of Beautiful Day Photography.

Gorgeous and original vegas wedding locations. The Neon Museum. Photo: Laura Grier of Beautiful Day Photography.

Imagine your I do's at the Neon Boneyard Museum in Las Vegas.

Imagine your I do’s at the Neon Boneyard Museum in Las Vegas.

8Valley of Fire State Park

Romance and fire—get a dose of that in Nevada’s oldest and largest State Park. Located in the Mojave Desert, the Valley of Fires promises couples an adventure amidst a unique, mysterious setting while exchanging vows. With over a 150-year-old, fiery red sandstone backdrop, picture a rustic wedding like no other.

Imagine getting married in the Valley of Fire.

Imagine getting married in the Valley of Fire.

Nothing more romantic than a boho elopement in the Nevada desert, don't you agree?

Nothing more romantic than a boho elopement in the Nevada desert, don’t you agree?

Bonus venue: A helicopter wedding

An original venue to get married in Vegas is the sky.

Daredevil lovers will fancy their chances of becoming one as they float above the Las Vegas Strip. Although it’s going to be a small wedding, you will remember forever.

Your unforgettable wedding is just a helicopter ride away.

Your unforgettable wedding is just a helicopter ride away.

Photo Gallery: Original Venues to Get Married in Vegas

A Couple of Tips to Get Married in Vegas

Sin City is hot during the deep summer days! Wear a light dress, go short and comfortable. Talking about comfortable, wear comfy shoes. You’ll do a lot of walking and make sure you carry some first aid kits with hangover cures. Pre-apply online for your marriage license, then go to the Bureau’s express window. Nice, right?

A hangover kit makes a great addition to a wedding guest's welcome bag or a little pick me up after a night at any fun event!

A hangover kit makes a great addition to a wedding guest’s welcome bag or a little pick me up after a night at any fun event! (Via Etsy)

Hope you liked them. Now, check out these 8 unique wedding venues in Los Angeles, some of the coolest places to get married in L.A. or these 7 gorgeous & original Texas wedding venues you must check out!

Check out the most original wedding venues to get married in Vegas.

Check out the most original wedding venues to get married in Vegas.

The Venetian will transport you from Vegas to old world Italy with its elegance and magnificent details.

The Venetian will transport you from Vegas to old world Italy with its elegance and magnificent details.

It's Vegas or bust, babe! Photographer: KWP Photography.

It’s Vegas or bust, babe! Photographer: KWP Photography.

Gondolieri, take us to the church on time! Venetian Hotel, Las Vegas.

Gondolieri, take us to the church on time! Venetian Hotel, Las Vegas.

Las Vegas champagne toasting flutes. Set of 2 by artZengraving, $24.00.

Las Vegas champagne toasting flutes. Set of 2 by artZengraving, $24.00.

Get married in opulence at the Caesar's Palace.

Get married in opulence at the Caesar’s Palace.

Discover More Stunning Wedding Ideas

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Photo Credits: The Knot, Little Vegas Wedding, Inspired by this blog, buzzfeed

About to choose a wedding venue? Stop and read these wedding planning tips to help you land the venue that fits your budget, style and all of your guests!

Florida wedding venue. Ancient Spanish Monastery in North Miami Beach.

Florida wedding venue. Ancient Spanish Monastery in North Miami Beach.

The wedding venue may often set the tone for the rest of your wedding. No pressure, right? Allow us to help you by breaking down the process of choosing a wedding venue. Find out what to consider before touring the locations. What questions to ask get the information you need to land the reception space of your dreams. 🙂

How to Choose a Wedding Venue: It’s Definition Time!

If you are about to choose a wedding venue you will be overwhelmed by the number of banquet halls, spaces, outdoor locations and more that will pop up on Google. Let’s bring it down a notch. Stop the searching, grab a calendar, pen and paper and follow the yellow-brick road. 😉

Before starting to look for the ideal venue you must define four things: the date, your wedding style, the number of guests, and your budget.

First of all, pick a date. You will need to check if the place you picked is available on that date before even considering touring the venue. So, the date will definitely will be one of your filters. If budget is a concern, keep in mind that prices are more affordable from Sunday to Thursday and higher on Friday and Saturday as well as during peak wedding season. If you’re not getting married on-site, check in dates with your church or City Hall first before booking the reception venue. Date: Check!



