Finding the dream wedding venue is probably the most exciting and most difficult challenge any new couple-to-be faces. Whatever the final choice, it will have an impact of the whole wedding organisation. The selected venue will set the style, the colour palette, the overall tone of the reception and of the ceremony. So how to make the right choice?
Before thinking of a venue, make a list of guests and determine how large the space should be. Too small for your number of guests and the room will feel stuffy and overcrowded, but too big and guests will feel lost and the space will feel cold. It is useless to visit venues that are either too big or too small for your event. Moreover, an accurate guest list will help you break down your budget, as some costs are very dependent on the number of people you’re inviting.
Set your total wedding budget and consider how much you can afford for your dream venue. This will automatically exclude venues that are too expensive.
Once you know what best suits you as a couple, you can then begin searching for places to suit your requirements and focus on the details.
If you have a specific date for your wedding in mind, and you have a popular dream venue in mind, you should consider booking it at least 12 to 18 months prior to the wedding date.
If you have a dream venue but it isn’t available on your date, or you can’t afford it, consider scheduling your wedding for an off-peak time like November, early December, January or February. There’ll be less competition for venues and prices will also be cheaper. You can also consider a midweek wedding though some guests may not be able to attend.
What type of event do you want? Is it going to be formal or informal? Do you want something traditional or modern? Are you fascinated by bohemien weddings or do you prefer more classic ones? These are just some of the questions you should ask yourself to establish your preferred style. By identifying the elements you’d like to incorporate into your wedding, you’ll narrow down your list of potential venues.
Consider the kind of wedding you have dreamed about for your whole life and stay true to yourselves! Do not let friends or relatives or any social trend dictate where to host your reception. It has to be a place you feel comfortable with and which reflects your personality as individuals and as a couple. Last but not least, the venue has to fit with and even enhance your wedding aesthetic.
The theme of your wedding will be directly influenced by the wedding venue you’ve chosen. If you’re considering a certain theme and color palette for your wedding, make sure the site’s existing, nonremovable décor doesn’t clash with your vision. The venue doesn’t have to be done in the exact colors as your planned decorations, but the walls, carpets, chairs and curtains shouldn’t drastically conflict with your reception’s mood or theme.
If your wedding ceremony and reception are to be held at two different sites, make sure they are close to each other. Especially if you are having a Destination Wedding. If the two sites are more than one hour apart, that could make things hectic for your guests. Think about the accessibility of your venue. If a large number of your guests are coming from abroad, consider choosing a venue that’s near an airport and is easily accessible by road. Trasportation might be necessary for out-of-town guests. There should also be accommodation at your venue or nearby.
It may seem irrelevant when choosing a venue, but parking is a critical factor, especially if you are having your reception in a city centre
Whatever kind of event you are going to choose, make sure that the venue has enough spaces for contingency plans. They may involve the outdoor ceremony, some parts of the reception like the welcome drinks, and the cake cut or the whole wedding reception, if you plan an outdoor one. The last think you want is to plan for a fantastic wedding and have rain destroy the magic!
Lighting plays an important part in any event. It may easily become a potential limitation for photographers in case there isn’t adequate lighting.
If you are having an indoor ceremony during the day, does the room have lots of natural daylight? For an evening ceremony/reception does the venue provide adequate lighting? Will you be able to set up candles if necessary? If additional lighting is necessary, does the venue have enough power outlets? This also applies for entertainment. Your band or DJ have to rely on enough power outlets spread across the venue inside and outside according to the flow of the day
The view from the venue and any outdoor space is also a massive plus not only for photographs but for your guests enjoyment. Does the venue have grounds or ample outdoor space? This is useful if you have children attending and for guests to stretch their legs after the reception meal or to smoke a cigarette. Consider what your guests will see when they walk into the room or when stretching outside. Think about whether there’s somewhere inside or outside to take gorgious pictures.
If you’re looking at some venues that are full-service, and some where you can bring in your own vendors and decor, be sure to price everything out. A venue with tables, chairs, and linens included might cost more upfront than a venue where you need to rent your own, but you should get an estimate from a rental company to see how they compare when you’ve added on the price of renting things for yourself. And remember that the included rental items are often more basic (white linens, standard flatware, banquet chairs, etc.), so you may still end up paying more to rent items that fit your vision better! Just balance your preferences with the available budget and make your choice.
Finally, before choosing your wedding venue, think about the flow of the day and ask yourself the questions: where will the ceremony be held? Where will the reception take place? How will the guests move from one area to the other? Will the venue staff have enough time to set the place without being noticed by the guests? Does it have enough space for the adult and kids entertainment?
Once you have gone through all these questions and have got the answers, you are ready to make your final choice and choose your Dream Wedding Venue!