Which Type Of Wedding Venue Is Right For You?

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bride and bridesmaids in coral dresses standing together on a front porch

Arguably one of the most challenging tasks when begin to plan your wedding is finding the perfect wedding venue. Researching, visiting, and finally booking just one wedding venue that fits your needs, budget, and vision for your big day is no easy feat. To complicate matters even further, often you have no idea which type of wedding venue would be right for you and your celebration.

And while searching for wedding venues is often presented as an easy choice, this isn’t true. Not every couple has been dreaming of their wedding since they began dating and not every couple’s style fits into a nicely wrapped box. So if you’re starting out on your road to “I do” without an inkling of what you want or need in a venue, don’t think you’re alone. We’re here to help.

We’ll go ahead and say it: we don’t have a magic answer because choosing your wedding venue is a very personal choice. However, we have outlined a few popular types of wedding venues along with general characteristics of couples that might match well with each venue type. If you find yourself nodding in agreement to most or all of the statements for a particular type of venue, then you are headed down the right path.

bride and groom kissing next to a stone wall outside with a house in the background

Photo Credit || Meghan Rolfe Photography

Hotel Wedding Venues

Hotel wedding venues were made for glamorous couples. They often feature floor-to-ceiling luxury, delectable in-house catering, and a staff of helpful, knowledgeable experts who really know how to pull off an event with style. Many hotel venues feature ballrooms and other facilities to host soirées of any size. Hotels provide the perfect backdrop for couples who want it all: beautiful surroundings (hotels, inns, and resorts often have well-manicured grounds), convenient guest accommodations, and in-house rentals, expertise, and event spaces.

If the statements below speak to you, we’d bet a pretty penny that a hotel, inn, or resort wedding venue is just right for your glamorous, luxury-filled fête.

You might be a hotel couple if…

  • you love modern and/or glamorous wedding decor.
  • you want catering done on-site and in-house.
  • you love the idea of having an all-inclusive event.
  • you want to have a wedding that lasts all weekend long.
  • you want to guests to have convenient, on-site accommodations.
  • you are having a really big wedding.
  • you have your heart set on a top-notch, ritzy reception.

Country clubs are a close cousin to hotel wedding venues (minus the accommodations), so if you just can’t seem to find a hotel that catches your eye, you can’t go wrong with celebrating at a private club. They often have the same amenities—on-site catering, personal coordinators, grand ballrooms—and the rolling hills of a golf course are great for outdoor photos ops, too.

hotel ballroom wedding venue in all white and gold set up for a ceremony

Photo Credit || Clane Gessel Photography

hotel ballroom wedding venue with round tables set with pink floral arrangements

Photo Credit || Clane Gessel Photography

Barn Wedding Venues

Usually set out in spacious, rural areas, barn wedding venues are loved by rustic couples for many reasons. For starters, the views can be amazing and barns gives celebrations a more laid-back feel that many couples enjoy. On top of that, there are many options to choose from: historic, fully-restored barns or newly constructed buildings with amenities such as built-in bars, restrooms, and chandeliers. Similar to barn venues, ranches and farms also make fabulous choices for couples who dream of rustic celebrations tucked away in the quiet countryside.

So, if you’re a couple who would rather throw on cowboy boots rather than dress shoes any day of the week, then check out this list below.

You might be a barn couple if…

  • you love rustic or shabby-chic wedding decor.
  • you wander “off-the-beaten-path” and appreciate natural environments.
  • you are willing to do whatever is needed to prepare for the weather.
  • you don’t mind maybe having to rent things like bathroom trailers, portable heaters, or fans.
barn wedding with chandelier

Photo Credit || Carley Rehberg Photography

barn wedding with lights on ceiling

Photo Credit || Jen Fariello Photography

Modern Wedding Venues

Couples come in many different packages—some can’t imagine a wedding that lacks glitz while others feel that sparkly decor is meant for someone else. Either way, that’s totally okay. A wedding day is all about honoring love and showing off your personality. Modern wedding venues can offer an interesting glimpse into a couple’s unique style. Whether a stunning art gallery in the middle of a bustling city or a converted cotton mill-turned-loft, these wedding venues are great for couples who love pretty-with-an-edge aesthetics, such as exposed brick walls or surrealist sculptures.

