4 Things to Consider to Find Your Perfect Wedding Venue (+ 7 Questions to Ask Your Venue)

You're probably thinking we're going to tell you that The Pannikin Building is the best venue in San Diego and all the reasons why you should book with us (boring, right?!).

Sure, we think our venue is pretty awesome, but here's the honest truth: it's not the perfect wedding venue for everyone. If your dream is to get married with the sand between your toes, our urban space probably won't measure up. If you always envisioned getting married in a garden near a waterfall, we'll happily direct you to one of our outdoor competitors. If you love the idea of a wedding venue in the heart of downtown San Diego's Gaslamp, with an industrial chic warehouse vibe, then we might in fact be able to help you out!

So how do you know if a venue is right for you? When you and your fiancé start your search shortly after getting engaged, where's the best place to start?

4 Things to Consider to Find Your Perfect Wedding Venue:


Think about the location you want and do some research before contacting venues. Thinking of a winter wedding and worried about rain? Narrow your search to venues that provide ample indoor space in case of weather.


Is your guest count set in stone or flexible? Using websites like The Knot, Venue Report or Here Comes The Guide can help you quickly filter by capacity so you don't waste time falling in love with venues that won't accommodate your guest count.


Think about your venue budget as a part of your whole wedding budget. Is it price per head or a flat venue rate? Will you be able to control catering and bar costs or are there Food & Beverage minimums? These are all important things to consider in your overall budget planning.


One of the easiest ways we can help couples stick to a tighter budget is to consider moving their wedding date. Originally thinking a Saturday in October? Consider the cost savings of a Friday or Sunday in January. Set on a holiday weekend? Consider whether it's worth the extra money. Ask your venue if you they have any off-season pricing and consider those months if you're open to it. (Note: The Pannikin Building offers off-season pricing January-March with general pricing varying by day of the week and month of the year).

Once you've used these 4 criteria to narrow your list of possibilities, now you can start contacting venues and setting up tours.


7 Questions to Ask Your Venue:

1. What vendors does the venue allow?

Tip from The Pannikin Building: with an open vendor policy, we allow ALL licensed and insured vendors.

2. Does the venue allow BYOB?

Tip from The Pannikin Building: we allow BYOB provided you have a licensed bartender to serve. This means, YES, you can buy your alcohol from Costco or BevMo as long as you have a licensed bartender to serve it. Sweet, right?!

3. What is the venue's curfew?

Tip from The Pannikin Building: our venue does not have a curfew. Party as late as you like!

4. How many hours are included in my venue rental?

Tip from The Pannikin Building: rentals include 10-hrs with optional add-on time if needed.

5. Are there package or preferred vendor discounts?

Tip from The Pannikin Building: we have select preferred vendor discounts as well as perks like free delivery and more.

6. What does the venue provide (i.e. tables, chairs, catering) and what do I have to bring in?

Tip from The Pannikin Building: rentals include our four (4) 8-foot custom bars, furnished bridal and groom's lounges (2), and optional in-house tables and chairs for add-on.

7. Is the cleaning fee included in my rental?

Tip from The Pannikin Building: cleaning fee as well as all other fees & taxes are included in the flat venue rental rate. No hidden fees or surprises.


Our final piece of advice is this: while criteria are great, take time in the process to consider if a particular venue fits your vision for your big day. When you take your tour, does the venue feel "right"?

There is truly no such thing as a perfect venue, but by combining criteria and a little bit of heart, we're confident you'll come pretty close.

Happy venue hunting in 2020!

Xo The Pannikin Building

Venue Tips: The Pannikin Building | Photo: EMRY Photography

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