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Wedding Day Tips

January 4, 2022

3 Considerations When Choosing a Wedding Venue

In our blog series “Enjoying Your Wedding Day: Tips for a Stress-Free Experience”, we’ve talked about the first look and being able to enjoy the day with your best friend. Today we are talking about one of the biggest wedding decisions – choosing a venue! As Kentucky wedding photographers, we’ve had the privilege of working with so many incredible venues in our area. The amount of time and energy these vendors put into serving their couples is astounding. As you meet with various venues, here are three things to consider in order to make your wedding day (and photography) run smoothly! (And don’t forget to check out the links below to some of the featured vendors from these images!)

kentucky wedding venue

“Good Light”

Obviously as photographers, we’re all about the right lighting. “Good light” is critical to photographing a wedding with the style that you love. So, what is “good light” and how can you tell if your venue has it? There are a few things to look for or ask your venue about:

Getting Ready Room: are there windows with natural light in the space you’ll be getting ready in? (somewhere with windows, but not necessarily harsh sunlight streaming into the room). Or is it a closed-off room with fluorescent lightbulbs? If there is no natural light, is there somewhere nearby that you can use to put on your dress? Is there a space for your photographers to shoot detail images?

kentucky wedding photographers

Ceremony space: are there windows in your ceremony space? Windows directly behind the altar? Think about the time of your ceremony – where will the sun be? (Bonus if you can visit your venue about the same time as your ceremony will be!) Sometimes a window behind the altar can seem like a gorgeous option, but if the sun is streaming in, it might not be ideal for photographs.

waterfront botanical gardens

Reception space: Are you having an evening reception? What kind of lighting does the venue offer? Are there strobe lights, spotlights, “twinkle lights”? As your photographers, we typically bring in several tripods with off-camera flashes for the reception in order to make sure your first dance and other reception events are properly lit. We LOVE twinkle lights for photos, but strobe lights can cause some very colorful reception images. Fun for partying, less fun for the first dance!

kentucky wedding venue the refinery

Portrait Locations

In our Louisville, Kentucky area, we have a wide selection of venues that range from downtown ballrooms to plantations to museums to historic homes. Each of these venues offers unique portrait location – urban, rural or in between. Often, unless you build time into your wedding day to drive to another location, your venue choice also determines the location of most of your portraits.

kentucky wedding photographers wedding venue the calumet club

Questions to ask:

As you walk around the venue, what is nearby?

Are there any greenspaces or landmarks nearby? Does the venue offer a courtyard or special portrait location (and is it included or an add-on)?

Does the location fit your vision for your wedding portraits?

If it rains or if your wedding is in the winter, is there a place indoors (preferably with natural light) for your family formal portraits? Think about your family size – is there enough space for a “wide” shot?

Ask the venue coordinator, “where do couples typically go for their bride-groom portraits?”

kentucky wedding venue waterfront botanical gardens

Venue Coordinator You Love

A venue coordinator influences your day in so many ways. Many times venue coordinators are the ones who see the bride and her father in that last minute before the doors open and they walk down the aisle. Venues are often the first vendor relationship you will make and you want to work with someone you love! They are the unsung heroes of the last few years as so many couples have had to move wedding dates due to COVID. The best coordinators love their venues and their couples. Find a coordinator who “gets” your vision for your wedding day and is excited to work with you to achieve it.

At the end of the day, there will be positives and challenges to every venue, so go with the place that you love! We’ve shot getting ready portraits at AirBnB’s and a reception at a barn that was custom-built weeks before the wedding. We’ll ensure you have lovely portraits at any venue!

And if you’ve booked with us, but haven’t booked a venue yet, we would love to share our preferred vendors list with you! Venues are such an important part of your wedding day and we have some of our very favorites that we love working with!

waterfront botanical gardens louisville

If you missed Part 1 of our blog series, check it out here: The First Look: Spending the Day with Your Best Friend

Featured Kentucky (and IN) Wedding Venues above:

Waterfront Botanical Gardens in Louisville, Kentucky

The Calumet Club in New Albany, Indiana

The Refinery in Jeffersonville, Indiana

Lakeside Reflections in Jeffersonville, Indiana

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