If there is one thing I’ve learned from planning my own wedding and working towards my wedding planning diploma is how important it is to choose the ideal venue, even if it means travelling a little extra.
It’s all fun looking at all the venues in your area but it’s so important to choose the right place for you. There’s a few things you can do to help you choose the perfect venue for you.
- Set a budget
Okay, so this one may seem really obvious to some but setting yourself a budget is super important. Before diving in and searching for all these venues in your area, come up with a budget just for the venue. Have a long think about how much of your original/overall budget you are willing to spent on the venue. Once you have this budget, you’ll be able to rule out a few venues and actually make a list of venues that fit within your venue budget. This will save you a lot of time too.
2. Check venues in your ideal location
If you’re having a destination wedding, chances are you have had a venue in mind from the very start of the wedding planning process. But if you’re having a wedding in your local city/town, you might want to think about whether you want your wedding reception to take place in a busy place or a calm place. Busy places may make it harder for your guests who are driving as parking might be extra difficult, whereas calmer areas may make it harder for your non-driving guests to get transport to. Go through your guest list and see which would be ideal for this matter, but most important, which would be most ideal for you as a couple. At the end of the day, it is YOUR big day.
3. Call venues
Asking for a quote and for extra information about the venue prior to booking a viewing is always a good idea. You don’t want to go through the stress of going to view a venue and then getting there and the price is either too high or the venue is too small for the amount of guests you are wishing to invite. Make sure to write a list of questions prior to making these calls so you don’t forget anything. Ask if the venue have a food package of their own, what’s their policy on DJs and bands, is there easy parking for guests, do they have a wedding brochure they can post to you, and etc.
4. Ask venues for a wedding brochure
This one kind of ties to number 3. Most popular venues will provide you with a detailed wedding brochure if you ask them. These brochures usually include all the details about the particular venue you’re wanting. If this is a hotel, they will often include all the private function rooms they offer for hire and what comes included in the price for each venue they can provide. This often also includes other fees you can add to your venue package such as food, DJ and outside catering fees and even corkage fees. These are super helpful when it comes to budgeting as you will often pay more than just the standard venue price. For example, for my wedding, we paid for the venue as well as corkage fees and outside catering fees as we chose not to have food made by the venue we hired for our reception. This will give you definite prices for the wedding reception you particularly want.
5. Book a viewing
Before booking a venue, make sure you book a viewing. Sometimes venues look a lot different in photos in comparison to real life. This can be particularly true when it comes to the sizing of the room you’re choosing to have. If you choose not to ask your question over the phone, this would be a good time to bring out the notebook and ask the person showing you around all the questions you have. When you view, you’ll also get a better idea of how the venue will work for you on the actual wedding day. You’ll be able to see if all your guests will actually fit in the venue (some venues often list they are suitable for 75 guests for example but could ideally only be suitable for 50 guests), you’ll be able to also check bathroom facilities, also if you have any guests that will require wheelchair access, this would be a good time to check if there’s access or if the venue have a temporary ramp they can install for the day.
I hope this post helps you choose the ideal location for your wedding reception. There are a lot of venues out there so by taking these tips in it will narrow down a lot of venues for you.