Wedding planning is a wonderful but stressful experience that often starts with a Google search: “wedding venues near me.” However, many brides-to-be jump the gun on this process. You should take your time envisioning the celebration before reaching out to any venues. Ask yourself the important questions, and your perfect wedding venue will find you. Here are a few of the many questions you should consider:

Where do you want to get married? Deciding the geographical location of your event will help narrow down the options. When you imagine your ceremony, do you see you and your partner tying the knot on a beach or in the backyard of your childhood home? For many couples, searching for that “venue near me” is critical to make it easy for friends and family to attend.

What kind of wedding do you want? Will your wedding be formal, semi-formal, or informal? Do you want the ceremony and reception to take place outdoors or in a hall? Ceremonies can be as traditional or as modern as you like. Deciding on the stylistic elements of your wedding will make searching for and visiting potential wedding venues a streamlined process. Can you hold the event you have always wanted in a particular venue? If not, move on to the next one.

How many guests are anticipated? The key to reducing wedding planning stress is to understand how many people you are expecting from the very beginning. Develop a rough estimate early on so you can start planning your venue budget. If you are planning to have a large reception, after sending out save the dates, start contacting people to get a feel for whether or not they plan to attend. This way, you can save yourself time and money.

Do you have any special requirements? Some venues near you might have strict rules that you might not even think twice about. For example, if many of your guests smoke, be sure to pick a venue that allows smoking on the premises. Are you inviting children, disabled guests, or those with special dietary needs? Plan for these in advance as you look into locations for your wedding.

Many aspects of wedding planning can feel overwhelming, but picking a wedding venue does not have to be. Prior to searching for and visiting venues, ask yourself questions about the “who, what, when, where, why, and how” of your wedding. Make some realistic decisions about your event. Once you have made these considerations, booking the right venue for you will be a breeze.