So many venues, so little time!
Picking the perfect venue for your wedding or corporate event can be a daunting task, but we are here to share a few tips that will help streamline the process for you.
First, there is no 100% perfect venue, so it’s crucial to make a list of the top 10 most important features in terms of priority to help guide you.
For context, Hey Mister DJ is an AWARD WINNING DJ company, and has been repeatedly nominated for “Best DJ in Los Angeles” by California Wedding day and won “Top DJ in LA’ By BizBash Magazine.
We have been extremely fortunate to work with many of the top wedding venues in Southern Californian and the greater Los Angeles area.
As a DJ, we pay very close attention to every detail of a venue and how it affects the ambiance, logistics and overall impact on the guest experience.
For example, you might find a venue with the perfect view that fits the vision of your dreams, but they don’t have onsite parking, and you’ll have to shuttle your guests in. Or you found a venue with the perfect architecture, but it only accommodates 110, and your guest count is planned for 140.
In other words, doing your prep work, so you have a clear vision, priorities and already know what likely compromises you’ll need to consider will save you a lot of time and heartache before you start your search.
One of the best things you can do is hire an experienced wedding coordinator with a “full planning” package, which often includes helping you find and secure a venue.
I promise you the money you invest in a full production planner will easily pay for itself.
We work with many amazing & experienced wedding & corporate event planners here in Los Angeles, Anaheim, Orange County & Ventura.
A wedding & event planner business is partly based on maintaining and leveraging relationships. A good planner will save you time by dialing in and only showing you the venues that match your vision, style, AND budget. They may also be able to negotiate on your behalf with the venue and some preferred vendors to get you a savings rate on bookings. We always extend a special savings rate for venues and planners that refer us clients.
They have years of experience executing every type of event in a large variety of venues. As a result, they have a good memory of what worked and what didn’t, which will help save you precious time and money.
In our book “How to Hire a Killer Wedding DJ” we focus a lot on the importance of having a planner and venue selection.
You can see more info here: https://heymisterdj.com/la-wedding-corporate-venues/
People don’t realize there is a direct correlation between the venue selection and whether you will have a successful dance party. Layout, spacing, and lighting levels all affect the room’s flow and overall energy, influencing whether the DJ can keep guests comfortable and engaged.
For example, if you end up with a room too big for your guest count, it will feel cavernous and not cozy.
Sometimes you can use lighting to offset this though which you can read all about this in my article HERE:
Why Dance Lighting Matters for Weddings & Events
Settle on what kind of venue fits your vison and reflects your personal style.
From there you can drill down deeper to venue specific features that may help guide your choice.
Here are a few (of our favorite) examples of venues in the Los Angeles area that each have a very different style, vibe & ambiance:
Rancho De Cielo
The Adamson House
Topanga Canyon Nature Hippie Tree House Vibe
The Fig House
CHIC BEACH CLUB
Jonathan Beach Club
Bel Air Bay Club
Annenberg Beach House
Malibu West Beach Club
Dowtown Los Angeles (with a city view or vintage vibe)
Los Angeles Athletic Club
The Ebell of LA
UPSCALE HOTEL BALLROOM
Fairmont Santa Monica
The Ritz Carlton
The London Hotel
The Langham Hotel
BACK TO NATURE VIBE
Los Angeles River Center & Gardens
Natural History Musuem
California Science Center
Skirball Cultural Museum
Marina Del Rey Hotel Loews Santa Monica
Malibou Lake Lodge
Malibu West Beach Club
There are so many different styles and characteristics of a venue, so do some browsing and establish what type of venue would best represent you to your guests and reflect your personal taste.
Other factors to consider are general comfort and accessibility for your guests.
It’s your day, but you are hosting an party so considering things like valet/parking, ADA compliant (for older guests) and distance to travel are all things that should be considered.
Now that you’ve narrowed down your general style of venue, it’s time to start a search and cross check against your top priority list and budget.
This should get you down to a list (hopefully) of about 3-8 venues. From there, it’s about date selection and overall features of the venue to determine if it’s compatible with your overall vision.
***Try and have some flexibility on the date!
This will help greatly if you find a venue that is in high demand.
Hope these wedding venue selection tips are helpful and good luck in your search!