Pros and Cons of the Most Popular Venue Types

Whether you envision your wedding held in a hotel ballroom, a trendy bistro or a sunny backyard, there are pros and cons to consider for each. Here, what you need to know before you book.

One-Stop Venue

You can have your ceremony and reception in the same place: a catering hall or a church or synagogue that has an event space.


Convenience of one site
Sticking with a single venue keeps the logistics simple for everyone involved. Arrive at one place, then relax and enjoy.

No transportation worries
Hiring a shuttle, traffic that could delay your party, and guests getting lost on the way from the ceremony to the reception are all non-issues when you have one venue.

Price is right
In terms of overall cost, one site means one site fee. “I would rate a one-stop venue as inexpensive to moderately expensive because you are only decorating and putting all of your efforts into one venue,” says Sargent. “As with some of your other choices, catering costs can vary but typically this is one of the most cost-effective options around.”


Decor budget goes up
You have the space. Now you need to work some magic to make it look like what you envisioned your wedding to be. As Blum explains, “One-stop venues are not usually the prettiest locations and may require a lot of decor dollars.”

Bound by the rules
The house may want you to stick to a particular setup or have limitations on the use of candles or lighting equipment and sound. Also, says Pryor, “Be sure to check on which vendors can be brought in. You do not want to be locked into the venue’s referrals.”

Potential “wedding factory” feel
With venues that rely on weddings for their bread and butter, you risk feeling like you’re just one in a long line of brides waiting for their turn to use the space. This is especially true if you happen to bump into another bride getting married in an adjoining room. Talk about buzz kill. Furthermore, says Cowie, “The problem with one-stop venues is most weddings tend to look the same unless you are bringing in big decor elements and have the time to set them up.” So the way to ensure that this is your day is to transform the space as best you can to suit your vision.

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