This week I have been thinking about wedding venues and posting some links to local offers for certain venue. This got me wondering, what do I think the most important points are to consider, when searching for a venue for your special day..
One of the first tasks in planning any event, is to search for a venue that fulfils your requirements. Is the venue big or small enough, will it allow your envisioned theme and/or colour scheme to come to life and is it within budget.
A very common mistake is made is when a venue is booked purely because of the price or aesthetics without taking into account your own colour scheme or theme. When this happens, you may find your colours clash with the interior of the venue and further down the line something that you had envisaged for your day isn’t possible, such as using outside caterers or having games on the lawn during cocktail hour.
What you want to be able to do is fit your venue into your wedding, not plan your wedding around constraints you have BECAUSE of the venue.
There are three important points to consider when searching for your wedding venue:
The first is STYLE.
Ideally, you need to have had a discussion with your fiancée about what you are both hoping for on your wedding day, in terms of themes and colour schemes. Would you prefer something modern or vintage, relaxed or formal, intimate or grand? If you decide on the style of your wedding day before visiting venues, it will stop you from being taken in by a particular look that doesn’t fit what you have agreed.
The other thing to consider is that if you choose a venue that doesn’t fit your envision, you may find your outlay to transform the venue into what you dream of will just sky-rocket.
It is also important to know in advance whether you are looking for separate venues for the ceremony and reception. Separate venues will more than likely have different styling and therefore the budget for transformation will need to be higher. If you do choose to have separate venues then the cost and implication of travelling between the venues needs to be considered also.
The second is SIZE.
It is imperative to have some idea of your guest list, a rough estimation of how many people will be at both the ceremony and reception, when you are short-listing venues. You really don’t want to fall in love with a venue that means cutting your guest list in half as that just makes your life harder! You can find out about maximum capacities of most venues on their websites, if not, it is always worth giving them a call to double check.
However, at the same time as making sure a venue isn’t too small, you don’t want to have a venue that is too BIG either. This would affect the atmosphere of your day. For example, if you have 100 guests in a banquet hall that has a capacity of 500 people, your 100 friends and family are going to almost disappear in the space, there would be no warmth or encouragement for your friends and family to mingle and party together! This really can be the difference between a good wedding and a great wedding!
The third is BUDGET.
This is such a difficult subject to discuss as there are almost always unforeseen costs and disagreements about how much you, as a couple, are willing to spend on a venue. It really is important to have an estimated figure in mind of what you would like a venue to cost. Saying this, if you do happen to fall in love with a venue that costs more than you have set aside, look at other figures in the budget. Is this venue almost perfect in terms of fitting your theme? If so, then could you cut the budget for décor or hiring costs?
Another option, is to have your wedding day outside of the main wedding season, an off-peak wedding. At most venue’s it costs more to get married at the weekend, especially during the wedding season (June through to October).
A clever way to keep costs down when looking for a venue is to try and find a venue that isn’t commonly used as a wedding venue, such as a farm or gardens. To have a legally binding wedding ceremony in this type of space, there needs to be a solid structure in place which is licensed. Some venues get around this by erecting an open barn space or something similar. However there are other types of ceremony that you might want to consider, such as a humanist ceremony. If you do have a humanist ceremony on your wedding day, you would usually legalize your marriage at a register office either just before or just after.
I hope you have lots of fun searching for your wedding venue and that my words have helped keep (or put) things into perspective for you. If you would like to know how I, as a wedding planner, can help you to search for your dream venue then please email me at email@example.com.
Remember, location is the most important consideration when choosing your wedding venue.
(Image used above Crathorne Hall Hotel, in Durham as featured on Britains Finest).
(Image used above Wynyard Hall Hotel, Chapel in Wynyard as photographed by Dirk van der Wherff Wedding Photography).