How We Picked Our Wedding Venue

It’s that time of year again! Your newsfeeds are filled with new, shiny rings and engagement announcements. Did you know over 40% of engagements happen between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day? If you just spent the holidays celebrating your engagement and entering the new year ready to tackle wedding planning but unsure where to even start, this post is for you!

When I was engaged, one of the most common questions I got was how we settled on a wedding venue. We actually only looked at ONE venue: the Mountain Top Inn in Chittenden, Vermont. I think one of the keys to maintaining sanity while wedding planning is to not overthink decisions. But it was also helpful that I knew exactly what I wanted.

After photographing many, many weddings here is what I was looking for:

All events in one place.

I didn’t want any transportation involved in our wedding day. Not only do I think travel eats time away from your wedding, it can also add costs and more confusing logistics. I had witnessed many weddings where traffic, late transportation, or miscommunication with travel added chaos to the day. So my top priority was finding a venue where we could have lodging, rehearsal/rehearsal dinner, ceremony and reception all in one place.

That being said, sometimes things are out of your control. My wedding day DID end up involving transportation – because of the rain midday, we had to take a shuttle to the first look location and then the shuttle ended up disappearing, completely throwing off our timeline. It is what it is!

I have also witnessed transportation working super smoothly, but I definitely recommend keeping all events within 10-15 minutes of each other if possible!

Able to fit our large families.

Being from big Italian and Irish families, we needed a venue that could hold at least 200 people comfortably. One of the first things to do when trying to find a venue is make a guest list. We consulted each other and both our parents to form a guest list of 200 people. 175 ended up coming but it’s always good to choose a venue based on your guest list, not how many you think will come! I believe our venue could hold 250 people, which I liked because that meant 175-200 people could fit comfortably during the reception.

Mountains & lake view.

Dan and I had spent many winter weekends and summer weeks in New Hampshire by the lake among the mountains. It’s our happy place. We got engaged on the top of our favorite hike up there. A lot of the southern NH area venues I had found online didn’t meet my first two criteria above, so that’s how we ended up in Vermont! I liked how the venue had mountain and lake views; it was rustic without being too rustic. It was perfectly “me and Dan.”

Obviously other things weighed into the decision like budget, ability to bring in our own vendors, proximity from Boston, etc. but those were the big 3 priorities when it came to choosing our wedding venue!

What priorities did you have for your wedding venue?


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January 3, 2022



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