Intimate weddings are very much on trend. Organic and intimate destination wedding in Italy.

Intimate weddings are very much on trend. Organic and intimate destination wedding in Italy.

Next, the wedding style. The wedding venue you pick will help you define and frame your wedding theme. If you are looking for a summery vibe to your reception, consider a country, garden, or beach wedding.

Modern couples can look into lofts, warehouses, art galleries. Check out these modern industrial raw spaces if you live in New York! Remember that when you engage a raw space, the rentals do not come included in the package. Consider all the extras in the price for a more fair comparison between wedding venues.

Non-traditional couples may look for unique and eclectic event spaces, such as zoos, public libraries, museums, and even old train stations. These spaces in Los Angeles will give you an idea to start with. (but do not make a decision yet!)

Intimate weddings are very much on trend. You can go as small as your own backyard (so cool!) or as fancy as renting a vacation home and make it a weekend celebration. Who knows? It may end up being more affordable that a traditional reception venue. Talk about an unforgettable experience! At the end of this article, we’ve added a wedding venue size calculator, just in case you want to host the shindig at home. 😉

Plan an unforgettable wedding! Find out how to choose a wedding venue step by step. Wedding photographer: Lauren Conrad Photography.

Plan an unforgettable wedding! Find out how to choose a wedding venue step by step. Wedding photographer: Lauren Conrad Photography.

Now, let’s estimate the guest count. It is highly recommended that you build a preliminary count which you can adjust later. Reception venues will ask you for this number in order to give you a quote. You will also use the guest count to perform your preliminary research. Be mindful of the fact that there are always last minute additions and that just because a venue tells you it can fit 150 people, it does not mean you have to cram them all up.

Finally, the budget! How much can you afford to spend on the wedding venue? We highly recommend sticking to this budget or you will have to do away with those coveted ice sculptures, your dream wedding gown, or the open bar you so badly wanted for your guests. 🙁

Make sure there will be space for your chain link Chuppah! Huron Substation, Los Angeles, CA. Wedding photographer: Jen Huang Photography.

Make sure there will be space for your chain link Chuppah! Huron Substation, Los Angeles, CA. Wedding photographer: Jen Huang Photography.

Imagine your reception at a place like the Patio del barrio de Santa Cruz, Sevilla.

Imagine your reception at a place like the Patio del barrio de Santa Cruz, Sevilla.

How to Choose a Wedding Venue: Perform a Preliminary Online Search

Yes! Let’s bring Google back! The first step is collecting all of the information available to you about the potential wedding venues. Try not to overwhelm yourself with too many event spaces. Start with a few reception places and go from there. Stay organized by building a spreadsheet, it will help you figure out who you’d like to visit in person. Remember, you still have a few more steps to go.

Try to find the following information from each venue’s website: Name of the venue, address, website, phone number & other contact information, capacity, pricing Information, and why you liked it.

It is likely that not all of this information will be available on the website; and you may need to call or email the venue to get everything you need. At least by collecting all of this information you can compare them side by side.

Marquee monogram for the dessert table at a backyard wedding venue.

Marquee monogram for the dessert table at a backyard wedding venue.

Burlap and tulle window covers with rosettes. Done with coral and ivory flowers. An easy and cheap idea to help cover windows if the reception space is too bright.

Burlap and tulle window covers with rosettes. Done with coral and ivory flowers. An easy and cheap idea to help cover windows if the reception space is too bright.




How to Choose a Wedding Venue: Prepare for Touring the Wedding Venues

Now, let’s boil down your list to a manageable size. Email or call the prospective spaces and find out if they are available on your date. If so, coordinate an in-person visit, preferably when it’s set up for a wedding. It will give you a better idea of the space available.

Ask them if you’ll have exclusive use of the venue on that day. Every banquet hall or wedding venue differs in the amount of privacy provided. Some offer separate bathrooms and dressing rooms, some share the parking space area. If you are getting married in a public space, you’d better make your piece with strangers stopping by and giving you their good wishes.

Ask as many questions as possible beforehand so you can concentrate on visualizing your wedding and checking those details you have to verify in person.

The Gavioli Chapel in Eureka Springs is a unique ceremony choice for couples looking for an impressive setting for their wedding. Chapel in the Woods, Arkansas. Wedding Venue.

The Gavioli Chapel in Eureka Springs is a unique ceremony choice for couples looking for an impressive setting for their wedding. Chapel in the Woods, Arkansas. Wedding Venue.

