Choosing a wedding venue is arguably one of the biggest decisions you will make when it comes to your wedding. It is probably one of the most important choices because where you to choose to have your wedding will dictate the overall theme and style of your day. So where do you even start when choosing a wedding venue? We have the questions you need to answer before you even step foot in a wedding venue.
do you know what style of wedding you want?
Do you know what type of wedding ceremony you want to have? Are you having a religious marriage or a civil ceremony? Some venues will not have the facilities to host both. Have you dreamt of the grand church doors opening to the sound of the wedding march? Or do you see yourself walking towards a bandstand draped in fairy lights? Are you happy to use a celebrant at your wedding and have an official marriage elsewhere? If you are planning to have a completely bespoke wedding in your neighbour’s field then you will have to use a celebrant as chances are the venue will not be licensed. All of these decisions will impact your choice of venue so it is a great place to start. Once you know what type of wedding is right for you two you will want to consider the theme of the day. Are you planning a boho beach affair or classic timeless wedding? Do you imagine your day being a formal affair or something more relaxed?
have you thought about where you would like to get married?
Once you have decided on what type of wedding celebration you will be having start to think about what region or country you want to have it in. A nice easy step if your childhood sweethearts with all your family local but probably a lot more complex if you’re from London and he’s from Manchester! Do you want it somewhere that is easy for your guests to get to? Are you willing to travel for it or asks your guests to travel for it? Once you have narrowed this down you will also need to consider whether you are happy to travel from the ceremony to the reception? Or would you rather it all be in one place?
Do you have a particular wedding date in mind?
Now you are starting to form a really good idea of the type of wedding you want and where you want it you need to decide on when as this could also impact your venue selection. Do you have a particular season in mind? If so you may want to find a venue that can accommodate the weather in this season. You wouldn’t want to be planning an outdoor ceremony in December for example. Do you have a particular date in mind for your wedding? Is this a popular wedding date? If so you need to know this will have impacts on the venue cost and availability. If possible we advise being as flexible as you can with your date – does it need to be a weekend or could you have a weekday wedding? And finally, do you have to consider any VIP guests potentially already having plans? Definitely get an idea of all of this before you start to even research wedding venues. Once you know how flexible you can or can’t be with a wedding date it may broaden or narrow down your venue search.
What are the essentials and what is affordable?
Finally – DON’T FORGET LOGISTICS (yes, the boring bits!) Planning on inviting 150+ guests then make sure you’re looking for venues that can host this many. Did you have your heart set on Caribbean jerk chicken for the main course? Make sure you look for places you can take caterers in with you or work on a bespoke menu. Decide what it is that is important to you two for your wedding day and create a tick list. It could be things such as outdoor spaces for photographs, a bar in the same room, accommodation for guests, must have a wedding coordinator, must be exclusively ours etc. Prepare yourself a venue tracking spreadsheet where you can actually make a note of all the key facts and figures to compare against once you start viewing! What is it you two want from your venue? When you know what you want logistically wise you can look for the answers before you even step foot in a venue and save yourself a potentially wasted show round. And ultimately, be realistic about what you can afford. You wouldn’t want to spend all that money on the expensive venue if it leaves you short for your band further down the line. You may find some of the places you look at online are just out of your budget and potentially reevaluate your must-have list.
do your research
Armed with knowing what you want out of your venue and what you need it’s time to start your research. You need to allocate a good deal of your wedding planning time to finding the dream venue. It can be quite frustrating and at times just plain confusing – but have a clear plan and direction and it will all be worth it in the end. Once you have spent the time online and have some venues that are potentials – then it is time to start viewing.