You’ve just got engaged and are set on marrying sometime in the near future – congratulations! Enjoy the moment, because the hard work is just beginning.
Once you’ve decided you want to get married, there are a hundred and one jobs which need doing and seemingly a thousand decisions which have to be made before you can actually tie the knot.
One of the most pressing – and important – decisions to make is where to hold your wedding and the celebrations attached to it. The venue is an essential part of any wedding, setting the scene for the day as well as being where all the action takes place.
It’s no exaggeration to say that the wedding venue can make or break the whole event, so it is vital that you make the right choice. But just how do you do that? How do you know the venue you choose will be the right one? Well, here are just a few of the factors you need to take into consideration.
Set a Budget
One of the most important things to decide on is how much you are prepared or able to spend on your wedding venue. Sit down with your other half and go through your available funds, and don’t forget to be realistic – you don’t want to start your married life in debt up to your eyeballs. Once you’ve agreed on a budget, make sure you stick to it by only looking at those venues which can meet it.
The best way to choose any service or venue is through recommendation. Ask your friends, family and colleagues if they have any venues they know of (maybe through attending somebody else’s wedding) which they were pleased with. Of course, you probably won’t want to book the same venue as your best friend, but finding one which comes highly recommended would be a good start.
Another essential factor you need to know before searching for a perfect place for that perfect wedding is when you want to get married. Having a range of dates is best – the more flexible you can be, the more choice you will have. But don’t be put off looking for a venue to accommodate you in the near future – many venues have last-minute availability, and you may be able to grab a bargain.
Number of Guests
One of the factors which will determine just what venue you need is how many guests you intend to invite. If you want hundreds, you need to ensure the venue is big enough. If you’re planning a small, intimate gathering of best friends and close family only, a large venue could be a waste of money. Decide on how many people you want at the ceremony and reception before searching for venues.
Traditional or Modern?
What kind of venue you choose is, of course, entirely a matter of personal choice. You may want a quiet religious ceremony in a local church, followed by an intimate meal in a small restaurant. Or perhaps you long for an elaborate celebration in a luxury country house, with all the trimmings and fanfare available to you, to make your big day one to remember. Maybe you’d prefer a fun-filled family get-together in a modern hall where you can all let your hair down – whatever you want, you can probably get it.
What Facilities Are on Offer?
Once you’ve decided on the type of venue which will best suit your tastes, you need to check out the facilities on offer. For example, will it be able to put up all your guests, does it provide the right kind of catering facilities you want, or can it offer the whole wedding package? Some venues will help you with cars, photographers or flowers, so you can get everything in one place.
Location, Location, Location
Another factor to take into consideration when choosing a venue is where it is. You may fancy getting married in a lighthouse or have always dreamt of having the ceremony inside a real castle, but if that lighthouse or castle is hundreds of miles away from where you and your guests live, you may want to rethink your priorities. The best venue is one you and the majority of your guests can get to without too much travelling – or one where you can all stay for the night.
Making the Booking
Once you’ve thought about all these factors and made the basic decisions, you need to get searching for your perfect venue. The best idea is to make a shortlist of local venues which fit your requirements, and then go and check them all out before whittling that shortlist down to two or three possibilities. Most venues will require you to put down a deposit when making a booking. Good luck!