How to Choose a Wedding Venue: Expert Tips from a Wedding Planner to Find the Perfect Spot!

Written by Fatima Falcon Garcia
July 3, 2024

Choosing the place where you’ll celebrate each phase of your wedding is more important than you might think. It’s a crucial step to start planning your big day. I understand the process can be a bit overwhelming, so here are some tips, based on my experience, that I always share with couples who trust Momentos to help them choose the perfect venue for their destination wedding in Los Cabos.

When you search on Google, you’ll find countless options to celebrate your wedding. Many photos, places from around the world, corners that look spectacular on screen, etc. However, it’s best to consult a wedding planner who specializes in the destination, as they will guide you to make the best decision and celebrate an extraordinary wedding.

Acre Resort Los Cabos Aerial View
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How to Choose a Wedding Venue: First Things First

In the planning process, when we are in the initial stage of looking for a location, two situations usually arise. 

  • The first is when the couple cannot visit Los Cabos soon or does not have a site inspection planned. In this case, we provide all visual materials, conduct video calls at the location, and provide all necessary numbers. With this information, clients can make a decision based on their priorities, budget, and style. This is crucial to know because it can resolve many doubts if you cannot travel frequently to the destination where your wedding will be held.
  • The second situation is when the client can visit the location. We present all applicable options for their wedding, review the numbers, and schedule an appointment agenda. During the visit, we review all the locations, and sometimes clients decide to sign the contract during the site visit. This experience is also great because we get to meet the couple in person.

Both situations require a detailed and personalized approach to ensure the best possible venue choice.

Essentials to Consider When Choosing the Perfect Venue for Your Destination Wedding

Nobu Wedding Venue
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When you start looking for the perfect venue for your destination wedding, there are several aspects you should observe from the beginning.

Venue Aesthetics

The appearance of the place is fundamental. A wedding is a celebration of love, but it’s also a visually significant event. The venue should reflect your style and vision, creating the dream atmosphere for your celebration. A venue with aesthetics that captivate you will make everything look magical and special.

Venue Capacity

Once you are convinced by the aesthetics, ensure that the venue can comfortably accommodate all your guests. There’s no point in having a beautiful venue if it doesn’t have the necessary capacity for your event.

Hotel Venues: Room Blocks and Guest Access

When choosing a wedding venue within a hotel, it’s essential to understand the hotel’s policies regarding room blocks and guest access:

  • Room Blocks: Determine the number of rooms the hotel requires you to reserve for your wedding. This can impact your overall planning and budget, so ensure it aligns with your needs.
  • Guest Access: Clarify the hotel’s policy for non-hotel guests attending your wedding. This includes any fees or restrictions that might apply to outside guests entering the venue on the wedding day.

Food and Beverages

Prioritize the quality of the food and beverages. Ensure the venue or their preferred vendors offer high-quality catering and drink options that meet your expectations. If the venue allows, consider bringing your own caterers to guarantee the standards you desire. This focus on quality will help ensure your wedding day is enjoyable and memorable for you and your guests.

READ: Top Wedding Food Trends for 2023

Vendor Access

It’s important to know the venue’s policies on external vendors. Some places have exclusive vendors, while others are more flexible. Knowing this will help you plan more clearly and avoid setbacks:

  • Preferred Vendor List: Check if the venue has exclusive vendors or if you can bring your own. This can affect the flexibility in choosing your preferred vendors.
  • External Vendor Fees: Verify if there are additional charges for using external vendors and what the policies are regarding this.
  • Non-Permitted Vendors List: It’s common for some venues to have a list of non-permitted vendors. It’s important to know this list to avoid inconveniences.

Event Timings

Each venue has its own policy on event times. Some allow events until 10 p.m., others until 11 p.m., and a few until midnight or 1 a.m. It’s crucial to know these restrictions and, if possible, look for nearby alternatives to continue the party with an after-party if desired.

