When planning your wedding, the biggest decision (with the biggest price tag) is where your day will be held! Your venue sets the tone, the style and the budget for the rest of the wedding, and very few other aspects can be organised without having settled on a venue. But don’t panic about your decision! Here are a few tips to make choosing a venue a little easier:
Write out your guest list before you look for venues. Only once you know the size of your guest list can you begin to look for appropriate venues. Most venues either have a minimum or maximum number of guests that they can accommodate. So to avoid disappointment, find this out before you book to view the venue.
Decide on a budget. Your budget will be the most important aspect when it comes to looking for a venue. Don’t be afraid to ask for quotations on the number of guests you’d like to attend your wedding before viewing the venue. If it’s way out of your budget then discount it as a venue. You’re bound to find another venue that you love within your budget, so don’t panic! If you can’t bring yourself to walk away from the venue that’s out of budget, then think hard about whether the venue or the guest list is more important to you. Some people would prefer a larger guest list and less extravagant venue, whereas others would prefer a small and intimate guest list for the sake of having a lavish venue. This is totally up to you, but make sure you don’t put yourself in financial difficulty either way!
Think through appropriate locations. Whether it’s a weekend wedding in the countryside, or a chic inner city hotel, location is key! Think about how accessible the venue is for guests that might be travelling late on a Friday night to get there, or guests that might not drive but have to find transport to a church service and then from the church to the venue. Equally, look into accommodation if the venue doesn’t have any, and the cost of taxi’s from the venue to said accommodation. Weddings can be expensive occasions for guests too, so think about keeping suggestions of local accommodation to a more budget price tag. If you’re having a church ceremony or registry office service then think about the distance and time it will take for the wedding party to arrive at the venues you’re looking at. Don’t worry too much about the distance, but make sure to add an appropriate amount of time into the schedule for guests to travel between the two locations.
Make sure you’re both comfortable. A fancy venue can often make you feel a little intimidated or out of place. But on the other side of the coin, a blank canvas of a venue which needs a lot of time and hard work invested in it can make you feel nervous. Make sure you’re comfortable in your venue and with the amount of work that will need to be done to make your venue perfect for your wedding. Nobody wants their family and friends to stand uncomfortably at the ceremony, but if you’re comfortable, no doubt your guests will be too.
Go with your gut. Don’t overlook your gut feeling about a venue. If it looks pretty, but you don’t get a great vibe from the staff members, then take that into consideration. If you can’t quite justify the price tag, then look elsewhere. But if you both walk into a venue, mouths wide open and eyes aghast, then enjoy that moment, and remember that feeling when making your final decision.
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