Choosing your wedding venue
Your venue sets the date of your wedding day and is one of the most important decisions that you’ll need to make. Your décor and the amount of space that you have available to work with plays a large part in your wedding planning. You’ll need to feel completely comfortable with your decision. There are lot of things to consider when you go about selecting a venue. Here are my top tips to help you with that process.
Choose a venue that fits in with your story
Choosing the location should fit in with your story and should be relevant to all of your interests that you share. It’s there to enhance your theme so that you can then become more connected to that space as well as it being authentic enough that it represents you both.
If you prefer something a bit more laid-back and rustic, connecting with natural elements, set in the countryside, then a barn venue would be perfect. Maybe you would prefer to go that bit further with the outdoors theme and look at a venue such as a park or field; adding a marquee to really connect that bit further with nature or even give your wedding a festival feel with tipis and yurts. A blank canvas space that you can really make your own.
Be aware of your guest numbers and venue space requirements
It’s a good idea to know approximately how many guests you are expecting and this will save you time in the long run. If you have chosen a venue that is too small for the amount of guests that you are expecting, then you’ll have the heartache of cutting down a list and a lot of tough decisions to make. Make sure your venue can accommodate your guest numbers and what you would like to happen on the day. Eg ensuring that they hold a license to have a civil ceremony and that capacity allows this, as well as allowing enough space for a band/DJ, bar, or a seating area is key with a dry hire venue. You want to make sure that all of your guests can be seated in the same area for the wedding breakfast.
Know your budget
Knowing your budget is key. If you are going for a higher design, yet the venue also blows your budget out of the water, then you will have to carefully consider the location or cut back on those design elements. Decide what is important to you both and where your priorities lay by breaking the budget down into those key areas. Allocate a percentage amount to each element of your wedding and decide how much you would like to spend on the venue. You don’t want to find that your venue is more than you have allocated and you have little left for the design. Perhaps you may decide to go for a day other than a Saturday or in low season to save a bit.
A big decision affecting your venue is where it is located. Maybe you want to find a venue in a location that is significant to you or a place where you grew up. If you decide to have a religious ceremony you’ll then need to consider the transport of guests to a reception venue. Check any regulations and restrictions that are required at the religious ceremony. However, people are willing to travel to witness your special day so don’t let this hold you back in your decision making.
Or perhaps you would just prefer to have everything in the one place. Make sure that the venue you choose are happy to accommodate any requests that you have. You may even want to consider a wedding weekend with guests staying overnight. A great way to extend celebrations. If you have family and friends that are going to be travelling a fair distance to get to the venue, consider booking accommodation nearby early. Or perhaps your venue has a private field where you may be able to set up some glamping for guests. Also find out if there are any venue restrictions.
Factor these costs into your budget
Find out what is included in costs
Finding out exactly what you are getting for your money is really important to ensure you know what is included in the venue hire. Read the small print in the contract so that you are fully aware of what the conditions are.
Make sure you find out if the venue has a recommended supplier list or if they specify what suppliers you should or shouldn’t use. Check out their policy, there shouldn’t be any reason why you can’t use your own suppliers to make your day unique.
If you decide on a dry hire venue where you will need to hire in pretty much everything, the hire items may be more basic than you require. If you want an upgrade in quality, colour, chairs, linen etc then you’ll also need to factor this into your overall budget. To create that perfect day, stay in control and have a list of your non-negotiable items.
Carry out a number of venue visits
Once you have narrowed your venue choices down, go and have a look at these venues a few times each, before you make your final decision. You may notice things that you did not previously see, or look at a venue in a different light a second time round. Ensure you ask as many questions as possible and try and meet as many of the staff so you can engage the vibe of the venue. Doing this may cement your decision for your perfect venue.
Have a back up plan if your site is outdoors
If your site is located outside, ensure you have a backup plan B option. You’ll need to love your plan B as much as your plan A. Make sure you know this second option before you confirm your venue and that you are happy with it. You don’t want to get caught out in the rain! Having umbrellas available is a good option or perhaps hiring parasols to shade the sun. Consider the indoor as well as the outdoor space.
Mostly try and keep an open mind when visiting venues and see what is out there. You never know, you may be pleasantly surprised!
If this is an element that you haven’t started to look at yet for your wedding day and you think you will need a helping hand with your planning, take a look at my wedding planning services. Lets see how we can ease that process for you!