How To Decide On Your Wedding Venue
So you’re newly engaged, and the sweet smell of celebratory champagne fills the air, you are on cloud nine! Then it dawns on you – you have a whole wedding to plan, and no idea where to start.
Potentially the most important decision of your entire wedding planning- where to tie the knot. This single decision decides the overall vibe of your wedding. Your venue can determine your attire, your food, your decor and your guest list.
Now I know, we’ve made it sound very daunting.
Don’t fear or fret – we are here to break down how to decide on your perfect wedding venue.
You can narrow down your wedding venue by checking six simple boxes – does it have the space we need, where is it located, what is included, is it in our budget, who are their vendors and is it our vibe?
First ask yourself, what sort of wedding are we wanting to have? Is it an intimate elopement or a large wedding with all of your extended friends and family.
This can help narrow down what sort of venue you are looking for. Intimate elopements don’t require large 250 person venues with all the trimmings, but instead something quaint and beautiful. Don’t let this limit you – large venues may also offer small packages that will fulfill your requirements, but make sure you check this first.
Similarly not every venue is willing to host your large wedding, some will have a cap on guest numbers and you need to consider if the venue or your guest list is more important to you.
Are you looking for a casual or an elegant wedding? Or perhaps something in between? This can decide what sort of venue you were looking for.
Outdoor weddings are great for a casual or bohemian style event, where as ball rooms are better suited for elegant and sophisticated weddings. You need to decide what sort of space you are looking for.
Another important question to ask yourself is do you want to travel and how far are you willing to travel? Destination weddings are growing more and more popular but are not for everyone, especially not for those with large guest lists.
Have a think about what sort of locations work for you, are you looking for a beach side, city or countryside venue? What venues are within a reasonable drive from you and your guests?
Is there accommodation relatively nearby to your venue or can you stay onsite? These are all important questions to ask your potential wedding venues.
Remember to ask about time limits and curfews your venue may have. Often wedding venues in densely populated areas require an earlier curfew to ensure they don’t annoy any neighbours, factor in if this is important to you.
Another important factor of your venue is their ceremony and reception locations. Though it may have been popular in the past to host your ceremony and reception in two different venues this has become less and less common.
If you are looking for a separate ceremony and reception venue then consider the distance between the two locations and how you and your guests will be transported from one wedding venue to the other.
If you are wanting to host your entire wedding in the one wedding venue, then have a look at both the ceremony and reception locations to ensure they encapsulate the idea you have for your wedding.
Make sure you factor in what is included when picking your wedding venue.
Some spaces are location only, where you must DIY the rest of your wedding, this means organising the vendors, the furniture and every other aspect of your wedding. For the adventurous, the creative and the thrifty this can be an amazing option. However, for those who want a laid back lead up to their special day, this is not the option for you.
Wedding venues vary from offering just furniture and lighting to some coming equipped with a full kitchen, bar and staff. You need to factor in what is important to you and what works best for your wedding day.
If your selected venue does offer these amazing inclusions be sure to check them out before locking anything in. Simple things like the furniture being what you envisioned and high-quality food can make or break a venue.
Have you been scrolling Instagram and Pinterest for a while and have a dream florist or photographer you want to work with for your wedding? Make sure this person will travel to your wedding venue of choice.
If you are set on a venue but nothing else ask them who their preferred vendors are. Each venue will have a team of celebrants, photographers, mobile bars and stylists who have worked at their venue many times. These people are going to build your wedding from the ground up and ensure each aspect of your day runs to plan for you.
Your key vendors work hand in hand with your venue, so it is important to factor everyone into the equation when it comes to your venue choice.
Does your choice of wedding have anything exciting or special they offer that other wedding venues might not? Perhaps yours comes with an awesome photobooth or car to transport you to the aisle – make sure you factor these into your decision making.
It goes without saying but we understand that not everyone can afford a Kardashian level wedding, with luxury everything, though budgets do differ wedding to wedding.
Once you’ve worked out your rough budget start looking at your favourite venues and see if they fit into your price range. DIY weddings often fall cheaper than all inclusive venues so make sure you factor in what you are looking for and what you can afford.
Perhaps you have set aside some money for a venue and some more for food, but can’t seem to find your dream venue in your venue price range. Try looking for a venue whos prices are inclusive of food or who offer it for extra in your package. This will often drop the call out fee for a food truck or caterers and tick another item off your wedding checklist.
If you’ve fallen in love with a venue thats just out of your price range see if you can cut costs elsewhere to fit it in. This can include DIYing your florals, having a talented friend do hair and makeup or even renting suits instead of buying.
It is important to note that there are many venues just off the beaten path who will offer gorgeous locations for lower prices as they are not as in demand as other venues. Don’t be afraid to scourer all corners of the internet to find your dream venue that works for you.
This may seem silly, but the cliche of walking into your venue for the first time and knowing it is the one is true. If you aren’t leaving the venue tour absolutely wowed and envisioning your wedding day then perhaps that venue isn’t for you.
If you aren’t inlove with your venue then keep searching, there is no harm in saying no to 100 venues until you find your perfect one ( although it may take alot of time).
Trust your gut- if you are touring a venue and you can’t stop thinking about another then that may be the one. Though it may seem intimidating, your gut instinct is always right.
Remember to think about the overall vibe and aesthtic you want your wedidng to have. Are you looking for a relaxed dinner with close friends or a large party that goes until all hours of the night. Some venues are better suited for intimate events while others are great at hosting large parties, make sure your choice in venue matches what you want your wedding to be like.
HOW TO FIND A WEDDING VENUE
Finding fun and unique wedding venues can be a challenge, and we know you don’t want to go to the exact spot your friend or family member was married – you want this to be your day.
Look beyond a simple google search and the first two options that pop up, you’ll be sure to find a hidden gem amongst the pages of google.
Try searching Instagram or Pinterest- go beyond just typing wedding venue into your search bar and try searching by finding real weddings in your local area and their venues, or even looking on wedding vendors pages to find locations they often visit.
You can find some great wedding venues with a little searching; though this may take longer than a simple google search your efforts will pay off when all of your guests are in awe of your stunning and secretive wedding venue.
Most of all, don’t be afraid to ask – perhaps there is a restaurant you and your partner love or a magnificent building you walk past on your way to work that would be willing to host your wedding. When on the hunt for your perfect wedding venue any place could be the one, so make sure you ask around and find the space that works best for you.
At the end of the day have fun finding your venue, enjoy making day trips with your partner touring your potential wedding venue and make the most of the wedding planning experience