If you’re getting married, we would like to say, congratulations! There are lots of things to think about but choosing the right venue is one of the most important decisions you’ll make during wedding planning. The venue sets the tone for your whole event, so it’s important to choose a place that fits your style and budget.
To help kick-start your wedding scheduling, we’ve created a handy list of top tips and things to consider before picking the perfect venue for your big day.
- Decide What Kind of Wedding Day You Want
Before you go jumping headfirst into your venue search, think about what type of wedding you actually want (and your partner of course!) Do you envision a large traditional affair with lots of guests? Or maybe you’d prefer a more laid-back day that doesn’t revolve around the usual traditions? It’s important to have this discussion with your partner right from the start, so you can find a venue that is the perfect backdrop for your dream day.
- Does the Venue Have the Right Capacity for Your Guest List?
The number of guests you plan to invite will also play a role in choosing the right space. Once you have an idea of the size and scope of your event, you can start searching for potential venues that will fit your needs.
There is nothing worse than saying yes to an amazing venue, only to realise that it doesn’t fit all of your guests. So, how do you save yourself the difficult task of who to bump off the invite list? The best way to avoid this scenario is to check the venue’s capacity before you even decide to view it. That way, you won’t fall in love with an unsuitable venue and you can avoid having to have any awkward conversations!
- Consider the Location of the Venue
You’ll need to think about the location of the venue. If you’re getting married in a specific city or town, you’ll want to find a venue that’s conveniently located for your friends and family to get to. Is there somewhere where your guests can park their cars? Is it accessible by public transport?
You may also want to consider the type of setting you want for your event. Do you prefer a rustic outdoor setting or a more traditional indoor space?
- Is the Venue Available for Your Chosen Dates?
It’s good to have a date in mind before choosing a venue as you can then make sure your closest friends and family members will be able to attend. However, we understand that the dream venue is often just as important, so choose a few alternative dates – that way you’ll have a better chance of your chosen venue being available.
- Does the Venue Have Overnight Accommodation?
If you’re expecting guests from further afield, you may want to opt for somewhere that offers accommodation. If not, is there a choice of accommodation nearby?
A great wedding means a great party – with dancing, singing and, very likely, a little drinking – so choosing somewhere with accommodation means your guests can dance the night away without having to worry about how they’re getting home.
- Is the Right Food and Drink Package Available?
What is your preferred catering option and does your venue provide it? You might decide to go with an in-house caterer or an external vendor. Depending on which you choose, make sure they can give enough food and drink choices to meet all of your guests’ dietary requirements. Consider whether those who are vegetarian, gluten-free and vegan will get to enjoy a decent meal and not be left feeling hungry..
When it comes to drinks, is there enough of a selection and what’s the deal on corkage and surcharges? If you’re considering a free bar, you should also ask about prices or special deals if you offer a limited selection of drinks.
- Ask About the Finer Details
When you’re planning a wedding there are so many details to consider. When you’re choosing a venue, it is important that you understand exactly what’s included in the wedding package. You should also ask if there are any restrictions.
For example, does the venue have a preferred list of wedding suppliers? What is included in the venue hire? Will you have to source tables, chairs and crockery, or do they provide full service? Another restriction to ask about is how late can your wedding party last? If you’re having an outdoor wedding, is it possible to have music outside? It’s best to make a wedding checklist so you don’t miss anything out.
- Consider the Lighting
In the grand scheme of things, lighting doesn’t sound like a big deal. However, having the right lighting enhances the atmosphere and contributes to much better wedding photographs.
So, if you’re planning a wedding ceremony and reception indoors, take a moment and have a look at how many windows there are letting in natural light. If there’s not much natural light in the venue, ask whether or not they have decent indoor lighting systems. The last thing you want is dull photos of your big day.
- Can the Venue Accommodate Your Entertainment Choice?
It’s often a good idea to check whether the venue permits your chosen entertainment.
Do you have your heart set on an extravagant firework display? Or maybe you would like a live band? Or even a full showcase? For those who plan on enjoying a boogie, does your venue provide a dance floor?
- Is It Within Your Budget?
Next, consider your budget. Wedding venues can be very expensive, so it’s important to have a clear idea of how much you’re willing to spend before you start looking or sign on the dotted line. Once you’ve set a budget, you can start narrowing down your search to venues that fit within your price range.
It’s a good idea to ask these questions sooner rather than later and think about the pros and cons as this will give you time to make other arrangements.
Choosing the right wedding venue is an important decision, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. By keeping these factors in mind, you can narrow down your search and find the perfect place to host your wedding day.