Finding a wedding venue is tough, make no mistake. It gets even tougher when you have your heart set on finding the perfect venue: a unique space that reflects you and your partner.
Many venues bill themselves as unique, but when you see hundreds of photos of other couples’ weddings littering their websites, you begin to wonder just how “unique” the space truly is. Don’t be discouraged; there are still plenty of ways you can find a unique wedding venue for your Big Day.
1. Crowdsourced Reviews
Yelp and sites like it have given customers a voice. Since these sites aren’t curated by the company being reviewed, you know you’re often getting honest, open reviews from people who have actually been to the location.
How does this help you find a unique wedding venue? First, you might be able to dig up a “hidden gem” by perusing the reviews on these sites. Perhaps the location isn’t usually a wedding venue, but someone did have a wedding there. Or maybe there’s only a handful of positive reviews, and the location seems to get less traffic than others. Steer clear of venues with hundreds of reviews, and you might just come up with a space as unique as you are.
2. Ask Your Caterer
Another trick for finding hidden gems is to ask your caterer. Chances are they’ve been around the block, and they’ve likely served weddings or other events in many different venues over the years. They’ll be able to direct you to some of the best choices for your wedding—and some of the unique choices.
In fact, your caterer will likely be able to tell you that some of the unique venues are actually amazing “hidden gems,” some of which they likely enjoy serving at and wish people would select more often! Working closely with your caterer will help you choose an amazing venue.
3. Recommendations from Friends and Family
Sometimes, you’ll find a unique venue through friends and family. Someone may have gotten married at the venue, or they may have held another event there. Maybe it’s just a place they’re aware of because it happens to be in their neighbourhood, or they know the people running the place.
As it stands for all recommendations from family and friends: tread lightly! You may not choose the exact spot they suggest, or pick their preferred caterer, and that could lead to hurt feelings. Make sure you thank them for their advice and appreciate their care in helping you.
4. Get out of Town!
One of the best things you can do to find a unique wedding venue is to go out of town. While the venue may have some broad offerings, it’s unlikely that your friends or family members will also use that venue—for a wedding or anything else, which certainly helps the venue feel more unique.
Wedding venues outside of the city may also have some more unique features, which often helps differentiate them from each other. Very few barn weddings look exactly the same, and there’s much more variety in buildings and spaces once you get outside the city limits.
5. Think Outside the Box
Perhaps the best thing you can do when you’re trying to find a unique wedding venue is to think outside the box. Just because a space has never been used as a wedding venue before doesn’t mean it can never be used that way. Of course, you’ll need to talk to the powers that be and ensure all the paperwork is in order, but don’t rule out a space just because you’ve never seen it done before. You might just be the first!