With this small checklist you are ready to go and choose a wedding venue that is perfect for you! Huron SubStation, Los Angeles, CA.

With this small checklist you are ready to go and choose a wedding venue that is perfect for you! Huron SubStation, Los Angeles, CA.

Questions to Ask a Wedding Venue When Visiting (or Before!)

So you have an appointment with a venue on-site coordinator. You want to make sure this time is well-spent, so what should you ask? Start by making sure you can fill in all the blanks of the spreadsheet you created. Here are a few more questions that will help you choose a wedding venue that fits your requirements.

Layout and Accommodations Questions

  • Is there a bridal-changing area?
  • How much parking is available? Is valet parking an option? If the parking is limited, is there nearby parking available? Ensure it is easy for the guests to arrive comfortably to your wedding. They will thank you for it.
  • Is the venue handicap accessible? Make sure everyone feels welcomed.
  • How many bathrooms are available and what is their capacity?
  • Make sure that there is space for all the activities and details that you have planned for your wedding: the guestbook signing, the dinner, the cocktails, the dessert table and the cake, the dance floor, the band, the photo booth and a few lounging areas!
  • If your guests will travel to your wedding you need to offer them lodging. Find out if the wedding venue has at least a couple of hotels nearby with available rooms. Your guests will really appreciate if you offer them a third and cheaper option.
Grace Loves Lace are renowned for creating effortlessly unique, luxurious designs for the modern bride. Designed & handmade in Australia.

Grace Loves Lace are renowned for creating effortlessly unique, luxurious designs for the modern bride. Designed & handmade in Australia.

Wedding Planning Questions

  • What time can vendors arrive to start setting up and then dismantling the wedding decor?
  • What are the wedding decor restrictions? Are there any guidelines, restrictions or policies on using real candles? Is it a raw space? If not, what table and chair styles do they provide? Do you need a special permit for your wedding arch?
  • What refrigeration is available? (This is important if you are using live flowers or cake with frosting that could melt)
  • Is the venue licensed for providing or servicing alcohol? Is there hirable bar staff? What is the rate for the staff, service, and drink?
  • Are there any noise ordinances you need to respect? If the venue does not allow for music after 10pm and you plan to continue the party until the wee hours of the morning, that’s not a good fit. Unless you plan on an after-party somewhere else.
  • Is there a contingency plan provided by the fabulous vineyard in case it rains? An indoor space or a tent?
  • If you would like to host a romantic wedding, a daytime wedding or a cocktail at sunset, check that the place can provide you with the lighting you want and need.
  • How far is it from the church? Or is there a space to celebrate the religious ceremony?
Wedding planning advice. Allow for space for the waiters to serve your guests. Love this tablescape shot! The pops of color are terrific. Wedding photographer: Jen Huang Photography

Allow for space for the waiters to serve your guests. Love this tablescape shot! The pops of color are terrific. Wedding photographer: Jen Huang Photography.

How to choose a wedding venue step by step. Chapel in the Woods, The Woodlands, TX wedding venue. Wedding photographer: Sara Answorth photography.

How to choose a wedding venue step by step. Chapel in the Woods, The Woodlands, TX wedding venue. Wedding photographer: Sara Answorth photography.

Pricing Questions

  • Are there discounts available for booking off-season or on Sunday through Friday?
  • What are the terms of the deposit? Is it refundable and when is it due?
  • What is the cancellation policy?
  • Are rentals (tables, chairs, linens, table clothes, or glassware) included in the price? If so, which ones?
  • Make sure when you are looking for potential venues that you clearly understand what’s included and what isn’t. Examples of this are catering and wedding menus, beverages, and centerpieces.
  • Are there any vendor restrictions? If the venue offers catering in-house, find out if you can do a tasting before the wedding.
  • Does the venue have liability insurance?

Don’t book the first venue you see, even if you fall in love with it. Choose at least three or four wedding venues that fit your budget and wedding style and ask for quotes. Be prepared to take notes and lots of photos!

Ask for the wedding venue quotes. Make sure you get as much information as possible to choose a wedding venue that you will be happy with. It’s your day, after all!

Succulents and white roses adorn this chic boho wedding in California. Their quaint, yet ultra stylish venue at Seven4One offered the perfect one-of-a-kind circular ceremony space for their intimate nuptials.

