There are thousands of reasons why you might want to pick your venue, maybe the food is AMAZING the there is an unbeatable view or simply your date os available. Well here are a few things to keep in mind while picking your venue that will help your photos be the best they can be.
Window light is the best. Especially when your getting ready. It's soft and dramatic at the same time. I love to use it behind you as Its super romantic. The more windows the better!!! Now, a lot of banquet halls have ZERO windows in the reception space... no biggie I travel with a lighting set up that helps me get those images but take a look around and see if there is a good amount of window light in the lobby. It can be a great spot for some portraits.
ARCHITECTURAL ELEMENTS AND TEXTURE
Architectural elements give your images some unique character and can make great nooks for some super romantic shots of the two of you. Texture can be literal with a wall of ivy or brick walls but it can also be implied with certain materials on chairs or walls.
Everyone loves a good outdoor ceremony. Really, they do!! I can work in all lighting conditions outside but I HIGHLY recommend an outdoor ceremony to have some coverage that isn't crossing our fingers and hoping for some clouds. Instead look at locations with a nice tree line or shadow of a building. Sometime it is as simple as planning the time of your ceremony for later when the sun drops. The diffused lighting will keep people fro, squinting and lighting will be even. Your guests and wedding party will thank you too!!
TIME OF DAY
I know it is hard to do this at some points in the summer but if the venue allows - schedule outdoor ceremonies an hour or so before sunset. The lighting is magical and you don't have to worry about where the shade comes from. Mid-summer this is SUPER hard but those Springtime or Fall weddings would be perfect for that (as long as all your portraits was done before the Ceremony). If this is difficult you can still use that amazing light for family portraits after the ceremony.
Small places are super charming but if there is no room to move around as a photographer, you will have so many images of the same thing or from the same spot. If there is room to move around I can get different perspectives to help tell your story more effectively.
These are just suggestions, the most important part of picking a venue how you connect to it. If you hate the space you will never be happy with it. Good Luck and Happy Planning!!!