My fiancé and I are just now starting really looking for a venue, which I want to get first. My resoning is that I find a venue I love, pick a date that is free, and then fill in the blanks from there. A hurdle that I'm dealing with is I just moved down to FL about two weeks ago, and don't know the area all that well, and don't know anyone here.
We went to see 3 different venues thus far (Central Florida) that all had good reviews, all had good websites with good photos, and we were not impressed by any of them. One we rated 3/10, the other two are tied at 6.5/10. We'd like at least a solid 8!
I'm starting to feel lost: I would like to avoid hotel ballrooms if possible, and ABSOLUTELY no golf club/country club venues...which takes out a whole bunch right there. I'm trying to find theatres in the area that have a good space we could rent, however, since most theatres aren't used to hosting weddings, they don't have the kind of information that would help me figure it out.
SO, all of that is a lead up to your stories and advice: How did you find your venue (a website, google searches, knew it already, family member)? Did you look at other venues? What sold you on your venue? What is your advice for finding the unique (perhaps even off-beat) venue?