Picking the Perfect Wedding Venue

Filed under:

One of the most exciting and crucial decisions you’ll make when planning your wedding is choosing the perfect venue. Your venue sets the tone for the entire celebration and so plays a significant role in the vibe you’ll be able to create. In this journal entry, I’ll guide you through the process and perhaps uncover some considerations you hadn’t previously thought about.

budget

Before you start searching for wedding venues, establish a realistic budget. It’s essential to have a clear understanding of how much you’re willing to spend on the venue which will help to narrow down your options. Most venues will charge a hire fee and then you’ll pay for catering on top, either through the venue themselves or a third-party caterer, so explore the options fully. Knowing your budget from the outset will help you avoid the disappointment of falling in love with a venue that’s out of reach financially.

location

The location of your wedding venue can have a significant impact on your guest list and overall experience. Consider how easy it is for your guests to reach the venue, especially if you have people travelling from afar. If you’re planning a destination wedding, make sure the location is accessible and has accommodation options nearby. Additionally, think about the backdrop and surroundings of the venue. Does it offer the type of aesthetic you’d love for your wedding photos?

guest list and capacity

Before you start viewing potential venues, finalise your numbers, or at least have a rough idea of the maximum number of guests you’ll be looking to invite. This will help you choose a venue that can comfortably accommodate your guest count, and you can also ask for layout examples for similar-sized weddings. Seeing how weddings with similar guest numbers were set up can be really helpful in making your decision. Ideally, you neither want it to be too cramped or feel too sparse.

styling

Always consider the style and atmosphere you envision for your wedding. Do you want a rustic barn wedding, an elegant stately home, or a relaxed garden celebration? Your choice of venue should align with both the look and feeling you want to create. I’d always encourage having your venue picked before delving in too deep with your styling plan. The venue and the spaces you’ll use in it play such an integral part in the decor decision making, but if you’ve got a rough idea of what you want to create it’ll help with narrowing down your choices. Look for venues that have the right look and feel or can be easily transformed to match your vision.

services

Different venues offer different amenities and services. Some may provide catering, while others require you to bring in an external caterer.

Consider what’s included in the venue’s package, such as furniture and linens. Question whether you like their standard offering or whether you’d want to hire in upgraded items as this will all affect your budget.

Additionally, enquire about the availability of dressing rooms for the wedding parties, are you able to get ready on site, and if so from what time? If you’re having hair and make-up done and it’s a large party this will often start very early so it’s important to know what time you can access any getting ready facilities.

Other things to consider include:

Accommodation – if the venue offers rooms, can they offer you a special rate to share with guests? If there isn’t any at the venue itself, are there options for a variety of budgets nearby?

Parking – is there any? And is the venue happy for cars to be left overnight, if so, what time must they be collected by the following day? You’ll need to advise your guests of this.

Taxis – Are there plenty in the area or are they sparse and so would need to be pre-booked. Again, this is all information to let your guests know – often on an ‘info card’ with their invite so they can make the necessary arrangements well in advance.

season and weather

The time of year you plan to have your wedding might influence your venue choice. If you’re having a winter wedding, you’ll want a venue with beautiful and cosy indoor spaces. For a summer wedding, outdoor venues with beautiful gardens or waterfront views can be stunning. Of course, in the UK there is no guaranteeing what the weather will be doing in any season, so my top tip is to always ensure you love both the inside and outside spaces a venue offers. It would be really upsetting to plan an outdoor ceremony in beautiful grounds that can’t go ahead because of bad weather, and ending up in an indoor room you don’t like!

restrictions and regulations

Each venue will have its own set of rules and regulations that you must follow. These will include everything from noise restrictions, finishing time, alcohol policies, and more. Always be sure to thoroughly review the contract and ask your venue coordinator about any specific restrictions that may affect your plans.

conclusion

Choosing the perfect wedding venue is perhaps the biggest step in your wedding planning journey (apart from choosing each other, of course!). By considering factors such as your budget, location, guest list, style, season, and any restrictions, you can narrow down your options and find the ideal place to say “I do.” Remember that your wedding venue should not only be visually appealing but also practical and comfortable for you and your guests. Happy hunting!

Photography credits:

Jamie Edward Photography http://jamieedward.co

Jennifer Jane Photography http://jenniferjanephotography.co.uk

Melissa Megan Photography http://melissameganphotography.co.uk

Adam Drake Photography http://adamdrakephotography.co.uk

Maddie Waters Photography http://maddiewaters.co.uk