Location is paramount to the success of your special event, and finding the perfect venue should be one of your top priorities when planning a wedding, corporate gathering or other occasion. There are so many things to consider when making this decision, and success lies in asking lots of questions – of yourself and of venue staff. Here’s a list of things you’ll want to consider in order to pin down the perfect location for your special day.

Who is your “Audience?”
Examine the demographics of your guests. Before choosing a location, be sure you have a good grasp on how many people will attend, what their expectations are, and the age groups you’ll be catering to. If most of them will be coming from out of town, convenience and accessibility is key to avoid confusion.

The Big Variable – The Weather!
Ironically, this is one of the most important factors to consider, but it’s also the one you have the least control of! Therefore, it’s crucial that you build flexibility into your plans. There’s nothing more lovely than an outdoor affair, but don’t leave anything to chance. Plan to rent tents – and enough of them for each phase of your event. If a cold snap is possible it’s wise to also plan to rent heaters that can be placed inside the tents, just in case. Keep in mind when you’re developing your budget that many outdoor venues offer discounted rates in the off-season.

Value-added Services
You’ll want to ask a host of questions about the services the venue provides, especially if you’re planning a large or intricate affair. Do they provide parking services, security personnel, set-up and tear-down assistance and reliable internet and cell phone service? It may be worth the extra cost if a venue provides all of these services in one all-inclusive package to save you time and headaches.

A Welcoming Atmosphere
Once you’ve narrowed down your choices to two or three locations, try them out as a guest. Book a day or overnight trip to the location and immerse yourself in the spirit of the staff, the ambiance of the venue and discover ahead of time if everything is in good working order. Once you’ve done this, your decision should be that much easier to finalize.