Succulents and white roses adorn this chic boho wedding in California. Their quaint, yet ultra stylish venue at Seven4One offered the perfect one-of-a-kind circular ceremony space for their intimate nuptials.

Remember to add the wedding venue address to your invitations. Elegant and luxurious white laser cut pocket wedding invitations.

Remember to add the wedding venue address to your invitations. Elegant and luxurious white laser cut pocket wedding invitations. (BYWWS026)

Wedding Venue Size Calculator

All venues will help you find out how many guests can fit in a banquet hall or reception venue for different seating plans. But, if you are holding your wedding affair at home, in a garden or at another outdoor venue, it is useful to know how to calculate how many guests can be accommodated in a given space. You do not want your guests feeling cramped at your wedding.

Measure the length and the width of the area in feet. Multiply the two numbers together to get the area in square feet. If the space is uneven, you need to break it up into squares, rectangles or triangles, calculate the area for each and then add them up.

Now divide this number by 2 as you may safely estimate that 50% of the area will be used for aisles, staging, waiters, dance floor, catering stations, and other. The remaining area will accommodate your guests.

Non-traditional couples may look for unique and eclectic event spaces such as this one. Wedding photography: Colin Cowie Weddings.

Non-traditional couples may look for unique and eclectic event spaces such as this one. Wedding photography: Colin Cowie Weddings.

Wedding ceremony decor for raw spaces. 40 tissue paper poms.

Wedding ceremony decor for raw spaces. 40 tissue paper poms.

Use the following guidelines to calculate capacity:

* For every round banquet table that seats 10 people, calculate 30 square feet.
* Calculate 3 square feet per person for a stand-up reception.

However, each room or space is different. You need to take into account the shape, locations of doors, fire exits, columns; buffet dinner or seated dinner set up, and so on. As a rule of thumb, 1,000 square feet is adequate for 80 wedding guests at a sit-down wedding. For each ten additional guests, add an additional 200 square feet of space.

With this small checklist you are ready to go and choose a wedding venue that is perfect for you. Just one last piece of advice, once you have set your reception hall budget don’t go see places that far exceed it. And now, let’s read about wedding reception seating!

Wedding Venue Photography to Inspire You

Wedding planning advice: How to choose your wedding venue.

Wedding planning advice: How to choose your wedding venue.

A chandelier makes all the difference at this intimate affair.

A chandelier makes all the difference at this intimate affair.

Discover More Stunning Wedding Ideas

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Photography credits: Borrowed & Blue weddings, OnceWed, WeddingChicks, Brit Morin.

If you want your L.A. wedding to be totally out of the ordinary, you may want to look into these unique wedding venues in Los Angeles!

Rustic loft wedding at the HNYPT, a raw space in Los Angeles. Wedding Photography: Onelove Photo.

Rustic loft wedding at the HNYPT, a raw space in Los Angeles. Wedding Photography: Onelove Photo.

Los Angeles has so many fabulous locations that it may be hard to narrow down your choice to just one. Of course, if you are on trend, and celebrate your wedding in a couple of wedding venues, – one for party and another for after-party – this list really will come in handy! Here’s to the coolest places to get married in L.A.!

We have something for every couple, from the sports fan to the bookworms, all the way to magnificent raw spaces and beach wedding venues! We are certain that these unique wedding venues in Los Angeles will help make your big day truly unforgettable.

Unique Wedding Venues in Los Angeles: HNYPT

For a more urban feel, check out HNYPT (pronounced Honeypot) for your wedding day. This venue is a triangular pitched roof converted warehouse that boasts 20-foot ceilings, skylights, and exposed brick walls. Located in Downtown Los Angeles, HNYPT is raw space, – a blank slate that can be turned into whatever you imagine it to be to perfectly match your wedding theme. The maximum wedding capacity it 200 guests. You can reserve this venue for 15 hours or 23 hours.



Address: 212 W 12th St, Los Angeles, CA 90015

Website: http://hnyptla.com

For a more urban feel, check out HNYPT -pronounced Honeypot- for your wedding day.

For a more urban feel, check out HNYPT -pronounced Honeypot- for your wedding day.

Unique Wedding Venues in Los Angeles: Dodger Stadium

If your dream is to be married on home plate at Dodger Stadium, you can. This treasured Los Angeles landmark has everything you wanted to host your wedding. And we bet your guests will be singing the “Take me out to the ballgame” song all the way to your big day.

