First step: the venue

I have to say that I think this is absolutely one of THE MOST important decisions of your wedding and reception.  There are so many different options (inside, outside, church, field of flowers), and depending on your budget, the sky’s the limit!

With us, budget does play an important part, so keeping that in mind I wanted to find our venue first before all other decisions.  For one, when you’re on a limited budget, your list will be shorter because many places may be more than you can spend.  Plus, where you will be getting married and having your reception will help set the tone for your wedding – and many of the other choices you will make! And don’t forget, the most desirable venues book up far in advance.

Since we are not extremely religious people and haven’t been to church in a while, a church wedding wasn’t important to us.  We also wanted to find a place where we could have the ceremony as well as the reception (to make it easier on everyone involved).  I have to give myself some kudos on this one – I researched and researched and looked at so many pictures on the internet!!  I emailed and got pricing and information on several places, and we narrowed down our options pretty quickly.  But once I saw the pictures (and prices!!) of the YWCA in downtown Fort Worth, I knew that this was my favorite!!

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We met my parents there one weekend, and after seeing the place in person we were thrilled!  It was even prettier in person than on their website, and it fit all our needs!  We’re going to have our ceremony downstairs in front of the fireplace, and we’ll have our reception upstairs in the ballroom. 

Another note: the original date we wanted was already booked!  Luckily, the weekend after was not.  If you’re willing to be a little flexible with your dates, you can usually get the venue you want if you start early.

How did you find your venue??  Was it the first big thing you booked, or did you decide on it later?