Choosing the wedding venue that’s perfect for what you’ve got planned for your big day is one of the most challenging decisions you’ll have to make.
It needs to be practical, affordable and ideal for you and your guests.
There’s certainly a lot to consider and knowing where to start can be hard-work. That’s why we’ve compiled a guide to the main things you need to think about when you start your search.
1. Seeking out a venue will most likely be one of the first things you’ll do, so try to establish a rough budget and get an idea of how many guests you’ll be inviting.
2. Think about the kind of wedding you want: a lavish large-scale affair? Or something a little more low-key? The venue provides the back-drop to your big day, so it needs to reflect and complement the style of your nuptials.
3. You’ve probably got a good idea of which season you want to marry in. Make sure that you get a look at photos of the venue at that particular time of year and don’t be afraid to ask about heating/air-conditioning and lighting.
4. If you long for a contemporary, minimalist wedding, then you’ll need to find a venue which is designed in that style. It’s best to choose a modern building to house proceedings and important to look for a sleek interior that will complement the modern look you favour.
However, if something a little more tradition is more appealing, then check-out the array of stately homes and period properties that could be perfect for you. Just make sure that they’re easily accessible for all of your guests.
5. Find out what the venue offers you. Will you be renting just the space? Or will table, chair and linen hire be available also?
6. Although the car park may look big when its empty, will it accommodate all of your guests’ vehicles when full? Think about how your guests will get to the location and if they’ll be able to park safely and easily when they arrive.
7. Find out if catering is carried out in-house by the venue’s own staff or if outside caterers are used. See if you can get a taste of the kind of food that’s on offer. Also, ask if the waiters are employed by the venue or if they’re from an agency.
8. You’ll need to establish if there is more than one wedding co-ordinator or master of ceremonies. Do you get to meet and discuss your day with that person directly before your wedding?
9. Don’t act in haste. It’s worth visiting all of the venues on your shortlist before you make a decision. You may come across a venue that seems perfect, but before you sign the contract, ensure that you are thoroughly satisfied that it will provide you with everything you and your guests require.
10. Don’t feel pressured to book or sign the contract if you’re presented with a special offer or cut rate – any good venue will give you time to go away and think before you make your final decision.