Budget

Understand the minimum consumption requirements for food and beverages or if there is a venue fee. This will help you plan your budget more accurately and avoid unexpected expenses.

Privacy

Find out how private the ceremony and reception areas are. Ask if it’s possible to do a buyout of the venue to ensure the exclusivity and privacy you desire. Most of the couples we work with seek fully private areas, so this point is crucial.

Equipment and Furniture

It’s important to know what equipment and amenities are included. Key items to consider are:

  • Tables and Chairs: Confirm if the hotel/venue provides these and if they meet your aesthetic and functional needs.
  • Tableware: Check if the venue supplies dishes, glassware, cutlery, lounges, linens, and napkins.

Distances and Access

We always evaluate and explain to couples the distances and conditions of the road to each venue. This includes details about accessibility so that your guests can arrive without any issues:

  • Distance from Hotel: Determine how far the venue is from where you and your guests will be staying.
  • Road Conditions: Check the condition of the roads leading to the venue. Ensure that they are suitable for travel, especially for any elderly guests or those with mobility issues.
  • Transportation: Plan for transportation options. Consider whether you need to arrange shuttles or other transportation services to get your guests to and from the venue safely and comfortably.
  • Accessibility: Ensure the venue is easily accessible for all your guests, including those with special needs.

Taking these factors into account will help you choose a venue that is not only beautiful but also convenient and accessible for everyone attending your wedding.

Decoration Restrictions

Ask about specific decoration policies, such as the use of natural candles, LED lights on tables, neon signs, etc.

When selecting a venue, it’s our responsibility as planners to present all relevant information about each venue to avoid frustrations or misunderstandings. With all the information in hand, it’s easier to make decisions and ensure everything flows smoothly during planning.

By considering these key factors, you can ensure your destination wedding in Los Cabos is everything you’ve dreamed of and more.

If you have not yet chosen a wedding venue, a good place to start is our guide to the best wedding venues in Los Cabos.

The Importance of Surroundings and Customization Options in Your Wedding Venue

Different Venue Surroundings
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The venue’s surroundings play a crucial role in creating a magical atmosphere. The view and landscape should complement the design of your wedding. A place with spectacular views can make your celebration even more memorable. Additionally, the aesthetics of the surroundings are essential.

A wedding is a celebration of love surrounded by loved ones, and it’s often the realization of a dream. In an era where aesthetics are highly relevant, you shouldn’t overlook the visual aspect of the venue, as it is the canvas on which the wedding will be designed. Often, the venue can determine the wedding style.

If you want everything to look even more beautiful, during the site inspection, consider the following aspects for customizing your destination wedding in Los Cabos:

1. Personalization Options: Check if the venue allows for customization in terms of decor, layout, and additional features to align with your wedding vision.

2. Surrounding Aesthetics: Ensure the surrounding environment of the venue matches the aesthetic and style you envision for your wedding.

3. Scenic Views: Opt for venues with breathtaking views that can enhance the overall ambiance and create stunning backdrops for your photos.

4. Venue Flexibility: Confirm if the venue offers flexibility in terms of adjusting spaces and layouts to fit your specific needs and preferences.

How to Evaluate The Quality of the Venue’s Service

The first thing is undoubtedly to trust your wedding planner’s recommendations. At Momentos, for example, we select options that fit your style, needs, and budget. However, we also recognize the importance of reviews from other couples and their experiences at the venue.

All opinions count. I suggest you also check their Instagram feed to see examples of previous events and see how the spaces look with wedding productions. It’s very important to identify if they maintain communication with the couple, if they answer questions in the comments, and if they are attentive to their needs.

The communication and disposition of the venue team are key indicators of the quality of service you can expect.

How Many Site Visits Should I Do for My Destination Wedding?

