You’ve got engaged and probably the first thing that goes through your mind is… where? Picking your wedding venue is of course one of the most important key considerations when planning your big day. Pick a venue that encapsulates the look and feel you want to create on the day. Don’t try to recreate a barn wedding in a stately home, or a festival vibe in a castle or you’ll end up confusing your guests and spending more money on hiding the key features of the venue that probably attracted you to it in the first place!
How big does the main function room have to be, to accommodate all of your guests? And the question to ask yourself is, are you prepared to rethink your guest list for the right venue? If not, don’t even look at it!
2) Do you want to have your ceremony on-site?
Whether you are opting for a church ceremony, a civil ceremony or want a celebrant-lead humanist ceremony, you need to determine whether you can have everything under one roof if that’s your preference or ensure that your ceremony venue is within half an hour of your reception venue so that you don’t lose too much of your celebrating time stuck on the motorway, caught up in football traffic!
Check whether your ceremony has a licence to hold ceremonies and whether there are any restrictions on timings etc.
Don’t forget, it is legally your responsibility to book the registrar, the wedding venue can’t do that for you and don’t leave it too late or you might not get the time you want, especially if you’re hoping for a Saturday in the height of wedding season!
3) Food and drink.
Do you have a particular caterer in mind? Or does your favourite uncle want to provide your wine from his vineyard as your wedding gift?
Often venues have restrictions on the caterers you can use and might not offer corkage or permit you to bring in your own alcohol. If this is going to be a deal breaker for you, make sure you read the small print before committing.
4) How long do you want to party the night away?
Can you live with the music and dancing stopping at midnight or is it imperative that you and your guests can celebrate as late and long as you want to? If the venue has a cut-off point, are you close enough to the local nightlife so you can carry on celebrating there or back at your hotel?
5) Entertainment & Décor
Finally, you need to check what the venue will and won’t let you do when it comes to decorating the space. Can you decorate your venue in whichever way you want? Are you permitted to hang, attach and display to your heart’s content? Are you thinking candles, bunting or confetti cannons to create the exact look that you’re aiming for? Also, does the venue allow you to bring in whichever suppliers you wish? Or are those Fireworks or Chinese lanterns a major no no? And if you can’t have them, will put a real dampener on proceedings or would you be prepared to compromise on certain elements for the right venue?
If you would like to hear more about ensuring you pick the perfect wedding venue, then listen to my podcast for 6 top tips to ensuring you pick the perfect venue for your special day.
Blog written by Zoe Binning from weddingsbyzoe.