Our at-a-glance guide to the pros and cons of six different types of wedding venues.

Private Event Spaces

Good news: Venues like historic mansions, country clubs, and university facilities typically host just one function at a time, so not only will you and your guests have the entire place to yourselves, your vendors will have more flexibility when it comes to setup and breakdown, preventing overtime fees and load-in nightmares. At the majority of these locations, you'll find stunning architecture and opulent interiors, which will add an air of elegance to your wedding and minimize the cost of décor. Built-in lighting and sound systems are also money-savers.

Bad news: Approved vendor lists are the norm, so make sure that any vendors the venue requires you to use are up to your standards (for example, schedule a tasting with the caterer). With many private clubs, you'll need to either be a member, or be sponsored by someone who is. In the case of historic mansions and estates, there may be strict rules about what parts of the house can and can't be used, noise levels, and moving any décor or artwork. Private event spaces can also be on the pricier side, thanks to on-site liquor licenses, rental fees, and security deposits.

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