How to Choose a Wedding Venue - Jocelyn & Spencer Photography

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How to Choose a Wedding Venue

How to Choose a Wedding Venue When you’re in the beginning stages of wedding planning, it may feel like there are a million things to decide and even more to consider. We’ve been there, and we can very easily remember that it’s a pretty thin line between having fun planning the best day ever on […]

How to Choose a Wedding Venue

When you’re in the beginning stages of wedding planning, it may feel like there are a million things to decide and even more to consider. We’ve been there, and we can very easily remember that it’s a pretty thin line between having fun planning the best day ever on one side, and feeling overwhelmed that you need to plan the best day ever on the other. And that’s why we’ve put together a short and manageable list with you in mind on how to choose a wedding venue.

A view from the balcony overlooking the back courtyard at the Sunstone Villa.

Choose Your Location

Our first tip when determining how to choose a wedding venue is by looking at your locations available. Do you want to get married in your hometown, or is there a wedding venue you’ve been dreaming about since as long as you can remember? Another thing to keep in mind is traveling for all of your guests. Destination weddings are amazing, but if you can’t have all of your favorite people with you to celebrate, will you be okay with that? You could also search for a location more centered between family, or even locally, and then save the destination location for your honeymoon.

A photo of a bride and groom sharing a kiss while standing on the driveway of the San Ysidro Ranch. Choosing where you want to have your wedding is our first tip for how to choose a wedding venue.

Set Your Budget

Once you have a location in mind for your wedding, determining a budget will help you see what venues are within your scope. Your budget will also keep you on track for the rest of your wedding planning. We’re huge believers in setting and keeping a budget once you’ve decided on the total number. The last thing we’d want for you is to start your marriage with a large amount of debt related to your wedding day. You’re going to have a gorgeous wedding day, but ultimately, we hope your marriage will be even more beautiful!

Table settings and the reception space at a Villa & Vine wedding. Choosing a style or theme for your wedding day is another great tip to keep in mind for how to choose a wedding venue.

Choose Your Wedding Style

The wedding style you choose for your wedding day will make a huge impact on your wedding venue choices. If you’d like a classic and indoor-only wedding, a ballroom or hotel may be your best choice. If you’d like to say your vows overlooking the ocean, then that venue can be much different than a ballroom indoor-only wedding day. Similarly, if you love the look and feel of a modern romantic garden styled wedding, we’d suggest looking for wedding venues in the Santa Ynez valley. Some of our favorites are Sunstone Villa and the Fess Parker Winery.

If you’re stuck trying to figure out what type of wedding style you’d like for your day, we have another blog post about choosing your wedding style just for you!

Your guest list will play a large role in how to choose a wedding venue.

Determine Your Guest List

Our last tip for how to choose a wedding venue is determining how many guests you’d like to invite to celebrate with you. Most wedding venues list how many guests they can accommodate on their websites. So, having an estimate of how many of your friends and family you’d like to invite is a great step in the right direction. Choosing to plan an intimate wedding will be much different than throwing the biggest bash that year.

When you’re ready to start designing your wedding invitations, check out this blog post for all of our tips and tricks so you don’t forget any important information needed for your guests to arrive on time and at the right location.

Elizabeth & Michael

"Jocelyn and Spencer are very talented at what they do. They are genuine and authentic in their interactions with you and each other. Hands down the best experience throughout the wedding planning process, the day of, and after."

"Do not even consider anyone else."

Woodland Events

"Since they’d been so focused on building a personal connection with the couple in the months leading up to the wedding, the couple was relaxed and comfortable all day, knowing they were in very good hands."

"They captured every moment perfectly."

Angela & KEvan

"We could not have been more pleased with being a JS couple. Jocelyn and Spencer are not only talented they make the entire process enjoyable and are just genuinely wonderful people. I would recommend Jocelyn and Spencer 100%."

"Jocelyn and Spencer made all of our photography dreams come true."

Candy & Gino

"Should you need a great photographer in Santa Barbara, in California or any where else, look no further. "



Everything seemed personalized, nothing forced, nothing copied. The quality of our photos and the photography style exceeded our expectations.

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