Of the 5 things I find to be the most important in planning your wedding- even more important than the kick ass photographer (shocking, I know)- is the venue.

You can’t decide anything else until you’ve decided on that venue. You can’t pick a date until you know the venue which means you can’t hire any wedding vendors and make any other plans…until you pick that venue.So it’s kind of important right?

How do you choose? What criteria do you consider?

Here’s a couple things I asked myself in those very early stages-

-How many people are we having? (if you don’t know, start brainstorming the guest list…it might be a lot bigger than you think!)⠀

-How far do we want people to have to travel? And is it ok if some people can’t come due to the location we choose?

-How convenient is this location for my guests? (and how can I help with that if I’m asking them to go out of their way)⠀

-What kind of feel do we want? Are we going to party all night long where we might have to worry about noise or will it all be wrapped up by 10pm?

-What does the venue provide? Is it a blank canvas that I can design however I please (but have to bring everything in) or do they have set items that we have to use (but therefore don’t have to provide ourselves)?

Ultimately my husband and I decided on a family friend’s farm that was mildly inconvenient for people but we provided hotel recommendations as well as camping on the farm for those who wanted to party well into the night with us. We had to bring everything in ourselves which was tricky but allowed us (read: me) to design a completely unique wedding.

Are you planning an Idaho Wedding? How did you decide on your venue? And if you’re still looking or newly engaged, what is your most important criteria?