One of the first and most important decisions you’ll make when planning your wedding, is choosing that all-important venue. Once you’ve decided on your wedding venue, all the other elements of the day will fall into place… colour schemes, themes, decor and so on. With so much hinging on your venue, there’s a certain pressure to get it just right. So where do you start and what determines if a venue is right for you? Here, we share some factors to consider when choosing your wedding venue.
With a large proportion of your wedding budget being devoted to your venue, a good starting point is deciding how much you’re willing to spend. It’s the least fun part of wedding planning, so our advice is to get it out of the way early. Sit down with your other half, determine the style of venue you like and look into the rates for this type in order to give you a good starting point. Determining how much you can afford on the type of venue you like will at least save you the heartache of falling in love with a venue which your budget doesn’t stretch to. It’s worth baring in mind that typically, 50% of your wedding budget is devoted to your venue.
Size of the matter
As not all wedding venues can accommodate every party size, it’s a good idea to work out early how many guests you intend to invite. Most venues will have a minimum number of guests per wedding so if you have an intimate affair in mind, make sure you check out those which specifically cater for smaller weddings. When viewing venues, check out the reception room, keeping in mind if the space will accommodate your wedding size. An empty room may look large but bear in mind that it will be filled with guests, tables, chairs, a band or DJ, the buffet and dance floor. Suddenly the room will seem smaller. Check if you can pop your head in when there’s a wedding of a similar size to yours taking place. If this isn’t possible, at least view photos of the room made up.
Eat, drink and be merry
Your venue should also afford spaces where guests can eat, drink, talk and dance the night away. Are there natural areas which lend themselves to these scenes? When standing in your reception room, try to visualise where these activities will happen. If you are inviting older guests, check if there is a quiet area they can retire to, should they wish.
If privacy is important to you, it can definitely influence your choice of venue. Not all wedding venues offer a one wedding per day policy, so if you don’t want to run into another bride, make sure you choose a venue where this won’t happen. Remember, that in hotels, there are likely to be other guests staying there so if this doesn’t appeal to you, alternative venues such as a stately home or a private marquee may be more suitable.
No doubt you’ll want perfect wedding photography to reflect your day so when choosing your venue, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. If possible, choose a reception room with plenty of natural lighting. Furthermore, you’ll want to make sure your venue boasts beautiful backdrops for photos. As well as locations outside, scout the venue to ensure the interior offers a wealth of photo opportunities should the weather limit you to indoors. Ask to see photos of previous weddings, especially from the same season as you intend to wed in order to get a feel for what can be achieved.
If you have a certain theme or colour scheme in mind, check whether your reception room lends itself to this. Thankfully, most rooms are neutral coloured meaning they complement an array of finishing touches. Just check that the walls, carpets, chairs and curtains don’t drastically clash or conflict with your mood or theme.
Remember, the majority of your guests will stay overnight so consider accommodation. If your venue doesn’t have rooms, check if there are many places in the local area where guests can stay the night of the wedding. It’s not a deal breaker but check if there is parking near by also.