When planning your wedding, you want it to be magical, memorable, intimate, and unique. Creating that special day with the person you love starts with finding the right wedding venue. A unique Austin wedding venue can set the tone for the rest of the event, enhancing each carefully planned detail of the day, from the decor to the after-dinner dancing. The perfect space will transform the entire experience into something extraordinary for you and your guests.
Finding that unique venue space can be challenging, especially when so many cookie-cutter traditional options are available. It’s not something you want to rush, though, because getting that part of the day right will make capturing the rest of your vision for the day much easier. So don’t settle for something that feels exactly like the last five weddings you’ve attended. Take your time to find something wonderfully unique.
Here are some tips to help you start narrowing down your options, so you can find a unique wedding venue perfect for your big day.
Finding a Unique Austin Wedding Venue Starts With the Details
The first step in finding the right venue is knowing what you’re looking for, which means getting some details about your wedding down on paper. Start with the basics and write them down so that you, your partner, and your wedding planner are all on the same page. Once you have this information, you can use it to start looking for that perfect venue in Austin. Here are the basics you’ll want to address.
What’s your budget?
It’s good to know your overall budget, as well as your maximum budget for different elements of the wedding, as you start planning the details of your big day. As a general rule of thumb, your venue sets the stage for the entire event and will likely consume around 30% of your overall budget. Keep this in mind as you make your decisions, and make it count. Choose a location that lives up to your vision of the perfect unique Austin wedding venue, helping you begin your happily ever after.
How many guests are you planning to invite?
You probably still need to send out invitations, but you’ll want to have a ballpark figure before you start venue shopping. Make a list of the people you plan to invite. Of course, not all of them will be able to make it. You can expect 80-85% of your guests to be there on your wedding day, but there is a good chance you’ll forget a few and add some names to the list later.
What’s your wedding style?
Think about the overall look you want to create on your wedding day. Is your aesthetic more bohemian romantic or modern chic? If you can’t attach a name to the exact feeling or look you are trying to achieve, that’s okay. Put together a quick Pinterest or mood board as a visual representation. Taking this with you to different venues can also be extremely helpful when you visit locations and make your final decisions.
Do you want an indoor or outdoor venue?
Think about where you’d like to hold your wedding and reception. Are you dreaming of a flower-filled outdoor venue? Or do you want sparkling backdrops and twinkling lights in a grand space? A bit of both? If you want an outdoor wedding, ensure the venue has a backup option in case there is a possibility of bad weather.
Are there any accessibility concerns?
A venue might be fantastic, but it will only work if your beloved grandmother can make it up the stairs to join in the ceremony. Think about the most important people on your guest list and note any accessibility concerns you might have. This is also an excellent time to consider guest transportation, parking, and nearby hotels.
What amenities or services do you need?
Think about everything you want for your special day. If you dream about dancing the night away, note that the venue should have a suitable dance floor. You should also check for services and amenities like a bar area, kitchen, or outdoor space for a special end-of-the-night send-off. Some venues may offer options like catering services and table rentals, or you may need to provide them yourself.
Knowing What Makes a Wedding Venue Truly Unique
Once you have the details, you can start the fun part: actively searching for your unique Austin wedding venue. As you begin your search, the details you established above will help you quickly eliminate unsuitable locations.
Once you’ve narrowed the list down to the venues that meet your initial requirements, what should you look for? As you start your online research, remember that the best wedding venues will have the following:
- Lots of customization options. The venue should customize the wedding to you, not copy and paste the design of every other couple that’s been married there. The venue may even allow you to bring in your preferred decor so you can decorate the space to your aesthetic.
- Spaces that feel intimate no matter your wedding size. Small weddings can feel too spread out, and big weddings can feel overwhelming in the wrong room. Get a feel for the space and check out photos of other events in the venue to make sure the size looks and feels just right for your wedding size.
- The ability to meet your technical requirements. Lighting and music play a big part in setting the stage on your wedding day, creating the right atmosphere for all those special moments like the first dance and cutting the cake. Make sure the venue can handle everything you need to set the mood.
- Experience in hosting special events. Your wedding day isn’t an event you want to put in inexperienced hands. Find out how many weddings the venue has hosted in the last year and if they have an on-site venue manager with wedding day experience. It would be even better if they could provide a day-of wedding coordinator.
- Excellent references from other brides and grooms. It’s time to hit the review sites and see what other brides and grooms say about the venue. It’s a good way to know how the venue will treat you and your guests on the big day. If there are no online reviews, ask the venue if they can provide references or contact information for previous couples who wed there.
Follow Your Heart (and Your Research) to Finalize Your Unique Space
At this point, you should have a few venues in mind that check most of the boxes on your list of what will make the most memorable and unique Austin wedding venue. Grab your sweetheart, bring your ideas, and take a tour to claim the one place that will make your day magical. When you arrive, prepare a list of questions to ask yourself that reflect your priorities. You might have several, but there are some essential questions you won’t want to ignore.
What’s this venue’s reputation?
Ensure the online reviews match the service and feeling you get when you visit the space in person. Employees should be friendly, and the venue should be clean and inviting, even when there isn’t an event happening.
Are there plenty of guest amenities nearby?
Think about what will make the day effortless for guests, such as nearby hotels and easy access to parking. These facilities can reduce stress on your guests—and your stress on the big day.
What makes this venue unique?
It could be the gorgeous handmade furniture or the 80-year-old live oak in the outdoor space. It could be that the venue offers both outdoor and indoor spaces, offering you the best of both worlds. Note what sets this venue apart from all the others in Austin so you know why it’s a unique space and how that can make your wedding unforgettable.
Can I envision my ceremony and reception in this space?
As you walk around, look for elements that feel right for the ceremony and reception. Make sure they match the vision you have in your head and mesh well with the aesthetic you want to curate. The venue manager may provide setup suggestions but should be flexible if you want to make some changes.
How is this space making me feel?
Most importantly, listen to your heart. As you move through the space, how does it make you feel? Are you delighted and inspired by the area? Is it sparking some great new ideas? The perfect venue should inspire you and leave you eager to make memories there.
Choose the Perfect Place For Your Big Day
When you find the right venue, verify the availability. If your specific date isn’t available, it may be worth moving your wedding date slightly to lock in “the one.” Once you’ve set the date, sign the contracts and make your deposit. Now you can move on to planning the rest of the incredible details of your wedding day, secure in the knowledge that you have a venue that will make your event shine. Vuka offers community hub and events spaces with beautifully curated indoor and outdoor areas, perfect for weddings of up to 380 people. Our on-site venue manager can assist with coordinating your day, including adding our in-house bar and catering services. Book a tour at either of our spacious and inspiring locations today.