When you are looking for a wedding venue you are probably looking at the size and price. I however would like to interject if I could.

Rich Birdsall

1. You need to find a venue that has scenery.
Look around, how's the view? Your photographer can do amazing things with that camera, but cannot create an amazing background at your venue. Your photos can be you and your marriage partner against green foliage and blooming flowers or... in a hallway... your choice. Can your ceremony be held at the venue? If you don't have to be married in a church your guests will appreciate walking from the ceremony to the reception venue and you won't have to travel for pictures!

2. Is there decorations in place?
Some venues are for weddings only, some are not. You may be able to cut out the decorator cost if the venue is already event specific! This will prevent customizing your room to the fullest extent, but if the centerpieces are your theme and the linen match no one will know the difference. 

3.How Long Will The Venue Let You Stay?
Picture this. Your reception is going great and you've just asked your DJ/Band to stay late at an extra cost to you because you didn't want the night to end. Will the venue allow it? You need to ask if they have staff planning in place for a party extension. Most venues will have their waitstaff scheduled until an hour or so after your wedding reception is about to wrap up to tear down tables clean up and reset the venue for the next day. If you extend the party without authorization from the venue you'll get slammed with an additional bill for the overage. OR the venue will force close the reception. Talk about a bad way to end a night!

4. Accomodations
If you have guests coming from out of town you will want to have a venue that is close to a decent hotel for them to stay in when they arrive and to rest up in after. The hotel need not be five star, but it CANNOT be the run down flophouse on the strip that smells like ethnic food. If your out of town guests don't get any sleep, are scared of having there belongings stolen or are frightened of the "neighborliness" of the guy the next room over, they will be in a horrible mood for your wedding and reception.

5.Power needs
Your DJ/band will be plugging some serious stuff into the venues outlets. Will they handle the load? You don't want to be in the middle of your first dance and have the circuit breaker trip, cutting off the power. Interview the venue manager and ask if there has been any problems with DJ's/Bands tripping breakers in the past. Also, Are you having the decorator install uplighting? The best scenario would be outlets at all the pre-determined areas for the light install. If not your decorator will have to use battery powered uplights or run extension cords around the room. All of the above can be done tastefully, but MAKE SURE the room can handle the power drain. Outside weddings are great inside that beautiful white tent as well, but! Is there outlets installed under that tent or will you needs be accommodated with extension cords? That being said:

6: Outside under the tent
We discussed the power needs above. Extension cords will do the job, but where are they going to be run? Will guests trip on them? If one gets unplugged... Your wedding gets unplugged. It's that simple. Does the tent leak?  If a surprise rainstorm comes barreling through are you and your guests getting wet? Is there ample wind protection? A cool summers breeze sounds nice, until it blows the centerpieces off the table and champagne glasses topple over!