Choosing a venue is one the of the most important decisions in planning your wedding: it sets the tone, the atmosphere and the style of your wedding.  It is a determining factor that helps to guide the rest of your decisions and to give you and yours the experience you imagine.

But how does one choose only one venue to tie the knot?? With hundreds of options and new spaces renting themselves out for private events each year, how do you narrow it down?

Alex & Lily are here to help.  Let us give you some inspiration and things to think about to aid in the ever important Venue Decision.  There are some key factors to consider that will impact and inform your choice of venue:


  • How many guests will be attending your wedding?

The guest list is very important in determining what venue you choose because all venues will have a maximum guest limit.  It is not only about being able to ‘fit’ all of your guests into the space, but also, not choosing a space that is too large for your event so that there is an excessive amount of empty space.  Before looking for venues, you and your partner should sit down and draw up a draft guest list to determine the ballpark number of guests you will be inviting.  It is not a good situation to be in if you have your heart set on a venue and you are unable to cut down your guest list.


  • What is your personal style and that of your partner?

This is about what you like, what you like to wear and the level of casual or formal display you prefer.  Your wedding should be a reflection of you and your partner and so choosing a venue with the style that you can relate to will be more exciting and appealing to you.  Are you a princess who has always dreamed of her wedding a big, fancy ballroom? Take a look at some of Vancouver’s most beautiful hotels, The Rosewood Hotel Georgia or the Four Seasons. Both offer incredible service, legendary beautiful interiors and high end glamour.  Are you more of a trendsetter and like to discover new things?  A new venue making waves in Vancouver is the heritage building at The Permanent.  They are situated in downtown Vancouver east of the business core and have recently opened up their space for public events.  It boasts an amazing stained glass ceiling, heritage bar and guests can roam over three floors throughout the wedding.


  • How you and your partner want to celebrate?

Are you comfortable being the centre of attention?  Or does that scare the living you-know-what out of you?  Or somewhere in between.  Will you be having a religious ceremony or a non-denominational one?  Does it excite you to have a fun filled event, or a chill and intimate gathering?  These are some questions to ask yourselves to determine if you require two locations for example, one of the ceremony and one for the reception.  Think about whether or not all guests are invited to both the ceremony and reception, or just one.  (And we hate to break it to you, but regardless if you are comfortable with it or not, as the bride, you will be the centre of attention all night).


  • How much work are you personally expecting to put into the day? And how much are you hoping to hire others to perform?

Whether it’s due to time, experience or skill set, each couple has an idea of what activities they want to do themselves or feel better to outsource to professionals.  Some venues, like hotels, will automatically have the service, most likely the catering, most furniture, linens and parking already in place.  This is compared to an outdoor venue where all rentals, food and décor would have to be brought in.  Personalizing your venue is easier when it is a blank slate- on the other hand, it means that there are more vendors required and decisions to be made.  There is no right answer.  It depends on your vision, as well as what you can afford.  Most venues that come with staff and furniture, ect will be more expensive, however after adding up all the sectors that you need, you may not find a huge difference in price between an outdoor venue versus a hotel (think- tent rentals…).


Given the fact that choosing a venue determines the stage for your wedding and it is your special day with your partner, you want to be sure that you are comfortable with your decision.  However, sometimes there are barriers to being able to make isolated decisions. Family and friends are excited for your nuptials and so, may lend their opinions on various decisions for your wedding.  Sometimes these comments are rational and appreciated-sometimes they can be overwhelming.  If your parents are paying for your wedding, they have the right to SOME, key word, SOME of the decisions.  This is not to say that they can dictate everything about your wedding, but perhaps there will need to be some compromise.  If you are pushing for an outdoor wedding for example, and your parents want a ballroom setting, a great option in the Vancouver area is Cecil Green.  It offers both outdoor and indoor space, old world feel and class and glamour that this heritage venue naturally provides.  As in all relationships, compromise will need to happen and choosing a venue will likely be only one of the situations where compromise will be necessary.

Some other great venues in the Vancouver area are: the rustic, natural and beautiful North Arm Farm in Pemberton, north of Whistler; your very own gallery display at the Vancouver Art Gallery; and the dimly-lit, romantic and alluring Brix and Mortar in Yaletown.

Whatever venue you choose, try to imagine your day, how you want to feel, the people you want around you and the memories you know you will make!

For more advice on venue selection, or wedding services in general, contact Alex & Lily Home.  We are always here to help.


Alex & Lily

3 comments... read them below or add one


  1. Lillian Schaeffer on December 8, 2016

    Thanks for bringing to my attention that the guest list is a big determining factor when choosing a venue. My fiance and I are trying to get everything planned for our wedding, and we want to start by choosing a venue. I imagine that the amount of guests is really important when choosing the size, so we’ll make sure to get a guest list compiled before we make a decision about where we’ll be having it.

    • Allie Cooper on December 12, 2016

      Absolutely Lillian. You don’t want to fall in love with a venue and then not be able to narrow down your guest list enough to fit- or be forced to not invite someone you would really like to attend. Best of luck with your venue search!

  2. Wedding Celebrant on April 2, 2017

    Yeah, you are right! Choosing the wedding venue is one the of the most important decisions for a wedding and it is sometimes confusing because a wedding venue can reflect the couple’s personality. So the ideal suggestion would be to check different venues and consult with your celebrant. I think they can help you to make your choice. Thanks, Alex & Lily for sharing this post.

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