Choosing the Perfect Wedding Venue

Hey brides-to-be!  First off, congratulations!  You're engaged and on the way to planning one of the happiest days of your life!  This is such an exciting time for you and your fiance!  That being said, you have a very big job ahead of you.  A wedding has so many moving parts involved and it's pretty easy to get overwhelmed while planning.  So I'm here to help!

Today I'm going to give you a list of the most important factors to consider when visiting venues and what will ultimately help you pick the very best one for your big day.

Cavalier Golf & Yacht Club, Daniel Pullen Photography
Budget is obviously going to play a very large role in every single decision you make surrounding your wedding.  You'll need to ask yourself how much of your budget you're willing to use on the venue.  Will the cost keep you from being able to afford another aspect that may be priority?

 The location of your venue is super important logistically.  Will you have sufficient parking for all your guests and vendors?  Are there lodging options nearby for your guests?

Lesner Inn, Shannon Moffit Photography
What does your venue look like?  You'll need to make sure that the aesthetic of the venue lends itself well to the look and feel you're hoping to achieve with your decor.  Most venues allow you to transform the space to your liking, but some have strict limitations. So be sure to find out these regulations from the venue coordinator prior to booking.

Cozy is fantastic, cramped is terrible.  Will the venue comfortably fit all of your guests?  This seems like a really simple aspect to consider, but it's so important. You don't want to spend your time, energy, and budget putting together a wedding that will then be shoved into a small banquet room with 120 of your closest friends and family members.  Be sure there is ample room for the type of wedding you're hoping to achieve.

The Regency - Sandbridge Realty, Elizabeth Henson Photos
What season is your wedding planned for?  If you're planning a winter wedding, choosing a venue for it's gorgeous garden views may not be the wisest decision.  Will those flowers be bloomed in December?  Likely not.  Also, if you're hoping to have an outdoor ceremony or cocktail hour, be sure that you and your guests will be comfortable in the elements.

If you are planning an outdoor ceremony, reception, or cocktail hour, does the venue offer an indoor option in case of inclement weather?  I know for sure that here in Hampton Roads, the weather can change drastically in the matter of hours.  So it's always always good practice to have a backup plan.  If the venue doesn't have an option or allow a tent on their property, that may not be a great place for your wedding.

Founders Inn, Kirstyn Marie Photography
Overall Impression
For me, first impressions are everything.  What was your impression of the venue and their staff?  Did the coordinator get back to your inquiry in a timely manner?  Did they seem knowledgeable and able to answer your questions?  Was this person warm and welcoming when you visited?  You will likely be working very closely with the venue coordinator throughout your entire wedding planning journey.  So it's very important that you feel comfortable with them and like they are the right fit for you.

I hope these tips help make it a bit easier for you to narrow down all your wedding venue options so that you can pick the one that is perfect for your big day!  And in case you have no idea where to start, here are a few of my favorite wedding venues in the area:


Just Dandy Events' Venue Wishlist

I know most brides have a wishlist for their own wedding.  They know where they want to host it, what they want their dress to look like, and what signature cocktails they want to serve to their guests.  But you may be surprised to know that most wedding planners have a wishlist too!

I've got a list of venues that I'm hoping my brides will reserve for their big day.  These three places are so gorgeous, and so different from one another.  I can't wait to share them with you!

Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards - Charlottesville, VA

via: Pinterest
 First up on my wish list is Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards.  I visited Pippin Hill back in November 2014 when some girlfriends and I went to have lunch and taste some of their amazing wines.  The staff was setting up for a wedding in the Granary and I was just in awe of the space.  I stood inside the room, mouth agape, dreaming of coordinating a wedding in such a gorgeous space.  The entire venue is stunning, the backdrop of the mountains is unbelievable, and that wine is delicious.  Future JDE Brides: Please please please, someone book this venue!!

BayVue Estate - Mathews County, VA

via: Shannon Moffit Photography, Tidewater and Tulle
  Back in the beginning of the year, I made the drive to Mathews County to check out BayVue Estate.  We had a pretty interesting winter, with lots and lots of when I arrived everything was white!  And boy was it gorgeous.  But it was also easy to see how incredible of a spot it is when everything is lush and green too.  The home has so much character and charm to it, and the property is absolutely breathtaking.  I've definitely got a soft spot for a waterfront location, and this one ticks all the boxes for the kind of setting I would love for one of my sweet couples' big day!

Hermitage Museum & Gardens

via: Jen + Ashley, Tidewater and Tulle
  Ohhhh how I love the Hermitage!  This gorgeous waterfront property in the heart of Norfolk is one of the more historical venues in the area, with crazy beautiful gardens and so much to offer to the wedding industry.  I recently coordinated a first anniversary styled shoot {keep an eye out for those images!} and I must have said "I wish a JDE bride would book her wedding here!" at least 10 times.  Seriously, this place is stunning.

Ok so there you have it.  The three venues on my wedding venue wishlist.  Now....JDE a girl out!  <3