Even if you’re going with a traditional church wedding, your venue is going to be an important part of your planning process. While that amazing, out of the way cabin and beach location may seem like the perfect place for your wedding, you have to consider whether or not your guests are going to be able to easily make it to your location. There’s little worse than putting together a big ceremony for everyone, and not having the most important family members make it. So take the following elements into account to ensure that your wedding venue fits all of your wants, and needs, as best as possible.

Location Location Location: Like mentioned in the intro, you have to take the distance of your venue from local airports, major highways, and heavy traffic areas. Being too far out in the boonies can make it hard for people to reach, having it right downtown can cause problems with parking and traffic. Choose carefully.

Guest Count: If you’re going to have a lot of guests, you’re going to need a place of sufficient size to hold them all. You’re going to want a venue that can hold significantly more than the number of guests that have RSVP’d, otherwise it’s going to get cramped and stuffy really fast.

Weather and Season: While an outdoor wedding may be just the thing, there’s always the chance for inclement weather. While this can be mitigated by choosing seasons prone to nice weather, you always want to have a contingency plan in case of rain. Having the event indoors removes this concern almost entirely.

Secure it, and Soon: I know you want to have that perfect spot, and we also know you’re concerned that the first spot you picked may be the one. Don’t be afraid to make a tentative reservation with the first place that steals your heart, but be prepared to check back often, and to place a deposit when you’re committed.

Catering Considerations: If the venue you’re looking at provides catering services, you’re going to want to sample their wares. They’re going to talk up their menu, so don’t buy it unless you’re actually able to sample what they offer. If that isn’t an option, you’re better off turning down their catering service and working with an outside provider instead.

These 5 considerations are going to help prevent your venue from being a disaster. Keep them in mind while you’re looking, and always ask about the deposit necessary to secure the site, even temporarily. The catering is definitely a thing to be careful about, if you aren’t confident in it, don’t use them. Too many receptions have ruined a honeymoon with food poisoning, because the bride and groom didn’t take proper care with their catering service.