how to find the perfect wedding venue
You've just got engaged, the ring is on your finger and now everyone is going to ask you 'When is the big day???!' If you're still looking for your perfect venue our tips below can help you to find and choose the right location for you.
step one: Home or Away?
This sounds like an obvious one but decide geographically where you want the wedding.
Have you always dreamed of getting married in your home town, the place you live now or are you looking for something more exotic? Not sure where is right for you? Then you have a bit more to consider.
Some things to weigh up are: How far will your guests have to travel? If it involves a plane ride are you ready to accept that some people may not be able to come? Is there plenty of accommodation around for people to stay? Will you have to put on transport to get your guests back at the end of the night? Are there vendors in the area that suit your style? And really importantly have you got the time to visit the location 4-5 times over the planning period to meet suppliers if needed? Or if your wedding is further away are you happy doing most of the planning remotely and potentially appointing vendors without meeting them face to face? Remember to build these travel costs into your wedding budget.
step two: Logistics and Budget - The Sensible Part
Work out what the venue needs to deliver and what you can afford. How many guests do you think you'll realistically have (time to do the initial guest list!) and how much can you afford to spend on catering and venue hire? What do you want the venue to manage and provide? Are you looking for a blank canvas where you bring everything in yourself or do you want the venue to manage it all for you?
Work out what you want the venue to provide, how much you can afford to spend and start doing your desktop research.
Online directories, google and recommendations from friends or vendors is a great place to start. Then start getting venue information packs either by downloading from the venue website or emailing them to request a electronic version. This is a great way to work out cost per head on food and drink and educate yourselves on what different venues can offer.
step three: Decide on your style - The Fun Part!
Now you know what you need you can focus on what you want! This is probably easier as you'll have in your head what the perfect day looks like for you. Do you want something grand and opulent or something relaxed with a water view? Start looking on venue finding websites and use your 'need' list to help refine all the beautiful venues that are on your 'want' list.
Refine and Visit - The Detailed Part
So the venue ticks (nearly) all the boxes and looks great online? Do a little more desk top research and have a stalk around. A trick from us - Google the venue with 'wedding' and then flick to images. Click on images of weddings and you should be able to find photographers who have shot weddings and put on their website. You'll be able to see how people have styled the venue in different ways. Instagram is another great way to see the venue from a different perspective.
Happy with everything you've seen? Then arrange to do viewings and meet with the venue manager.
If you can do your visits to different venues closely together this is a big bonus as the information from each venue will be fresh in your mind. Read through the information packs before you go and work out key questions to take with you.
When your there ask clearly what is included and excluded and how hands on the venue will be on the day to help you set up and pack down. Can you bring your own suppliers or are you restricted to use theirs?
Before you commit make sure you research how much will it cost you to bring in anything the venue wont supply, basics like tables and chairs can really add up.
Our biggest tip is to take photos of the venue so you can refresh your memory after.
remember...Have fun and enjoy the process
Finding the venue is a bit part of the wedding planning process and can feel overwhelming but make sure you have fun with it. When you go to visit venues perhaps enjoy a weekend away at the same time if you're going further afield or make sure you have a nice lunch or treat yourself to a glass of bubbly at the end of the day on your site visits. Check all the details with your partner and ensure you're happy and clear on everything before you sign on the dotted line. Good luck!