Choosing a wedding venue is probably the biggest decision when you plan your big day. On the one hand booking the wedding venue is going to take a big bite out of your budget. On the other it sets the whole tone of the event. There’s lots to think about so we’ve prepared a list of important criteria that an experienced wedding planner would consider before making a final recommendation.
Space. You don’t want somewhere that’s going to cramp your style. Likewise you must avoid picking a wedding venue so large that you rattle around in it. Also consider the proportion and layout of the rooms. Are these adequate for the different stages of your event – welcoming guests, the ceremony itself, the wedding breakfast, dancing and partying, breakout rooms where people can chat quietly?
Style.Keep the theme of your wedding in mind - glamorous and formal, casual and relaxed or rustic and boho? Be careful to choose a wedding venue that works with whatever you have in mind.
Budget.Check what’s included in the price – otherwise you might be struggling to find the money for something you mistakenly thought was covered (PA system, cake stand and knife, resident DJ, unlimited tea and coffee?)
Photography.Your wedding is not just one day – it’s about making memories that last a lifetime. Take care to pick a wedding venue that provides a suitably romantic and picturesque setting for the photographs. Look for ready-made backdrops and scenes, both indoors and out, that will make for great shots.
Gardens.If you are planning a wedding in the warmer months this is especially important – pick a venue that provides the opportunity for drinks on the lawn, photographs in the sunshine, room for kids to let off steam and guests to stretch their legs.
Cuisine.Wedding celebrations have always involved eating and drinking so it’s vital you find a venue that excels in this regard. We’ve become a foodie nation so guests have high expectations. Everything not only has to taste delicious but must be imaginatively presented – a wedding is a theatrical occasion so it’s important to provide a feast for the eyes! A formal dinner alone is not enough - canapes and snacks will be required throughout the day and evening. You might also want to go for a barbecue or hog roast, street food or cream teas? Just make sure you pick a wedding venue that has the culinary capabilities you need.
Drinks.Almost as important as the food. Whether you want to serve vintage champagne or mojitos, real ales or a particular Pinot Noir, make sure the venue is geared up to meet your specific requirements.
Accommodation.It’s probably best to find a wedding a venue that provides accommodation for the bride and groom, as well as the most important family and friends. Just check that they are to the same standard as the rest of the facilities. You don’t want to spend your wedding night in a room that’s not totally magical and perfectly romantic. Nor do you want to disappoint the rest of your party. If the venue can’t accommodate everyone are there plenty of other good options nearby?
Venue team.Does the wedding venue have an experienced team that can genuinely provide all the advice, help and support you need? Also check their attitude - look for people who are as excited about your wedding day as you are!
So, there you go – everything you need to know about how to choose a wedding venue. Well, not everything, but if you focus on these areas you won’t go far wrong.