If you’re the sort of couple who likes to decorate your home with quirky objects and original art,  then a run-of-the-mill venue probably isn’t right for you. But, if you’re looking for a creative backdrop full of unexpected beauty, then modern wedding venues were made with you in mind.

You might be a modern couple if…

  • you love offbeat, modern, industrial, or funky-chic wedding decor.
  • you would generally rather spend a day in the city than a day in the country.
  • you daydream about wedding photos set against amazing architectural backdrops.
  • you have your heart set on a more unique ceremony and reception setting.
art gallery wedding venue set with long tables in an atrium space

Photo Credit || Colin Lyons Photography

Bride and groom dancing in modern wedding venue

Photo Credit || Eric Kelley

Estate Wedding Venues

Grand, stately homes (often filled with antiques and vintage décor) set amongst acres of vibrant green lawns, gorgeous gardens, and countless picturesque views… sigh. Historic estate wedding venues are truly beautiful places to tie the knot. In the South, estate venues often come in the form of antebellum homes, but elsewhere you’re more likely to find stone castles or Victorian mansions. Either way, estate wedding venues are ideal for couples who love history and as much as they love breathtaking outdoor scenery. And did we mention that they compliment many wedding day styles? Often offering elegant indoor and outdoor spaces, there are plenty of ways to make your vision come to life between the architectural details and the well-kept landscaping.

If you find yourself smiling, you should probably start booking estate tours today.

You might be a historic estate couple if…

  • you love luxurious, glamorous wedding decor.
  • you want both attractive indoor and outdoor event spaces at your wedding.
  • you adore antiques and historic homes.
  • you appreciate history.
  • you want indoor comforts (bathrooms, a bridal suite) paired with outdoor backdrops.
Southern plantation wedding venue back lawn with cocktail tables

Photo Credit || Aaron and Jillian Photography

bride and groom standing far apart outside in front of a set of three stone arches covered in vines

Photo Credit || Sean Money + Elizabeth Fay

Backyard Wedding Venues

There’s no better way to personalize to your wedding than by picking a truly one-of-a-kind location—a private backyard. Great for setting an intimate tone that’s all about sharing memories, backyard weddings are perfect for couples who want their weddings to be laid-back extensions of themselves. When you host your big day at your home (or the home of a friend or family member), you get the chance to literally open your doors and welcome  guests into your lives, your love, and your union. Plus, what could be more relaxing and special than getting ready in your own bedroom, or creating wedding memories in a place that you can revisit all the time?

If you’re looking for a causal, “we’re-all-family-here”-style wedding, then your (or someone else’s) own backyard is a perfect choice. If you find yourself nodding in agreement to the statements below, then a cozy backyard celebration could be calling your name.

You might be a backyard couple if…

  • you’re dying to DIY.
  • you love the idea of having an intimate, family-oriented wedding day.
  • you are having a small wedding.
  • you are more of a laid-back, casual couple.
  • you love the outdoors.
  • you are okay with renting everything for your celebration, including a tent.
  • you are willing to do whatever is needed to prepare for the weather.
bride and groom kissing in front of the back of a house tented for a wedding reception

Photo Credit || Meghan Rolfe Photography

bride and groom dancing outside

Photo Credit || Leah Marie Photography

Okay, so we’re dying to know: which set of statements really spoke to you? Are you a glamorous couple head over heels for hotel wedding venues? A rustic couple who fawns over barn weddings? Casual backyard wedding lovers? Tell us below, and feel free to share your own experience choosing a wedding venue type that was right for you.



  1. I totally agree when you said that the wedding day should show your personality and your love for each other. With that in mind, I will make sure to choose a venue that will show the kind of personality that my fiance and I have. Actually, both of us are really sporty, so I am thinking of having the reception in a gym type of place or making it look like we are in a marathon event. Thanks for the tips!

  2. It got me when you talked about the barn wedding venues. As you mentioned, it gives a more relaxed ambiance since the views are amazing. With that in mind, I will be choosing this kind of venue because I can easily get stressed by an event. Ever since I was a kid, I have never been really a fan of events where I am in the center of attention, so this will help me be relaxed on my wedding day.

  3. I like the sound of modern wedding venues like you talked about! I’m glad you made the point that if you and your fiance would rather spend a day in the city than in the countryside, you would probably like a modern venue better. My fiance and I would much rather be in the city where all the action is, so I’m going to have to look into the modern venues in my area to see what we can find!

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