You're Engaged! Now what?

Posted by Kathleen Johansen , December 16, 2015

Photo via Sean Howard

You’re engaged! The bubbly is popped, the ring is shown off, and the obligatory “I said Yes!” Instagram is posted. Now it’s time to settle into finding the ideal venue your perfect day… but where to begin?

One of the most frequent comments I receive from brides + grooms-to-be is: “planning a wedding is hard!” They’re not wrong. There are a lot of considerations, but that’s why we’re here to help.

For you, a step-by-step guide to finding your perfect wedding venue:

1.Narrow down your guest count + preferred date as a first priority. Venues are often quite fluid with varying availabilities + configurations, so a solid guest count + preferred date will be key considerations when you start reaching out to potential venues! Flexibility is also important if you’re looking for a steal of a deal in the off-season.

2.Plan a budget. Your wedding day is going to be an expense, but don’t lose sight of the bigger picture: you’re starting a life together and the wedding is simply the first step! With that, make sure you properly host your guests (food and beverage is not the place to tighten the purse strings) but get crafty with your decor or consider a venue that boasts a unique look so minimal styling is needed.

3.Consider the type of service that best suits your vision for the day. Cocktail receptions and ‘strolling dinners’ are ever-becoming the trendy option for couples who aren’t as a keen on a formal plated prix-fixe. Keep an open mind when considering your options. Strolling receptions often offer the biggest bang for your buck by way of catering, and it’s the perfect way to keep your guests mixing and mingling all night!


Photo vis Ryan Van Der Hout

4.Pick a style. Not a theme, per se, but a style that best represents you and your partner so you can consider venues that fit within that. Are you a badass rock n’ roll couple looking for a venue with live music? Are you self-proclaimed foodies who want top-notch food and wine to steal the show? Are you the outdoorsy type who would prefer a rooftop or lakefront ceremony? These considerations will save you time and energy when you start looking at venues. There’s a lot to choose from out there so don’t bog yourself down and only inquire at those that suit you both.

5.Consider a full-service venue that offers full planning and coordinating services in order to ensure flawless execution of your perfect day. Don’t forget to ask if a ceremony on-site is possible as you’re likely to find the ideal one-stop-shop to host all components of your big day in one place!

6.Start the hunt! Once you have discussed these details with your partner, start searching for a venue online, call your favourite cafés / restaurants for their wedding packages and ask your friends, co-workers + family members for their best recommendations. Narrow down your shortlist and definitely go in to see your top choices in person – it’s like dress shopping; you just never know which will be the perfect fit until you try it on!

As much as these considerations can be daunting, just remember that ultimately the day is going to be perfect. Not because of the florals or DJ, and not because of the dress or party favours. It’s going to be perfect because the love you + your partner share which will bring any venue to life! So, stay true to yourselves, plan within your means and pick a venue that represents both of you in all of your uniqueness. Don’t forget to have a little fun along the way!

Kathleen is one of our special events coordinators here at The Drake where she helps Brides + Grooms realize their nuptial dreams. Check out our staff spotlight on Kathleen and for more information about getting hitched you can email her at


Photographed via Aron Goss

Posted in: Special Events