Finding your perfect venue

Finding your perfect venue

Hello needle, where are you in this gigantic haystack? Finding your perfect venue in some metropolitan areas can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack (or any other expression/cliche you prefer)! 

So depending on your preferred wedding directory, you could be staring down 200-300 venues. We recommend TheKnot, WeddingWire and our favorite, Wedding Spot for finding your wedding venue online. It’s not realistic to visit every single one! Use a directory to help you narrow the field. 

I like a directory that allows me to narrow the field to more specific options and even better, if the venue profile answers basic questions. (That’s why Wedding Spot is our favorite!)

Breaking down Venues by Style

Under the category of wedding venues, you’ll see the following style categories (or a venue directory that’s good should have this…)

Wedding Spot WeddingWire TheKnot
All-Inclusive Banquet Halls Ballroom
Ballrooms Barns & Farms Barn
Banquet Hall/Restaurant Boats Beach
Bed & Breakfast/Inn Churches & Temples Brewery & Distillery
Church/Temple Country Clubs Castle
Community Center Gardens City Hall
Cruise Ship/Yacht Historic Venues Country Club
Event Center Hotels Cruise
Golf Course Mansions Desert
Hotel/Resort Museums Estate
Loft Parks Garden
Luau Restaurants Historic Venue
Luxury Rooftops & Lofts Hotel
Mansion Waterfronts Industrial & Warehouse
Museum/Gallery Wineries & Breweries Library
Private Club Loft
Private Estate Mountain
Rustic & Barn Museum
Small Park
Winery/Vineyard/Brewery Religious Setting
Vineyard & Winery

Use some of these categories to narrow the field in your search. If the only setting that works for your nuptials is a rooftop venue, using venue style categories will help you streamline your search!

Here’s why I like best

Wedding Spot’s detailed info makes their directory our favorite.

Just to keep things consistent, here’s one venue we found on all three directories: The Whitlock Inn in Marietta, Georgia. We had the pleasure of shooting Tristan & Videsh’s wedding there October 2023, check out their wedding here.

The Whitlock Inn on Wedding Spot, TheKnot & WeddingWire.

I’m partial to the level of detail on Wedding Spot’s venue pages. They have addressed most, if not all, of the basic/qualifying questions most couples would ask to see if any venue would be a good fit or not.

On the Profile

Some categories that Wedding Spot addresses with any given listing:

  • Style of venue
  • Guest Capacity
  • Services the venue provides (ceremony, reception or both)
  • Indoor and/or outdoor spaces
  • Physical location/address
  • Realistic initial estimates based on date, guest count and selected features
  • Amenities & restrictions

Personally, suppose you’re looking to pre-qualify a venue. In that case, gives you more tools to determine initial budget and service offerings than other wedding directories that feature wedding/event venues that I’ve seen for couples in major American metropolitan areas.

When comparing apples to apples (which is why we picked The Whitlock as an example), both WeddingWire and The Knot did have basic bullet points and an easy to navigate contact us form that would send the inquiry directly to the venue. As these profiles are managed by the company (not the directory site), it looks like The Whitlock has put more time and effort into the photos, or is given more photos in these profiles than their Wedding Spot listing. 

Getting to the point: The Knot & Wedding Wire venue profiles will give you a better feel visually for many venues, but Wedding Spot has more filters, sliders and data points to help you decide if the venue matches your needs in a venue.

Watch me compare the same venue across multiple directory sites.

[Video of me discussing 3 directory sites]

Search Engine search tips

Keep in mind, that these directories cost the listed venues (as a rule) and they may not advertise on multiple platforms. To pull up a venue as a quick search on multiple directories, I used the following search formula:

[Venue Directory Domain] [“Venue Name”]

Search: “Fox Theater” or “waldorf astoria atlanta”

We used quotes around your search term, because often a venue has a multi-word name will force your search to treat the phrase in quotes as an exact match.

When I searched for venues to see a specific venue on multiple directory sites, my search pulled up my desired result first (if it existed) and gave me other pinpoint search results below. I love comparing different venues across multiple directory/listing sites due to certain features that are a higher priority on different directory sites. 

Check out our article on planning your wedding budget here. Calculate your budget based on the total wedding budget or price per guest with this spreadsheet (free download).

Steps to make finding your venue easier:

  1. Decide on a style or styles to help narrow your search
  2. Look up your venue on a site with more initial information available. That way you get a few extra questions answered first.
  3. Search a couple of specific venues on multiple directories and see if there’s any additional information that the first directory didn’t talk about
  4. If your initial information ticks the boxes, schedule a tour/ask if your date is available, and see the venue in person if you can
  5. Bring a list of more detailed questions for your venue tour. Read our top questions to ask a venue here
  6. Lather, rinse, repeat until you find your perfect venue

Some of our favorite directory sites for finding a venue:

If you think we’ve missed a directory site, let us know. Hit us up in the comments or drop me a line through our Contact Us page!

Are you planning your wedding? Check out more helpful articles on here.