Choosing your wedding venue is one of the most important decisions you’ll make about your big day, and also probably one of the first. Once you’ve decided on that, everything else can fall into place.
Everyone’s taste is different and each couples perfect wedding venue will be completely different, so it’s not an easy choice. But here’s a guide to a few questions you might want to ask when researching venues.
By far the most boring parts of wedding talk, money. Working out your budget first, and how much of that you want to commit to a venue (It’s typically about 50% of the total budget) will help refine your choice. You don’t want to go and look around a venue first, fall in love with it, and find out it completely blows your budget out of the water.
Each venue will have a certain capacity for the ceremony and the evening do, so I’d suggest already having those numbers to hand, as I suggest in my getting started with wedding planning blog. They’ll also have a minimum number of guests too, so keep an eye on that as well if you’re planning an intimate affair.
As well as ceremony numbers, check out the total number of guest for the evening, and the size of the room. A huge room might look empty if you only have 50 guests. But also, adding in a live band and tables and chairs etc takes does mean that what looks huge when empty, might be a lot smaller once it’s set up.
Chances are at some point you’re going to have to leave the main room while they switch it around from your wedding breakfast to the party. Does the venue have some nice spaces that people can mingle in during this time? If it rains is there a covered area?
Do you want exclusive use of a venue? Or are you happy for the bar to be open to the public? Some venues don’t offer exclusive hire, some are exclusive only and others have several weddings on at the same time. So if privacy is important to you this may narrow your search down a little. But if you don’t mind the odd random in the background, then you have more to choose from.
If beautiful photos are important to you then ask yourself does the venue have some beautiful spaces for photos? It might be some stunning architecture, or a tree lined field we can take a walk through or even an adjacent farmers field the venue has permission to use.
If it rains is there somewhere to take portraits inside? Or are you just going to embrace the rain and not mind getting your dress wet?
If your guests are travelling to your wedding then they’re going to need somewhere to stay. Do you want that to be at the venue, or elsewhere? If at the venue, then you’re going to need somewhere with plenty of rooms.