The Top 5 Tips to Finding a Wedding Venue

Triunfo Creek Vineyards Wedding
I'm Kari!

Wedding planner, designer, photographer and creative entrepreneur who helps curate epic events and sparks joy for clients through curated photography art. Let's hang and chat!

hey there

Get My Free
Venue Guide

Gimme that

Sharing more about my personal life, products I love + books I'm reading and daily habits.

TOp categories

Spilling the tea on business and everything I've learned over the last 9+ years as well. 

Check out our prints, our process and why we started the shop and more!

Get inspired with our wedding designs and all the details. Whether it's color, neutral palettes, traditional or very non-traditional. Plus lots of wedding planning tips!

What You Need To Know When Finding A Wedding Venue

If you’re just starting the hunt for the perfect place to say “I do” then this list is for you! I know it can feel overwhelming looking for your dream wedding venue because there are so many options to consider but before you commit to a space, consider these 5 tips to finding a wedding venue.

Guest Count

An ocean view wedding ceremony at The Redondo Beach Historic Library

I tell my clients at the beginning stages of wedding planning to first make a rough guest list. It’s so crucial you have an idea of how many people to accommodate before you start looking at venues. It’s the worst to fall madly in love with a venue only to realize it’s against fire code to include your whole guest list.

Location and Aesthetic

Fall Wedding at Triunfo Creek Vineyards, bride and groom sunset portrait shot

What do you envision when you think of your perfect wedding day? Do you want an indoor ballroom gala or romantic vineyard landscape? Maybe the beach has always called to you. While finding a wedding venue, consider any décor you may want or need to add to fit your aesthetic. 

Rentals and Vendors

east coast meets west coast wedding reception at Calamigos Ranch with orchid floral centerpiece

Speaking of décor, another important element to consider when finding a wedding venue is rentals and vendors. Some venues have mandatory lists of vendors you must hire. Some venue costs are just for the space but you have to rent everything, including restrooms! Other venues have rentals included but won’t allow you to change the space. The rules vary depending on the venue but make sure you’re very clear on the do’s and don’ts before you commit.

Pro tip: This is a great time to ask your wedding planner to help you avoid potentially costly mistakes.

Lock Down A Rain Plan

A romantic wedding ceremony at Ebell Long Beach, pampas grass aisle arrangements

We are really fortunate in SoCal to have a wide variety of venues that aren’t generally impacted by weather but it can sometimes sneak up! Make sure you discuss what a potential rain plan (or fire plan) would be for your venue space. It can come at an extra cost and you want to be prepared. If you want some extra tips on planning an outdoor wedding specifically, check out my post on 5 tips to planning an outdoor wedding.


Hindu Wedding Ceremony at Butterfly Lane Estate in Montecito/Santa Barbara

Once you feel you found the perfect venue, ensure that fits within your budget. In general, your venue will take up about 10-15% of your overall wedding cost. If your venue is looking like it’ll take up more than that, you may want to reconsider the space or see if your budget needs to be expanded. If you’re unsure of where to start when it comes to budgeting for your wedding, check out my post here.   

I hope this list helps! If you’re not sure where to start on your hunt for finding a wedding venue, click the contact button on my homepage and take a look at these posts:

Top 5 wedding venues in Southern California

Top 6 Unique Wedding Venues in Los Angeles

Top 7 wedding venues in Palm Springs and Joshua Tree 

Feathered Arrow Signature Kari Dirksen


Expert Party Planner, Podcaster, and Creative Entrepreneur.

I'm a creative entrepreneur at heart and have been running my business for over 10 years and have planned and executed over 150+ weddings. I'm an expert in this industry and care deeply about my clients and making sure they have the best experience. I just launched a podcast with my work wife, Gabby Pinkerton of Cause We Can Events, called Just Another Biz Podcast! Go check it out!

Learn more

Did you just get engaged and wondering how the heck you should budget for the big day? Download my free guide to help you lay out a budget and how to plan for your big day.  



Download HERE

Take Me to the blog

Before You Go, Don't forget we have free stuff!

If you're looking for free tips to get started planning your dream wedding, head to this blog post for a round up of all our secrets and best planning advice.

© Feathered Arrow Studio 2014 -2023. All rights reserved. | Legal | Design by TONIC


Planning epic celebrations + curating one of kind weddings since 2014. 
Los Angeles based but open to travel!

Feathered Arrow studio