A dream venue is part of every dream wedding—without the perfect venue, there can’t be a perfect wedding! But matching the right venue to the right couple is the biggest challenge for venue owners and brides and grooms alike. In total, there are over 2 million weddings each year, and there are hundreds of thousands of venues nationwide. Thankfully, wedding venue directories make the search easier for all.
Venue directories allow brides and grooms shop multiple venues at once. Instead of researching each venue individually, couples can compare multiple venues in the same area quickly and easily. Then, they can simply visit their top two or three choices. Venue owners benefit from these directories, too. Instead of waiting for couples to stumble upon their website, venues are presented as wedding options where and when brides and grooms are searching. Couples can even contact the venue directly, so communication is direct and clear.
From pricing to location, amenities, and more, finding the perfect wedding venue has never been easier with these directories. But not all wedding venue directories are created equal. Some offer more search parameters and venue information than others. We created side-by-side comparisons of the top directories, whether you’re looking to list or looking to fall in love.
Before we reveal the top five, we have to cover the basics. There are some features that every wedding venue directory has. Although they’re beneficial features, they didn’t factor into our review. (If every directory has them, they don’t give an edge to anyone.) But, as we said, they are important. So, we’ll go over them here so you know what to expect when listing or searching.
- Every directory allows the couple to contact the venue via a form on their website.
- Each directory provides the venue website and address.
- Every directory gives at least a general idea of the pricing on a $-$$$ scale.
- Each directory enables filtering by venue type (e.g., barn, beach, mansion).
Of course, these features are important in the wedding planning process. But brides and grooms still need more information before falling in love—with a venue, that is! So let’s take a look at which directories deliver those details, and how well they do so.
Of course, we’re going to sing our praises a little bit here! We work hard to keep our venue directory competitive and user friendly for venue owners and couples. Founded in 2003, our vision to easily connect planners with venues and vendors grew into a collection of tools designed to make planning and venue marketing easier. Including (surprise!) a comprehensive wedding venue directory. Our platform allows couples to get picky with their searches and venue owners to showcase all they have to offer.
- Comprehensive: With over 45,000 wedding venues in the US and Canada, couples can find the venue that fits them best.
- Detailed Info: Eventective provides easy access to the phone number, physical address, and website for any venue on their site. This makes it easiest to connect with a venue in the manner that works best for the couple.
- Detailed Pricing: Venues choose to display pricing per hour, per person, or per event, allowing couples to get a real sense of which venues will fit their budget.
- Availability Calendar: The recently added Availability Calendar allows couples to easily see which venues are available on their dream date. Or even when venues are free, if their date is flexible!
- No App: Eventective doesn’t have an app for mobile searching, although the website is compatible with mobile devices.
- No Favorites List: There’s no way to designate a favorite venue or save it for later.
Founded in 1996, The Knot currently has a worldwide presence (known internationally as the The Knot Worldwide). This larger company includes other popular wedding brands, like WeddingWire, Bodas.net, and The Nest. With their worldwide brands, they deserve a mention on the list of top wedding venue directories.
The Knot Pros
- Vendor Profile: There’s information about key stakeholders at each venue—sometimes it’s the owner, sometimes it’s the coordinator. Although couples can’t reach out to the stakeholders directly, they can fill out an online form. Plus, the get-to-know-you adds a personal touch.
- Additional Filters: Brides can filter by services offered by the venue, so they can choose venues that also offer bar service, transportation, and more. This allowing the venues to showcase their breadth.
The Knot Cons
- Limited Links: Some venue profiles have incomplete contact information—the website and other contact methods are not available. This limits the couple’s freedom to contact the venue in the manner of their choosing.
- Inconsistent Pricing Details: Some venues do provide detailed pricing, but couples must visit every profile to find out, which is time consuming. Otherwise, there is only a $-$$$$ scale to work with.
The middle child, founded in 2005, is WeddingWire. They’re more recently part of The Knot Worldwide and also have international recognition. And they, too, started as online resource for engaged couples looking for vendors. (Are you starting to see the theme here?) Let’s see what they have to offer venue owners and couples planning their perfect day.
- Venue Overview: In the search results, brides can read a sentence or two about the venue, which helps them choose which venues to review more carefully without having to view each listing.
- FAQs Answered: Each venue has an FAQ section on their listing to answer important questions before booking or pricing requests.
- Low-Quality Images: Yes, images are uploaded by the venue managers or owners and not WeddingWire. But by comparison to the other wedding directories, the images on WeddingWire were lacking.
- No Pricing Search: Couples can’t filter by pricing. Unless the venue provides specific pricing, WeddingWire doesn’t provide a general range of $-$$$ in search results.
The newest addition to the wedding directory family is Wedding Spot, founded in 2013. And in 2019, it was acquired by Cvent—an online management platform for meetings, events, and hospitality. Their goal is to help couples avoid picking up the phone to track down venue information. Of course, this can be a pro and a con, depending on who you ask.
Wedding Spot Pros
- Simple Website: The website is very simple and easy to use.
- Multiple Requests: Couples can submit a single request to up to 10 venues at once—a huge time saver.
- Spot Estimate: Their customizable pricing estimator gives brides a good idea of what each venue will charge for their wedding.
Wedding Spot Cons
- Venues Only: They are the only directory that doesn’t offer vendor booking, only wedding venues. This may deter couples who want to shop for multiple things.
- Email Only: Venues can only contact brides via email; other directories offer a combination of phone calls, text, and video call in addition to email.
Here Comes the Guide
Wrapping up the list with the oldest, we have Here Comes the Guide. Founded in 1989, this woman-owned business predates the internet. Their initial collection of local wedding resources was published in book form, but they’ve since gone digital.
Here Comes the Guide Pros
- Deals & Discounts: This wedding venue directory has a deals and discounts section for venues.
- Capacity: They list important capacity details, like seating, standing, indoor, and outdoor capacities.
Here Comes the Guide Cons
- Small Selection: There are limited search results compared to other wedding venue directories.
- Awkward Searching: Their search capabilities are a little cumbersome—you can’t search by city right out of the gate. Instead, you have to search by state and refine your results by city afterwards.
The Bottom Line
Ultimately, each couple has their own needs, like each venue has its own features. So, we worked hard to create a platform that connects everyone with ease. But you know what’s best for you. That’s why we created this list for you! We want to make your planning and listing as easy as possible. After all, we believe event planning is fun, not futile!
What is your top priority when using an online directory? Which of these are you more likely to use?