So you've got engaged, the excitement has settled down, and now the planning begins!
Selecting a wedding venue is arguably the biggest decision you and your partner will make during the whole planning process, so you need to get it right.
We have come up with a few points to consider when choosing your venue:
Set a Budget and Stick To It!
It's easy to get carried away when you're trawling the internet for interesting venues to visit, but sometimes you can set your heights too high and end up being disappointed. Set yourself an achievable budget with a 10% negotiation buffer, but don't go above and beyond your means if you know it's an unobtainable goal. Your friends, family and memories are what will make the day special, not necessarily the amount you spend on a venue.
Having said that, if the venue offers packages (which most places do these days), it is worth exploring more in detail and not brushing it off at the first sign of too many zeros on the end of the price!
Visit the Venue a Few Times
If you fall in love every time you visit your chosen venue the same way you did when you first saw it, then it's the one for you! It's easy to be lulled into the dream of a beautiful venue on your first visit, but make sure you consider all the practicalities as well as the cost. We'd also recommend bringing someone other than your S/O to a second viewing as it's more likely they'll give you an honest opinion and not just say what you want to hear!
Keep an Open Mind
Remember that websites, photos, videos, etc don't always do a venue justice! If you've seen or heard about a fabulous venue but aren't convinced by what you've seen online, take into consideration that you've got nothing to lose by going to view it regardless. Equally, a price could initially throw you off, but it's only when you're on a show-around of a venue that you'll get a true feel of what the cost entails and how much you'll be getting for your hard earned cash.
Create Your Own Bespoke Package
Venues often forget that they are the main ingredient in making your special day, perfect! Unless it is completely outrageous and entirely un-doable, your chosen venue should be ready to meet all of your demands. From a certain way you'd like to arrive to your ceremony, to a special dish you'd like your guests to tuck into during the Wedding Breakfast, nothing should be out of the question!
The Guest List
Although your wedding is all about you and your partner, you do have to be mindful of your guests! Is your venue in a location where your party can get to? Will they need accommodation? Is there enough space in the venue to cater for your guest list? All these are important factors that you need to consider if you're hoping to get married surrounded by your loved ones!
What the experts say
Rebecca Simmons from For Every Hen
"When looking at venues it’s easy to get swept up in the experience (it is an incredibly exciting time, after all!). This is why I find it can be helpful for couples to write a ‘wish list’ before starting the search. Items to include could be logical (e.g. ‘must have an indoor option as a back-up in case of bad weather’) or could simply come down to the overall vibe they’re going for (i.e. ‘rustic theme’). By no means does this list have to be followed 100%, but it’s a great way to find a location that fits their vision nicely."
Lauren Grech from LLG Events
"Consider hiring a full-service wedding planner prior to deciding on your venue. This professional will know the right questions to ask so that your event vision can be properly executed within the venue space you're looking at - before you get your hopes up."
Yvette Sitters from Manage My Wedding
"Make sure you think about the logistics! With lots of guests arriving you'll want to find out if on-site parking is available, or if the venue will arrange taxis at the end of the night. You may also want to consider things such as whether there are disabled-friendly toilets."
Naomi Korolew from The Pop Up Wedding Collective
"1. To amp up the vibe choose a venue you can fill. Thirty people in a private dining room has more atmosphere that 80 people in a reception centre that can seat 200. Matching your numbers to the venue's capacity will create an instant party atmosphere. 2. If you're having kids at your wedding check you venue is kid-friendly; enclosed balconies and outside areas provide somewhere safe for the kids to play and a decent baby change facility is a good start. All of our pop up weddings also have a dedicated kids corner with age-appropriate activities and we cater specifically for kids. This means all the parents can relax and enjoy your wedding too. 3. Be sure to consider transportation options for your guests. A winery wedding may suit you perfectly, but there may not be any Ubers come 11pm. If transport is difficult consider providing a bus. 4. The best venues have the best staff. Love the look, but not the feel when you visit? Avoid."
If you'd like more information about our beautiful venue, please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org