How to Choose Your Perfect Wedding Venue
There are so many important things to consider as you plan your wedding and potentially one of the most important decisions is choosing where to get married and/or hold your wedding celebrations. Whilst pretty much every aspect of a wedding is optional from whether to have a first dance, cutting the cake or having a large or small bridal party, a venue is the one thing you can’t skip. After all, you’ve got to have somewhere to get married and for your friends and family to celebrate.
So how do you go about choosing the venue for your wedding? What are the key things to consider and how do you know if you’re on the right track or not? Whilst some of you might already know exactly where you want your wedding to be hosted the majority of couples don’t have a fixed place in mind. This blog post is here to help you narrow down the choices available, so whether you are looking for a cosy barn, a beautiful beach, ballroom or manor house read on to find my top tips for picking your perfect wedding venue.
Choose a Venue that Fits Your Theme
It may seem obvious, but if you are having a particular look or aesthetic for your nuptials you’ll want to seek venues that fit in with that. If you are planning a modern wedding you could seek out industrial spaces, nice restaurants or modern town halls. Or if you are having something more traditional venues with plenty of outdoor spaces, stately rooms and sweeping staircases may be more your vibe. Choosing a venue that ultimately fits with your theme and perhaps even enhances it will ensure every element of your wedding is cohesive and your wedding photographs will highlight that too.
Know Your Budget (And the Guest List)
It’s worth noting that your budget for your venue won’t just be hiring the space itself but you’ll also have other things to consider and budget for too. From catering to linen hire and then the cost of decorating the area if you are planning on having a blank-space venue can all add up. Know how much your budget is along with how much it’s likely to cost to decorate your space, if the cost of those added up completely blows your budget you may need to think about hiring a different space or scaling back on your décor. You should break down your overall budget early on in your wedding planning process and ensure that everything is affordable. Blowing your budget early on at your venue can make for a bit of an uphill battle keeping everything else in check across all of your other wedding suppliers and items left to organise. That’s not to say you can’t plan to go big on your venue but having a rough budget allocated to each item you’d like to have, as part of your wedding will ensure everything and everybody gets paid and that you don’t have any expensive surprises along the way! If you are unsure of where to begin in putting together a wedding budget or how much you should allocate to which area you can consult with a local wedding planner who will be able to give you ideas of costs for each element you’d like for your wedding. There’ll also be able to give an insight into venues you may not have thought of and will know clever ways to bring down costs too.
Knowing your guest list and how many people you can expect to be at your wedding will save you a lot of wasted trips and potential heartache down the line too. Couples can sometimes underestimate their wedding numbers so it’s a good idea to settle on a guest list before you search for venues so that you hire an appropriate size and don’t have to have any awkward conversations down the line. It’ll also give you a much better understanding of your budget, as a lot of your venue costs will be dependent on how many guests are attending for each part of your day. Similarly knowing how many children will be attending and whether you’d like to invite children at your wedding or not and how child friendly your venue can be may impact on your final choice.
What are your absolute must-haves?
When making your shortlist for your wedding venue consider what is included in your overall venue hire. This will be especially helpful if you find yourself struggling to choose between two or more wedding venues. You may also have minimum spends to factor in when it comes to their in-house catering or bar hire so watch out for costs such as these that can add up quickly. If you are having a late wedding or one with guests who will need to travel a distance to celebrate with you ensure your venue either has on-site accommodation or is close enough by to a selection of hotels for your out-of town guests. Consider your guests comfort too as most guests will stay over for a wedding and may wish to nip to their room or hotel in-between your day and evening receptions to freshen up or change.
Do you have anything that you’d like your venue to be able to accommodate such as a large dance floor, space for entertainment or lawn games or a space to get ready at the venue prior to your wedding. Make a list with your partner of the absolute must haves your venue needs to have and anything that you’d like for the venue to have but isn’t a deal breaker.
Remember though with the pressures of social media, Pinterest weddings and magazine worthy weddings it’s very easy to become obsessed with a version of a wedding you found online. It’s much more important to have a wedding that represents you both as a couple and to choose a theme and space that allows that vision to shine. Lots of venues will look beautiful when they are dressed to perfection but what’s most important is that you find a venue that you both love and is the perfect backdrop to yours.
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