There is a lot of history in this venue, but it is not only for baseball fans. Dodger Stadium has multiple places that can facilitate wedding receptions. Their largest, The Stadium Club has enough room for 230 guests seated and a dance floor. The Lexus Dugout Club located behind home plate, packs Dodgers energy, fits up to 350 people for a reception and seats 170 guests with a dance floor.

We highly recommend Dodgers Stadium as a wedding venue to any couple that wants a unique and special wedding. You may even use their gift shop to get your wedding favors! How cool is that?

Address: 1000 Elysian Park Avenue, Los Angeles, CA (323) 224-1507

Website: http://losangeles.dodgers.mlb.com

This is a "Take me out to the ball game" kind of wedding. Unique wedding venues in Los Angeles: Dodgers Stadium.

This is a “Take me out to the ball game” kind of wedding. Unique wedding venues in Los Angeles: Dodgers Stadium.

First look photo shoot and wedding at the Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles.

First look photo shoot and wedding at the Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles.




Unique Wedding Venues in Los Angeles: Disneyland

Who doesn’t want to get married at the Magic Kingdom? Start your happily ever after in true Disney style at one of the most unique wedding venues in Los Angeles. Create your fairy-tale wedding in front of Cinderella’s castle, get hitched in a far off destination of your choice at Epcot’s World Showcase or plan a non-character wedding with very elegant details and stylish touches. The sky’s the limit!

There are many venue options among the grounds at Disneyland, both indoor and outdoor, that can be the perfect setting for your big day. And while Mickey cannot act as your wedding officiant, you may hire up to two characters to join you at your party. They have a few outstanding features such as your own personal wedding coordinator that will help turn your wedding into a fairytale. Feel like the belle at the ball at one of the coolest wedding venues in L.A.

Check out these ideas to plan your fairytale wedding!

Address: 1313 Disneyland Dr, Anaheim, CA 92802

Website: https://www.disneyweddings.com/

Disneyland Sleeping Beauty Castle wedding. Who wouldn't love a Disney reception?

Disneyland Sleeping Beauty Castle wedding. Who wouldn’t love a Disney reception?

Pick from a fairy-tale wedding right in front of Cinderella’s castle or a spooky portrait session at The Haunted Mansion in Disneyland, one of the most awesomely unique wedding venues in Los Angeles.

Pick from a fairy-tale wedding right in front of Cinderella’s castle or a spooky portrait session at The Haunted Mansion in Disneyland, one of the most awesomely unique wedding venues in Los Angeles.

Unique wedding venues in Los Angeles: Disneyland. Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles. Wedding photographer Kevin Le Vu Photography. Such a happy bride riding in Cinderella's Coach. Disneyland's romantic Rose Court Garden. DoubleTree by Hilton Los Angeles Downtown garden wedding reception.

Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles. Wedding photographer Kevin Le Vu Photography. Such a happy bride riding in Cinderella’s Coach. Disneyland’s romantic Rose Court Garden. DoubleTree by Hilton Los Angeles Downtown garden wedding reception.

Start your happily ever after in true Disney style at one of the most unique wedding venues in Los Angeles. Incredible Disneyland wedding with the carriage, the castle, and fireworks included.

Start your happily ever after in true Disney style at one of the most unique wedding venues in Los Angeles. Incredible Disneyland wedding with the carriage, the castle, and fireworks included.

Unique Wedding Venues in Los Angeles: Vibiana Cathedral

This Spanish cathedral is a venue that is sure to make a lasting memory for your wedding day. With baroque columns, arched ceilings, and lush gardens this setting is the perfect background for your wedding photography. It was the former Archdiocese of L.A. Many famous weddings took place at this site and even former Pope Paul slept in what is now the bridal prep area.

The Vibiana Cathedral is one of the most stunning wedding venues in Los Angeles. There are indoor and outdoor venues that can hold up to 400 people inside and 500 outside for the ceremony. You can rent out this venue for 6 hours at a time and until as late as 2 AM.

Address: 214 South Main Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Website: http://vibiana.com

The Vibiana, in Downtown is the oldest cathedral in L.A. It was the former Archdiocese of L.A. Many famous weddings took place at this site and even former Pope Paul slept in what is now the bridal prep area.

The Vibiana, in Downtown is the oldest cathedral in L.A.

