With so many fabulous venues and locations to choose from, it can be impossible to know where to begin. Let’s take a look at some essential questions that can really help you track down the perfect place.
1. Is it the right size?
Before you begin to search for your perfect venue, a few crucial decisions need to be made. One of these is the number of guests you plan to invite. Writing an initial guest list gives you a good starting point, and you may decide to cut it down a little from there. When looking at venues, you’ll need to check the number each one can accommodate for your ceremony (unless you plan to have a religious service) and sit down wedding breakfast, and make sure it fits the bill. There is no way a venue seating 50 for dinner will suit a guest list of 150!
2. Can it cater for your needs?
When considering how to choose a wedding venue, you are likely to have certain requirements. Write list of essentials that you can’t manage without. You might, for example, want your chosen venue to have a civil ceremony license, overnight accommodation, or an in-house caterer. If it’s essential to you, don’t compromise. If, for example, you have your heart set on a firework display, your chosen venue will need to allow fireworks. Work out what is important to you, and stick to it.
3. Does it suit your style?
Chances are, you’ll have a vision of your wedding in your mind. This might be classic and traditional, or minimalist and contemporary. Search for venues that suit your style, and the look you would like to achieve on your wedding day. Of course, you can only really ‘suss’ out the style by visiting a venue and seeing it with your own eyes. As you walk around, try to imagine your dream décor in situ. Picture your ceremony, your wedding breakfast and all the details you would like to include.
4. Does the location suit?
Location is always important. After all, you and your guests must be able to reach your chosen venue with relative ease. If you choose a venue that is not close to home, be sure to investigate travel arrangements and pass details of train stations, airports, major road networks and other useful information on to your guests. It’s also a good idea to give lists of local accommodation to any guests who are likely to stay overnight.
5. Is it available?
It might sound obvious, but one of the first questions to ask is whether the venue is available on your chosen date. If you can be flexible with your date, this might not matter too much, but if your date is set in stone and the venue is already booked, it’s a deal breaker.
6. Does the price tag fit your budget?
While we might all love to ignore any thought or conversation regarding budget and finances, it must be a consideration. There is nothing less romantic than going in to married life in debt because you have overspent on your wedding. Allocate a sensible percentage of your budget to the venue, and only look at places that fit that price tag. If it’s too expensive, you either need to look elsewhere, cut the guest list or lower the budget on another element such as your dress, entertainment or honeymoon.
7. Do you get the goosebump moment?
None of the essentials matter at all if a venue doesn’t give you that marvellous, magical feeling when you visit. It’s the same as choosing the perfect dress, or finding a new home… sometimes when you walk in the right venue, you just know it. When you have a shortlist of possible venues, book show arounds and see whether the magic strikes!
With so many amazing venues, there’s a strong possibility that you might get overwhelmed before you even start looking properly! Use our handy guide to work out Which Type Of Venue Is Right For You and you’ll soon discover the type of venue you want to spend your special day in.