Venue “shopping” is the first step in making your wedding day a reality (only next to selecting a wedding planner, of course)! Deciding on a venue is so important – this is the location where you start your forever future. You want it to check off all the boxes that are important to you. Your venue will largely dictate the ambiance of the day. It can also affect your wedding date, guest count, decor and vendor choices. The decision, however, can be overwhelming.
To help you find the best venue for you & your sweetie, I’m sharing my “Top 5” Burlington, VT area wedding venues. There will likely be another post in this series because it’s really hard to pick just 5. But each of these offers something unique!
First up is Essex Resort and Spa. This venue happens to be in my neck of the woods, just outside of Burlington in Essex (hence the name). An 18-acre resort (5 of which are filled with ponds), it’s about as picturesque as you can get! They can accommodate up to 400 people in their 18,000 square foot of space. I personally love the atrium- the natural light from the floor to ceiling windows is divine!
Second is The Barns at Lang Farm. A rustic chic venue that can accommodate up to 300 guests with gorgeous views of Mount Mansfield. We love the beautiful gardens surrounding the red barn and the interior has ultra high ceilings with large chandeliers. It manages to be warm and cozy, as well as open. They also have a great stone patio for ceremonies and cocktail hour.s
Our third Vermont wedding venue on the list if the Mountaintop Inn & Resort. Swoons all day with this one! Located in Chittenden, this venue sit in front of a 740 acre lake. They have four, yes FOUR, wedding ceremony sites to choose from- each with unique qualities. The Knoll, The Terrace, The Beach and The Loft are all so amazing! We love the mountainview & lush grass on The Knoll, the Terrace has a stunning view, the beach, well, it’s a secluded paradise and the Loft is an elegant indoor option with natural light and warm wood tones! They also have three reception locations- the Barn, the Marquee Tent and the Lakefront Beach Pavilion. The fabric draping in the Marquee Tent is what dreams are made of. I’m obsessed! As if that weren’t enough- they have numerous locations available for intimate weddings (under 40) on the sprawling landscape. They offer in-house catering, have a full-service spa and a plethora of resort activities. If you’re obsessed with the movie Dirty Dancing, consider this New England’s version of the famous Kellermans 🙂
Next up is Grand Isle Lake House! On the shores of Lake Champlain is this stunning wedding venue. Boosting “spectacular panoramic mountain views, gorgeous Vermont sunsets, and an enchanting, timeless tranquility that only comes with our historic Vermont property.” It is a home away from home with enchanting landscape and wonderful service. They can accommodate up to 250- so a great option for small and large weddings. If you want charm, this is your venue.
Last, but not least is The Barn at Boyden Farm is a working farm that has been hosting weddings for over 10 years. It’s rustic, charming and purely magical. They provide a romantic, country setting with great amenities. Our favorite thing about the venue is the onsite vineyard (so dreamy)! The lush landscape has more than a few phenomenal photos opps! The bard is well maintained and offers a warm, inviting ambiance. They can accommodate up to 150 guests and with rental fees at $6,500 for an entire weekend (with tables, chairs + dance floor included)- it’s a steal!
Now. Before you decided which venues to tour, you need to consider or do a few things:
Create your guest list!
Then keep in mind how many you would have if everyone said yes, and how many you will have if you get the standard number of declines (between 10-20% assuming a local wedding).
Create your budget!
You don’t necessarily have to have a firm number in mind yet, but we recommend that you establish a number and allot between 25-35% to the venue. Also, if they offer onsite vs offsite catering, you will want to factor that in. We recommend 50% of your budget be dedicated to venue + catering. I say this with the assumption that the venue choice is an important priority for you. These numbers shift based on what is important to you as a couple.
Pick your season!
WHEN you decided to get married matters! Some locations do not offer year-round weddings. Some locations may not have heating & air. Some locations may be best suited for Summer and Spring. Keep this in mind during your search so you don’t fall in love with a venue that isn’t open. We also highly recommend that you decide on a timeframe (3 or so weeks is a good range) you want to get married versus a specific date- that way if you fall in love with a venue, you have the flexibility to say yes!
These factors will help you with your process of elimination and ensure that you aren’t disappointed.
If you’re still feeling overwhelmed, or perhaps just wanted an extra hand to assist you in the selection, we’d love to help!
*all blog images sourced from venue’s website