Elegant and majestic white wedding venue at the Vibiana Cathedral in L.A.

Elegant and majestic white wedding venue at the Vibiana Cathedral in L.A.

Unique Wedding Venues in Los Angeles: Los Angeles Public Library, Central Branch

Book lovers, rejoice. The Public Library might just be the perfect setting for your L.A. wedding. The historic architecture of the Library building has large, arched windows making it one of the coolest places to get married in L.A. Natural stone, brilliant windows, and high ceilings complement the ceremony space to perfection. Café Pinot, the next-door restaurant, hosts wedding receptions. The restaurant has a beautiful garden to satisfy those looking for an outdoor area. The venue can accommodate up to 300 people and it’s quite affordable!

Address: 630 W 5th St, Los Angeles, CA 90071

Website: http://www.lapl.org/branches/central-library

Los Angeles Public Library Wedding. Cafe Pinot wedding. Wedding photographer: Mike Arick photography.

Los Angeles Public Library Wedding. Cafe Pinot wedding. Wedding photographer: Mike Arick photography.

Wedding venue: Los Angeles Public Library & Café Pinot. LA wedding photographer: Mike Arick. Rotunda of the Los Angeles Central Library.

Wedding venue: Los Angeles Public Library & Café Pinot. LA wedding photographer: Mike Arick. Rotunda of the Los Angeles Central Library.

Unique Wedding Venues in Los Angeles: Calamigos Ranch

Romantic does not even begin to describe this unique wedding venue. Historic redwood and oak trees inhabit the grounds of this Santa Monica/Malibu space. Calamigos Ranch is a 120-acres of rustic, beautiful outdoor/indoor event space. Let the soothing sound of waterfalls and the twinkling lights among the trees turn your wedding into an unforgettable experience. This event venue can hold up to 500 people and is available to rent for 6 hours.

Address: Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, 327 Latigo Canyon Rd, Malibu, CA 90265

Website: http://calamigos.com

The Ranch has the unique vibe of a hidden forest full of waterfalls, trees and beautiful flowers. Calamigos Ranch wedding photographed by Allie Lindsey Photography.

The Ranch has the unique vibe of a hidden forest full of waterfalls, trees and beautiful flowers. Calamigos Ranch wedding photographed by Allie Lindsey Photography.

Get married under the old oak tree at the Calamigos Ranch in L.A. Wedding photographers: Gina & Ryan Photography.

Get married under the old oak tree at the Calamigos Ranch in L.A. Wedding photographers: Gina & Ryan Photography.

Unique Wedding Venues in Los Angeles: Shutters on the Beach

Los Angeles has everything, including one of the coolest places to get married in L.A. right by the Santa Monica beach and pier. If you wanted a destination wedding but opted to stay in town, this unique wedding venue provides the best of both worlds. Shutters on the Beach is a beautiful oceanfront resort that offers reception halls of various sizes. This is perfect because your guests can stay on site and you can take advantage of the resort-like amenities before the big day.

Uncover how to plan a beach themed wedding ceremony with these 13 crucial tips that will make it a resounding success!

Address: 1 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405

Website: https://www.shuttersonthebeach.com/

Unique wedding venues in Los Angeles: Shutters on the Beach. Photo courtesy: Wayne Photography by Today Might Be Photography & Shutters on the Beach.

Unique wedding venues in Los Angeles: Shutters on the Beach. Photo courtesy: Wayne Photography by Today Might Be Photography & Shutters on the Beach.

Santa Monica Shutters on the Beach has a breathtaking seaside space ideal for beach weddings. Hazelnut - Elizabeth Anne Designs.

Santa Monica Shutters on the Beach has a breathtaking seaside space ideal for beach weddings. Hazelnut – Elizabeth Anne Designs.

With this round up of unique wedding venues in Los angeles, we hope we made your choice of ceremony space a bit easier. For those couples who want their wedding day to be some kind of extraordinary memory and are tired of the traditional banquet halls, now, these eight cool places to get married in L.A. are in your radar!

Coolest places to get married in L.A. Los Angeles photographer: Armen Asadorian Photography.

Coolest places to get married in L.A. Los Angeles photographer: Armen Asadorian Photography.

Discover More Stunning Wedding Ideas

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Photography credits: Style Me Pretty, BravoBride, Disney Weddings, A Magical Day Disney Fan Sites, Shutters on the Beach, Calamigos Ranch