Selecting a wedding venue takes a lot of time and research and can often be one of the hardest parts of planning a wedding. It’s the first step towards your vision and often the first big decision you’ll be making. You need to make sure that your venue ticks all the right boxes before you make a final decision. Your wedding venue selection will influence your budget as well as the atmosphere on the day so before you sign on the dotted line, below are three important things to consider before selecting a wedding venue.
Look at how many people you’re planning to invite to your wedding versus the number of people the venue can comfortably cater for. A crowded reception can be quite uncomfortable and if a venue is too large, it can affect the atmosphere and the overall look and feel. Put an initial guest list together before you start venue shopping so that you can make a better decision.
Something to also keep in mind is the location of your venue. If your ceremony is at a second location, how far is that away from your reception venue? Is the venue close to hotels for your out-of-town guests? Are there activities around you can suggest while friends and family are in town? These aren’t the most important things to consider since it will ultimately be a choice of the heart, but worth a thought. Bottom line – you should love your venue and your guests will happily go wherever you are to help you celebrate!
Do you want a venue that has an area for your ceremony? An all-in-one type of venue so that you and your guests can stay all at one place? Does it have a room or area for you and the wedding party to get ready in?
Will you need to go to another location for your couple & wedding party photos? If there isn’t an area you love for photos, keep in mind the travel time and proximity to a second location for photos. This is not necessarily a negative – just something to keep in mind when planning your timeline to make sure you have plenty of time!
Alcohol and drinks are a big part of your wedding so it’s important to find out whether you can bring your own alcohol and what the costs are or if the venue will supply the drinks. Since you will also need a licensed bartender to serve alcohol, find out whether the venue can assist with this so that you can factor those costs into your final budget. There are lots of bar services out there and catering services you can hire if you are choosing a remote or more rustic venue. Will you need to rent a bar or is there a bar on-site you can use?
You’re going to be working with several different vendors in the time leading up to and on your wedding day. Many venues require you to use their vendors so find out about this before you make a booking. If they do work with specific vendors, make sure that you’re happy with their experience, style, personality, and pricing. When a venue works with preferred vendors, it does mean they’re confident in their experience and ability to deliver but it’s more important for you to choose vendors that fit in with your budget and overall preferences. These lists can (sometimes) be old and not often updated so make sure you’re working with only people you are really passionate about.
There are many different factors to consider when choosing the perfect wedding venue but make sure that it’s a space that speaks to your personalities and style as a couple. Start by talking to your partner about your shared vision for your day. Narrowing down the type of venue will make looking for and choosing your venue so much easier. Do you want to play lawn games outside at a cozy venue? Do you want a formal affair in a ballroom with grand chandeliers? Is it a cool, modern loft-style reception for you? Do I want to celebrate with everyone I know or keep it to my closest friends and family? Answers to these types of questions will keep you focused and on the right path to finding the perfect place for you and cut down on the number of places for you to tour. Need help? Hiring an event planner is always a good idea and can give you lots of valuable insight and help!
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