By Thomas Waters, The Renaissance

After popping the question, one of the first things that couples start thinking about is the ceremony site and reception venue. A lot of things that you will plan later in the engagement will be affected by these two big decisions. Here are four easy steps to finding the perfect spot for YOU!


When you start researching venues, you may want to consider having a few questions ready to ensure you ask the important things right from the beginning. Most brides want to begin immediately with price. While this is a VERY important part of the budgeting process since your venue may end up being one of the most expensive decisions for your big day, you do also want to be savvy and ask some other questions to make sure that your venue choice is going to work. Here are some examples:

  1. I want to have my ceremony and reception in the same place. Will your venue have options for me to consider?
  2. We are inviting about 250 people. Will your venue be able to accommodate that many guests? (Note: In venue language, there is a difference between sit down vs. cocktail with regards to how many people a space can accommodate.)
  3. Does your venue allow offsite catering? Does your venue provide catering?
  4. How many events does your venue do in one day?
  5. If our wedding is outdoors, does the venue have a backup plan if there is bad weather?

First and foremost, always make sure that your date is available. Even if you have flexibility, it’s always a good idea to ask about your date or at least a preferred month before you get your heart set on something.


Once you determine if the venue will work for you, it’s time to start collecting proposals, prices, packages, and anything else that will help you start building a plan. Never be afraid to ask questions or start a conversation with the person on the other end of the phone.


Once you have a few prices you like and have narrowed down your favorite places, it’s time to start touring. Tours are an incredibly easy and fun way to make sure that the potential site is something you love.

Ask yourself if you can see you and your fiancé having your first dance here! Don’t be afraid to walk around the space. Look at tables, chairs, windows, and anything else that may provide the perfect atmosphere you are looking for. Ask to see pictures from real weddings, too!

The venue will provide you lots of information on your tour, so don’t be afraid to take notes or ask them to email it all to you in regards to menus, bar plans, etc.

Four Easy Steps to Finding the Right Venue
Richmond Event Photography


Once you have a list of the venues that you are in love with, it’s time to make the decision.   Now is the time to start taking your investigation to the final level by fine-tuning exactly what you want.

By asking all of the right questions, you can find your dream venue. Once that decision is made, relax a little and celebrate!

Thomas (everyone calls him Tommy) Waters is with the Renaissance, an all-inclusive wedding ceremony and reception venue based in downtown Richmond’s exciting Art’s District.  To learn more about The Renaissance, please visit

Featured image: Richmond Event Photography