What Is a Wedding Venue?

The location or surroundings where you will choose to say “I do” remains one of the most important decisions on your wedding day.

As contemporary weddings push all of the boundaries of tradition, the question of, “what is a wedding venue?” becomes more complicated.

Read on to discover the wide variety of types of wedding venues, from a traditional religious service to an exotic locale, and explore the recommended way to book your wedding venue.

What Is a Wedding Venue?

Official wedding venues are locations such as a hotel, estate, banquet center, or country club that hosts the wedding ceremony and reception.

However, wedding venues don’t have to be so formal; areas like backyards and beaches are commonly used as venues.

Many times traditional wedding venues will provide tables, chairs, some decorations, and catering services.

4 Types of Wedding Venues

An almost unlimited variety of wedding venues are available to help you celebrate your love. Each of these wedding venues carries its advantages and disadvantages. Examine all of your options closely to determine the best wedding venue for your wants and needs. 

1. Religious Building

The most popular and traditional type of wedding venue is a place of worship. Churches, mosques, synagogues, temples, and many other assorted religious buildings are the preferred place for these ceremonies. Many believers consider marriage to be a sacred, religious occasion that requires weddings to be held inside a specific building.

Previous generations held almost all weddings inside houses of worship. However, wedding venues have expanded in recent decades to include a wide variety of appropriate spaces for wedding ceremonies.

Holding your nuptials within a religious building comes with its advantages. If you are a follower of religion, this choice carries tremendous symbolism and meaning. 

Additionally, these houses of worship conduct many weddings every year. Therefore, they have the experience and practical infrastructure to conduct successful weddings. Unlike outdoor venues or other exotic places, churches, temples, and mosques are often wired with extensive sound and lighting equipment and offer ample parking.

Religious settings can also prove to be a very budget-friendly option for couples. However, be sure to ask if there are requirements for getting married in their location. Some religious buildings require couples to complete marriage counseling or to convert to their religion before the ceremony can be completed.

2. Outdoor Venues

Next to religious buildings, outdoor venues are another very popular choice for a wedding venue. Outdoor venues can include everything from a local park or the couples’ backyard to a remote mountain top or a beach at sunset. 

For contemporary couples, outdoor venues provide a romantic and special setting for this important day. For those who are not religious believers, outdoor space may provide a similar sense of peace and spiritual connection.

Choosing an outdoor venue for your wedding is extremely budget-friendly. Many outdoor venues require no fee or a very small rental cost. Check in with the parks service, campground hosts, or other leadership at the outdoor venue to make sure you are following all regulations.

While the venue rental fee may be small, remember the additional rentals you will need to transform the space into a wedding venue can be considerable. Hiring sound equipment, erecting tents, paying for shuttles to help guests arrive at the ceremony, and other tools may be needed to pull off a wedding ceremony. 

Often guests may need to relocate after the ceremony located outdoors ends. The following wedding reception venue is usually held farther away and indoors. This can make outdoor venues challenging for families with young kids, guests with mobility concerns, and other folks who do not travel easily.

Outdoor venues are incomparably beautiful but can carry additional stress with inclement weather or errant wildlife. Plan for every contingency when choosing an outdoor venue and stay relaxed about the inevitable surprises of holding an outdoor event.

3. Event Spaces

Hotels, convention centers, and other large entities contain designated event spaces perfect for brides and grooms. These spaces offer a plug-and-play approach to planning a wedding, with professional wedding coordinators often included in the rental package. 

These event spaces offer a comprehensive, one-stop-shop approach to wedding planning. This wedding venue option works great for couples on a short time frame or those who wish to have a more hands-off approach to wedding planning. 

Rental packages can also contain catering, florals and decor, sound, officiant fees, parking, and other considerations within one flat rate. Some hotels and resorts offer couples the ability to reserve blocks of rooms so your guests receive a special room price.

Event spaces are often the most favorable and accommodating for guests. Indoor wedding venues like this can also easily combine a wedding ceremony and reception within one convenient location. Your guests can check in to the linked hotel and simply go downstairs for the wedding and reception before returning to their room at their leisure.

Choosing an indoor event space reduces your choices considerably. Often, these event spaces offer exclusive preferred vendors couples must use for their occasion. While this may be liberating for some, it could be difficult for others.

If you decide to hold your wedding in an indoor venue like this, you may not be able to bring in a florist, caterer, DJ, or photographer of your choice. Unlike many other options on this list, an event space may also inflict the most restrictions on your guest list and may enforce a policy to end your reception earlier than you would like.

4. Destination Weddings

Destination weddings represent the final common type of wedding venue. Destination weddings redefine any answer to, “what is a wedding venue?” Couples looking for a memorable backdrop for their special day choose a destination wedding.

Many destination wedding venues feature the most iconic scenery available at that location, like the cliffs of Santorini, Greece, or the peaks of Mt. Fuji in the background. These wedding venues are often creative and fluid to help the couple capture the magic of the place around them.

Destination weddings almost always carry a higher price tag for the happy couple and any guests. This wedding venue is also notoriously more difficult to plan because of the physical distance, potential language barriers, and other complexities.

However, a successful destination wedding venue delivers an experience none of your guests will ever forget. One of the most romantic ways to celebrate your love is with a beautiful destination wedding.