Things to Consider When Choosing a Wedding Venue

Igor and I both grew up in Salt Lake City, our immediate families (minus his dad) are in Salt Lake City, and we lived in Salt Lake City while planning our wedding. So getting married in Utah was the obvious choice.

While I didn’t have my future wedding plans fully flushed out, I always knew that I wanted to showcase mountain epic-ness. Growing up, my family often skied Big Cottonwood and Deer Valley, so my first instinct was to look into venues there.

I don’t have as much experience skiing Snowbasin, but I have a severely autistic little brother who I really wanted to be present on our big day. And Snowbasin is the closest ski resort to Justin’s group home 🙂 Snowbasin was the first venue I checked out in person, and I was so sold from the first impression that I ended my search without physically seeing any other place.

I’m really happy with our choice for multiple reasons & going over why this place ended up being a great decision can provide you some food for thought as you search for your own perfect wedding venue.

1. Do You Like the Space?

This is obvious – when choosing a venue, you should like what it looks like haha. But I think it still needed to be said!

I thought it was unique and so much fun that guests would have to ride up Needles Gondola to get to our venue. The mountain backdrop from the patio was a gorgeous place to have a ceremony. And the interior of the lodge is also majestically gorgeous with big chandeliers and large windows of amazing views.

You can’t get this at most wedding venues, but since ours was at the top of a mountain accessible only by gondola, the only people in the vicinity were there for us. Which I was excited for because it made the event feel more private and intimate and fancy.

2. How’s The Venue Contact?

All my communication with Snowbasin was through their venue coordinator, Emma. She made my experience at Snowbasin wonderful because she is just a lovely person on top of being great at her job! She answered all the questions of a high-maintenance bride and kept me in the loop about everything I needed to know. And, the week of the wedding, Emma was incredibly responsive when I needed to go back-and-forth with her multiple times a day because of last-minute guest additions/cancellations D:

Originally, I was very interested in one other venue in particular. I filled out their online form asking about Saturday availability in September and October availability. I got a response back saying that they were completely booked in October, sorry. I responded, “What about Saturdays in September?” but didn’t get a response back for a week. I eventually called their wedding coordinator who told me on the phone that she needed to follow up with some people and get back to me. She never got back to me lol.

I gave up on that other venue because that experience indicated to me that working with them would be like pulling teeth. You’ll have to communicate so much with your venue, so if your interaction with them before booking is less than satisfactory, please consider if you want to deal with that for the remainder of wedding planning.

3. Having the Ceremony & Reception at the Same Location?

I asked immediate family to arrive 30 minutes before the rest of our guests. Some members of Igor’s family came 15 minutes after the rest of the guests haha. If you have guests who are notoriously late, minimizing the traveling between locations better ensures that people you care about will actually be there when you need them to be!

To be honest, I didn’t have much fun during our small, legal wedding celebration in January. The logistics of multiple locations and transportation turned out to be pretty stressful. So it was great that at Snowbasin, no relocation was necessary the entire event.

4. Does the venue provide food/alcohol?

It was nice to not have to plan the logistics of all that myself. Their head chef, Nick (has a great name!) did a phenomenal job. So many guests commented about how wonderful dinner was! It was nice that Snowbasin had a limited menu that I could choose from, so I wasn’t overwhelmed with infinite options like I would’ve been if I had to choose a caterer.

Snowbasin let us do either a buffet or plated dinner. We opted for the plated dinner because I don’t like how long the last table has to wait for their food during a buffet. Snowbasin took care of all staffing for me, so I didn’t have to spend any mental energy thinking about servers or bartenders.

And food tasting was such a fun part of wedding planning! We choose our hor d’oeuvres, entrees, desserts, and cake with so much care. For our food tasting, we could try three different entrees and after looking over the list of options, Igor chose the new york strip, filet mignon, and prime rib… I told him that we weren’t going to offer three different types of steak and fired him from wedding planning.

FYI there are some downsides to an all-inclusive venue:

  1. Difficulty getting food outside of their menu – I was interested having a boba bar & a Korean dessert & Plum Brandy which is significant in Igor’s culture. These aren’t on a standard menu & we were able to do some but not all of these custom items.
  2. If you’re more budget-conscious, being able to choose your own catering/alcohol gives you more options and flexibility to find something that works at your price point.

5. What does/doesn’t the venue provide – Chairs, tables, tablecloth, linens, folding of said linens, utensils, cups, set up & tear down, etc.

Again, it was nice to not have to spend mental energy to plan these things. I brought, set up, and took back home some items (full checklist found here – this is a must read!) but didn’t need to worry about arranging and cleaning up larger items.

How to inquire with Snowbasin:

Are you still searching for the perfect wedding venue in Utah? Sweet, you’re in luck. I’ve pulled together information and costs for multiple amazing Utah Venues here Utah Wedding Venues

For Brides, Personal, Utah Wedding Venues


Things to Consider When Choosing a Wedding Venue

share this post


get in touch!

want to learn more about working with caili?

download ,my session style guide

we will be in touch soon

thank you