Hooray! You’re hitching your caboose to the love of your life, which means wedding dress shopping, cake taste testing and...ugh, finding a place to house it all. Yep, the venue can be the biggest hassle of all wedding planning hassles. So, for guidance, we checked in with Lizzie Post, weddings expert, Marshalls spokeswoman, and great-great-granddaughter to the O.G. etiquette guru, Emily. Below, Post shares the five biggest traps brides fall into when choosing a wedding venue. (Avoid ‘em at all costs, gals.)  

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Not Investigating A Venue's Rules

According to Post, far too many brides pull the trigger on a venue before asking key questions about vendors and setup—and wind up with a space that ultimately won’t accommodate everything they’re looking to do. (See: Will they let you bring in your own catering? Will they let you hang your dream floral chandeliers from the ceiling? Do they allow your Pinterest fantasy sparkler exit? They might not even allow a confetti toss!). Thoroughly investigate the venue’s specifications—and make sure you can see your vision through with their resources.

Falling In Love With A Too-Small Space

Venue shopping before getting a very firm grasp on your guest list seems innocent enough, but it can actually become a major problem down the road, says Post. Oftentimes, in their excitement, couples will work backward, becoming obsessed with an intimate space, then ultimately finding the maximum capacity too small (or squishy) for their needs. Adopting this approach can lead to a serious canned sardine situation, or worse, nixing guests that you really wanted to include. List first, shopping second will ultimately make the journey easier. Capish?

Being Unrealistic About The Weather

So you’ve envisioned an alfresco beach wedding since you were a little girl and convinced yourself you’d be OK if you happen to get slammed with a rainstorm. (#worthit) But would you, like, actually be OK with it? Post advises making a detailed plan for your worst-case wedding weather scenario and sitting on that potential reality for awhile before signing any paperwork. (If that means literally sitting outside under an umbrella in the rain for 20 minutes in order to make sure it’s something you’re comfortable asking guests to do, then so be it.)

Ignoring Mobility Concerns

If you want to say your “I dos” on a remote stretch of beach or at the top of a mountain, do it, girl, it’s your day. But first, take necessary precautions before you sign a contract. For example, a remote glamping wedding can be extremely difficult for guests who have a hard time moving around (looking at you, great Aunt Agnes). Similarly, a ceremony spot that requires a hike will be near-impossible for the elderly. Does your facility supply a golf cart? Is there a hospital nearby? Ask mobility questions both of your venue and your guests before you get locked into a contract. (And yes, destination weddings definitely fall into this camp.)

Letting Others Make The Decision For You

The big one. Your grandmother wants a Catholic ceremony. Your MIL doesn’t approve of your casual, city hall affair vision. PSA: It isn’t 1950, and it’s totally kosher to eschew tradition in favor of what you truly want. (According to Marshalls 2018 Wedding Survey, a whopping 83 percent of today’s couples are tossing traditional elements aside if they are not meaningful to them!) Post’s advice? “Be polite but firm that this is your wedding. For a decision as large as the venue, it should absolutely be your choice—you can make other, smaller concessions to appease your loved ones and incorporate their ideas into the day.” 

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