5 Factors to Help you Choose a Wedding Venue

1. Local or Destination Wedding? Consider where your ideal venue is located.

One way to hone in on the perfect wedding venue is to determine where you will be celebrating. Traditionally, weddings take place in the bride’s hometown because her family is hosting the event. But rules are made to be broken!

Couples also choose to get married in the city where they are currently living, in the groom’s hometown, at a location with cultural significance to the family or even at an international destination. As you are choosing between different cities or locations, consider guest experience and how to best accommodate a group when significant travel is involved.

2. Narrow down a list of potential dates.

Some brides have a set date in mind for their celebration, whether it’s a New Year’s Eve wedding or a holiday weekend. Even if your timeline is flexible, it can be helpful to identify at least two or three potential dates you are interested in.

Here are a few things to consider about setting the wedding date:

  • When you reach out to a wedding venue coordinator to ask about availability, let them know if you are interested in a specific day, month or time of year.
  • Be prepared that some venues are booked at least one year in advance, particularly during peak wedding season.
  • Typically, venue reservations are less expensive on Fridays and Sundays and during the off-peak months of December, January, February and March.

3. Make a budget and stick to it.
Planning a wedding should be a fun and exciting process. Setting a realistic wedding budget can play a big role in reducing unwanted stress and helping you feel confident in your decisions.

There are many helpful wedding budget templates which can break down your total budget by different categories, such as: venue, catering, attire, hair and makeup, decorations and transportation. Doing this extra step can help you figure out how much you can spend on each vendor in order to stay on budget.

Remember, you can have a wonderful wedding on a budget of ANY size. Your family, friends and your wedding planner would love to help find creative solutions to have your dream day without blowing your budget.

Read more about our Cinderella Brides program for couples who are experiencing financial challenges while planning a St. Louis wedding.

4. Start sizing up your guest list.
Your wedding guest list may not be finalized while you are searching for the perfect venue, but it is helpful to start with a rough draft. When you and your future spouse combine lists of family, friends and plus-ones, the numbers can add up quickly.

As a very general guideline, your guest list will fall into one of these categories:

    • Micro wedding or Elopement: 20-30 guests
    • Small Event: Fewer than 50 guests
    • Medium Event: 50-150 guests
    • Large Event: More than 150 guests

Some intimate St. Louis wedding venues cannot comfortably accommodate a large group — so even having an estimate of the size of your guest list can help narrow the selection.

5. Discuss your vision for the wedding day.
As an engaged couple, it is fun to talk about ideas for your big day. You may have spent your entire life dreaming about floral arrangements and color palettes while all your fiancé really cares about is getting a chocolate cake or choosing the first dance song. Keep your vision and mutual goals in mind as you are evaluating different venues to look out for the ones that best fit your wants and needs.

Types of Wedding Locations

When it comes to selecting a wedding venue, you should consider whether you want to have the ceremony and reception at one location or at two different sites. There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to your perfect day!

In St. Louis and elsewhere, it is common for a couple to have a religious ceremony at church earlier in the day and an evening reception at a separate location, such as a hotel or banquet hall. This arrangement works nicely for couples to use the time in-between to take photos and allows out-of-town guests a chance to rest or explore the town.

All-in-one wedding venues for both the wedding ceremony and wedding reception have become very popular in recent years. Sometimes the venue will need to be “flipped,” by rearranging tables and chairs, in order to serve both purposes. Other venues may have separate designated areas for the wedding ceremony and wedding reception. For example, a winery may have an outdoor ceremony location and an indoor reception hall just a few steps apart from each other.

Below are examples of traditional and unique wedding venues for St. Louis brides:

  • Church
  • Ballroom
  • Park
  • Hotel
  • Restaurant
  • Rustic barn
  • Castle
  • Museum
  • City hall
  • Flower or sculpture garden
  • Vineyard
  • Beach
  • Private property or estate
  • Resort . . . and more!

With a little vision and creativity (and a great wedding planner!) almost any location can be transformed into your intimate St. Louis wedding venue. Once you have identified a list of your top favorite options, schedule a virtual or in-person tour with your future spouse.

Heart Events: Our St. Louis Wedding Locations

Searching for the perfect local St. Louis wedding venue? Heart Events has two ceremony and reception locations in St. Charles:

Le Belle Coeur

Located on Historic Main Street, Le Belle Coeur (“beautiful heart”) is an elegant, rustic reception hall with crystal chandeliers hanging from the tall, exposed wood ceilings. This romantic ballroom has both indoor and outdoor ceremony space with room for up to 200 guests. Le Belle Coeur’s picturesque stone exterior and second floor balcony are the perfect backdrop for your wedding photo album, and your guests are guaranteed to love the charming shoppes, boutiques and restaurants located along Main Street.

View the Le Belle Coeur photo gallery

Old Stone Chapel

Old Stone Chapel is a gorgeous location for your wedding ceremony, wedding reception or all-in-one wedding celebration. With capacity for up to 150 guests in the chapel and up to 200 guests in the upstairs ballroom, Old Stone Chapel has the atmosphere of a rich, ornate castle with elaborate stonework and wood ceilings. The outdoor patio area complete with a large brick fireplace is the perfect setting for cocktail hour or wedding party and family photos.

View the Old Stone Chapel photo gallery

Wedding, micro wedding and full celebration packages are available for Le Belle Coeur and Old Stone Chapel. Our wedding venues are all inclusive, which means your wedding planner will coordinate all the logistics of catering, bartending, decorating and rentals for you. Let’s start planning your dream St. Louis wedding together!

St. Louis Brides Love Heart Events

At Heart Events, we know finding the wedding venue of your dreams is the first step towards planning a once in a lifetime celebration. That’s why our team of wedding planners, led by local expert, Sheri Jo Steffens, is known for going above and beyond to make all of our clients’ dreams come true. We will be right by your side through the entire event planning process — starting with your search for an intimate, unique St. Louis wedding venue.

To schedule a tour at Le Belle Coeur or Old Stone Chapel, submit an online contact form or call (636) 947-8270.

Read more about our St. Louis wedding packages.