Couple getting married at Nobu Resort
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Typically, couples make two site visits, which are not mandatory but highly recommended. Here’s a detailed look at each visit:

First Site Visit: Venue Inspection

The first site visit often focuses on inspecting the venue. While some couples may skip this step if they are already familiar with the location, many prefer to visit and explore potential venues that match their tastes, needs, budget, and priorities. Here’s what this visit entails:

1. Pre-Visit Planning: A detailed agenda is created in advance, including budget estimates, pros and cons of each location, and other relevant details. Private transportation is arranged for the couple, though they may also choose to rent a car.

2. On-Site Experience: We accompany the couple on all visits, along with the sales representative from each hotel. As experts in each location, we walk with the couple, explaining logistics, potential ceremony areas, cocktail and reception spots, and more.

This thorough exploration provides the couple with all the necessary information to make an informed decision. The interaction between the planner, vendors, and the couple is invaluable. Spending time together helps build trust, allowing the couple to feel relaxed and confident that they are in expert hands.

3. Post-Visit Decision Making: After gathering all the information, couples return home with comprehensive details including venue aesthetics, budgets, estimates, and key considerations, making it easier to decide on the perfect venue.

Second Site Visit: Planning and Finalization

The second site visit usually occurs midway through the planning process or a few months before the wedding. This visit focuses on finalizing details and ensuring everything is in place. Here’s what to expect:

1. Food Tasting: Sampling the menu to finalize food and beverage choices.

2.  Mock-Up Review: Reviewing rentals, flowers, and table setups to ensure they meet expectations.

3. Hair and Make-Up Trial: Conducting a trial run for hair and makeup to perfect the bridal look.

4. Logistics Walk-Through: Walking through the venue to review the logistics for all events, ensuring everything is organized and in place.

5. Accompanied by Experts: We attend all meetings with the couple, taking detailed notes and providing guidance. This second visit provides couples with greater confidence as they see their wedding plans taking shape and make any necessary adjustments.

This interaction and time spent together further strengthens the relationship, allowing the couple to feel even more assured and comfortable.

Typically, two site visits are sufficient to plan a destination wedding in Los Cabos. A third visit is rare but possible if needed. These visits ensure that couples have a thorough understanding and confidence in their choices, leading to a seamless and memorable wedding experience.

READ: How to Communicate Effectively with Your Wedding Planner

Why You Need the Help of Momentos Weddings and Events for Choosing the Perfect Wedding Venue & Conduct a Site Inspection

San Cristobal Baja Wedding
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Choosing the perfect wedding venue is one of the most important decisions you’ll make for your big day. Here’s why enlisting the help of our team of professional wedding planners can be invaluable in this process:

  • Expertise and Experience: Our team has extensive knowledge of local venues and can provide insights into the best options that match your vision, budget, and guest count.
  • Time-Saving: Planning a wedding can be time-consuming. We handle the research, site visits, and negotiations, saving you valuable time and reducing stress.
  • Vendor Relationships: We have established relationships with venues and vendors, which can lead to better deals, added perks, and smoother coordination.
  • Attention to Detail: We ensure that all the details, from logistics to aesthetics, are considered, helping you avoid potential pitfalls and ensuring everything runs smoothly.
  • Personalized Recommendations: Based on your style, preferences, and needs, we can suggest venues that you might not have discovered on your own.
  • Budget Management: We help you stay within budget by providing realistic cost estimates and managing expenses effectively.
  • Neutral Point of View: We provide an unbiased perspective on the pros and cons of each location, offering clear investment estimates to help you make an informed decision.
  • Visualization Support: If you decide to on for a site visit, we walk with you, describing how your event would look in each place, helping you visualize your wedding.
  • Guidance and Confidence: With years of experience in the market, we offer guidance to make the best decisions based on our evaluations and knowledge, ensuring your day is perfect from start to finish.

With over 100 five-star reviews, our clients’ satisfaction speaks for itself. We hope these tips help you make an informed decision and find the perfect venue for your destination wedding. Remember, choosing the right place is fundamental to creating an unforgettable experience for you and your guests. Happy planning!

If you want to celebrate a luxury destination wedding in Los Cabos, contact us!

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