Updated: Feb 2
Hello beautiful adventurers! You have landed here because you're most likely in the early stages of your wedding planning process, and trying to dream up your perfect wedding day. Where will it be? What will you be doing? Who will be joining you? There are so many things to think about, and it can all be a bit overwhelming in the beginning.
So I have created a fun activity for all of the adventurous couples out there, who want to choose a venue that really speaks to you. Disclaimer: I am not a wedding planner. I am simply a highly organized, list making stationer, who's passionate about inspiring you to marry on your own terms! So let's get to it.
(If you're on the go and would rather download the worksheet right away, feel free to do so)
Download your free worksheet here.
1. List your relationship personality and characteristics
You know how it goes...at some point in the relationship, 2 people become 1, and you're basically the exact same person. My husband and I have the same thoughts all the time and it is seriously freaky. Jerry loves antiques, and he's always dreaming up ways to repurpose an antique item into something totally new. I become more like him every day, and I find myself thinking of quirky ways to decorate our apartment with antique items, such as an old porcelain kitchen sink that can be used for storage. (true story) The point is, your relationship has a certain personality. Certain characteristics that make your love unique and special. Make a list of those characteristics. Here are a few examples:
Hard core planners
2. List your favorite things to do together
Now think about what you do together on a daily basis, weekly basis, on holiday, etc. You want to think about ALL the things you love to do, to get a solid idea of activities that may correspond with locations later in your search. Try to come up with activities that you can also picture doing on your wedding day or during your wedding weekend. Here are a few examples:
Cooking homemade meals
Trying new recipes
Exploring new places in or near your city
Going on hikes
Now think about how these two lists relate and start to piece together why you love doing these things. It’ll start to make so much sense. Circle your top 3 characteristics and activities that relate to each other. Then brainstorm these conclusions below your lists. For example:
You’re both fun, adventurous and spontaneous, which is why you love the excitement of exploring new places on a whim.
Maybe you’re thrill seekers, which is why you love going on hikes or camping in new places.
Or maybe you’re passionate foodies, who love cooking together, learning new recipes and making homemade pasta from scratch.
There is a place out there for every activity and adventure imaginable. The sky is the limit, so dream big.
3. List your destinations
Now, play off of these characteristics and favorite activities as you begin to make your list of destinations. I want you to make 2 lists (columns): The first one is where you’ve been, and the second is where you want to go. As you make your lists, think about the activities you’ve experienced together in these places.
In the left column, list the places you’ve been to and activities you’ve experienced. In the right column, list the places you would like to explore, and some activities you would like to experience.
Circle your top 3 favorite places you’ve been, and your top 3 places you’d like to explore. Do they relate to each other in any way, or are they totally different? Think about how your previous lists from 1 and 2 correspond to the places you’ve been and the places you want to go. What truly feels like YOU? What activities can you picture doing on your wedding day, or during your wedding weekend? Do you want to finally hike through Yosemite, or head back to your favorite little town in Italy? Do a little brainstorming.
Now it's time to do a little brain dump. Start researching some of your top destinations and activity choices, and figure out what time of year you would have to go for these specific activities. Decide if that aligns with your preference on season and weather. Then research some venues in or near these destinations. Write down venues that speak to you. Remember to refer to lists 1 and 2 when you’re choosing venues, to ensure you are being true to yourselves. You don’t want to choose an upscale 5-star hotel or fancy venue just because it’s in the center of town, if you’re more of the adventurous type. Really take that into consideration.
Also take your ideal guest count into consideration when searching for venues. Do you want to elope, just the 2 of you? Will a few family members/friends be present? Or will you have a lot of guests? Write down your ideal number and search for venues that would accommodate that number of people.
5. Finalizing your venue
Hopefully, once you have taken the time to do some solid research, you can come to one final conclusion for your top venue choice. Once you do, you can make a list of things to take note on, to begin your wedding planning process. Here are a few things I'd suggest you start with:
Month/date you are choosing
Activities for your wedding day/wedding weekend
Length of your trip
Find out if any permits are needed
And most importantly...vendors that align with the aesthetic of the venue and destination. It's crucial to start researching vendors and finding those who align with your vision. You want a cohesive look, and you want this day to be perfect. So choose wisely when searching for vendors. If you decided on a venue in Sedona, Arizona, research photographers who shoot in that area. Don't just choose a photographer in your hometown. You will not get the same results as you would with an expert of the landscape. The same goes with all vendors that follow. You want your stationery, flowers and decor to be cohesive with your theme. The best advice I can give is to ask for recommendations from the first vendor that you choose. They likely work with others who have the same design aesthetic and will ultimately help you to plan your perfect day. I also have many vendor connections, and would be happy to recommend vendors based on your top venue choice! Feel free to shoot me an email, once you make your decision.
So how are you feeling about your destination and venue ideas? It really all comes down to what speaks to your relationship, what your ideal wedding day looks like, and which venue can accommodate all of your wishes. I've created a free worksheet to help you in your brainstorming process. Download it, cozy up on the couch and get to brainstorming! Let me know how it goes!