Choosing a Wedding Venue: 3 Tips from a Photographer
1. Be conscious of light.
If it’s an outdoor venue, think about shade. Shade softens harsh shadows created by bright, direct sunlight and creates more natural looking lighting in photos. Shade is your photographer’s best friend when it comes to sunny summer weddings! If you are going with an indoor venue, be conscious of natural light if you can be. Indoor church photos can be beautiful, and a large window with lots of light (hello, stained glass!) will make all the difference in your photos. This also applies to the reception area. If the venue you’re in love with lacks windows or is a bit dark, consider bringing in your own lighting to create a romantic atmosphere.
2. What’s in the background?
You may see trees and greenery and think, “perfect”, but look beyond the surrounding 30 feet of your venue. Is there road construction, a parking lot or a play ground right behind the spot you envisioned photos being taken? The fewer distractions in your background, the better. Make sure there are a few spots with a clean background (whether it's natural scenery, a rustic building, or something else!) that can be used for photos. If you’re inside, be aware of small details that will ultimately show up in your photos. What does the wallpaper, curtains, or paint color look like? Consider using your own decor to mask the not-so-desirable traits of a room.
Also falling into this category, think about how small details of your wedding will show up in photos. If everyone is drinking out of plastic cups provided by the bar, plastic cups will show up in all your reception photos. Small details are everything!
3. Bigger is (usually) better!
Giving your guests (and photographer) room to breathe is important! A small venue is great if you're having a small wedding, but you don't want to cram too many people in a small space. This makes for guests showing up in the background of your photos when they shouldn't be and the photographer struggling to not be in the way.
If you will be getting dressed and ready at the venue, choose a place with a large preparation room. This allows for different angles and more candid hair/makeup/getting ready photos without the photographer being right in the middle of the hustle and bustle.