How to Choose Your Ideal Wedding Venue
Without a doubt, getting married is one of the most significant, exciting, and memorable days in anyone’s life.
Yet a lot of couples arrive at this big day with a lot of sleepless nights, long discussions, heated arguments, differences in opinion, and stressful decisions under their belt.
What lies behind the stress is a simple fact that we rarely consider wedding planning when we get engaged. All we can think of is the happily ever after, forgetting there’s a bit of a rough patch in between.
In order to help you through the headaches of wedding venue search and wedding planning nightmares you might be facing, let’s explore one of the main topics on all couples’ minds: what to look for in a wedding venue? And how to choose a wedding venue.
A personal choice
The first thing to consider when looking for wedding venues is who you are as a couple.
Would you like to host a black-tie event where everybody dresses up to the nines and dances to classic wedding tunes? Or are you looking for something more modern with an R’n’B twist?
Perhaps you would like to host a Hawaiian luau or something out of Game of Thrones even?
Whatever theme you choose to go for, you also need to make sure that the venue matches the style and atmosphere.
This is why we’d recommend choosing the overarching theme first, and only looking at venues that would be a fit, rather than looking at spaces that are not even close to what you need.
Money in the bank
Another important factor from ‘choosing a wedding venue checklist,’ is of course, your budget.
When looking at venues, try to stay clear of anything that is clearly out of your price range.
Venues that are a bit over budget are still a viable option, as venues often offer discounts, wedding packages are also often available, and might provide additional services you won’t need to pay extra for, like décor, catering, etc.
Make sure you both agree on the amount you have at your disposal and be ready to make cuts and sacrifices if you need to. For example, you can trim the guest list, choose a less expensive pair of shoes, etc.
Determine what your non-negotiables are, and take it from there.
Location, location, location
Of course, location will play a major part in your choice of wedding venue.
When making your decision, make sure you also factor in travel distances, accommodation, and your actual wedding date.
If you have a lot of guests arriving from out of town, and there is a major sporting event at the same time, accommodation might need to be booked well in advance.
Factor everything in before you make a choice: how long will it take to get there, what is there to see nearby, where can your guests grab a bite to eat, etc.
Also, make sure you consider the views from your venue: ideally, you will have an amazing backdrop to look at through every window.
One guest too many
Another important factor about ‘how to choose a wedding venue’ is the number of guests you are inviting.
Have at least a rough idea before you go out looking for a venue, as this will play a major part in the decision – what if the venue you fall in love with can’t accommodate all of your guests?
Be ready either to shorten the list or to look for a larger space. Don’t try to squeeze too many people into too few tables: no one likes a crowded wedding, and you won’t enjoy the atmosphere either.
Once you have come up with a list of places you are interested in, you need to narrow down your choice.
Here’s our best advice:
- Visit the venue in person, with several other family members or friends, on more than one occasion: this will, first of all, allow you to have more than one experience with the space, and you can come back to it with a clear mind and a vision for it, rather than just be awed during your first visit. You should also consult each of the people who tag along for their opinions: but make sure you select someone who will have an opinion but not try to force it down your throat. It’s your wedding, after all.
- Try to imagine the space on the day: if you can, bring along some of the décor items you will be using, or try to envision what the seating arrangements will look like, where the band will be, etc. It’s important for the space to fit with the vision you have, rather than just look good as it is, without it being tailored to your taste. Of course, if you are lucky enough to find a space that is perfect right off the bat, don’t hesitate to book it.
- Consider the wedding package: most venues offer wedding packages, and you should definitely explore what they can provide for you. For example, this wedding venue in Liverpool has a package that includes the venue hire, as well as drinks on arrival, a buffet meal option, decoration options, etc. If you have your own caterer, band, and wedding decorator lined up, make sure the venue can work with them.
- Read the fine print: before you make the actual booking, ask to see a sample of the contract you will be signing, because this is often where the kinks can show up. Cancelation policies and insurance is something you should definitely have in mind before you make your final decision.
- Write out a list: if you are undecided, try writing out a list of pros and cons for each of the venues you’ve seen, and see where the deal breakers are. This might be the easiest way to make a choice, but if they come up close, you can just trust your instincts and make a choice from the heart.
“How to pick a wedding venue” or “How to choose a wedding venue” can be immense fun, as long as you try to keep the pressure down to a minimum see a therapist.
Remember that with or without all the snags along the way, you are still just working towards one of the most amazing days of your life: don’t let any negativity overshadow that fact.
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If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.