Now your budget is in the bag, you know what you’ve got to spend on your ceremony and reception space. It’s time to get searching and we’re here to help you find your venue.
12 Days of Wedding Planning: Find Your Venue
You can draw up your venue shortlist with these tips, then get visiting to help you make the final decision. Don’t forget to scroll through our venue finder for some options near you.
Home or Away
Some couples instinctively know they want to head for their hometown to get married. Others prefer to tie the knot where they live currently, where they first met, where they love to go on holiday. It’s easy to forget that you have all of these options. Begin by deciding where in the world you actually want to get married. It’ll make short-listing and visiting venues much simpler.
That’s both in terms of the cost and size of your wedding. You’ve set a budget, so make sure your chosen venue comes within it. If it doesn’t, make sure you have an alternative plan in place to cover the cost or cut back elsewhere before you book.
The number of people you invite should also be at the forefront of your mind. Can your venue cope with the number of guests you want to attend? How much will it cost you per head? The more people you invite, the more expensive booking your venue will likely be.
If you have your heart set on an outdoor wedding, then keep the seasons in mind on the hunt to find your venue. Even summer weddings don’t bring guaranteed sunshine, so we would always recommend choosing a venue that can offer you a backup plan. Rain on your wedding day needn’t be a disaster. In fact, you can get some pretty stunning photos. However, having a Plan B is always a good idea.
Seasons will also bring different price tags from many venues. Peak wedding season runs through spring, summer and even early autumn in some cases. Booking these dates will mean paying a premium, so try the shoulder months like October or March to make your money go further.
All in one
This will depend in part on whether you want a religious or civil ceremony. If religious, you’ll need to factor in booking both a church and reception venue. If not, explore what options your venue has for your ceremony and reception. Often different rooms will be better suited to the different elements of your wedding day, so make sure you’re happy with them all before booking.
Also, if you’ve set your heart on a venue that doesn’t have a marriage license, what then? Get the official part done at a registry office either before or afterwards, then celebrate with a blessing before all your family and friends instead.
On your search to find your venue, bear in mind your theme might dictate the venue. Any which way, make sure these two dreams align. Your venue and décor should complement each other, not clash. Check with your venue what is allowed. Can you hang things? Can you add different chairs? Can you use real candles? If your décor is a deal breaker you need to know that your venue can accommodate your plans.
It’s also worth taking into account how large the spaces are and how many rooms you’ll need to decorate. This will impact on the cost of buying your decorations and flowers and could easily become an unwelcome forgotten cost.