Stories from Your Wedding Friend - The Wedding Planner's Blog
It is the first and biggest decision you'll make after agreeing to get married, but where do you start? Your choice of wedding venue will affect so many other decisions you need to make and direct your whole wedding planning journey so here are some helpful hints on how to prioritise and pick your favourite venue.
Maybe there is a location that has meaning for you both, either a town/city/village or maybe even a venue that holds dear memories for you. Many people return to the location where they got engaged, or somewhere they used to visit as a family. Somewhere a loved one has ties to. This can be a nice sentimental place to start.
Many couples who chose a specific theme have a pretty good idea of the style of venue that will best suit that theme. From the National Space Centre for a space theme to regal elegance, your theme can throw up lots of ideas. Rustic styling suits barn or marquee style venues better than somewhere with lot of opulence, or bright white modern spaces. For a highly themed wedding you might be looking for something a bit more quirky and unusual.
If you have family and friends scattered to the four winds, you might like to look at somewhere that is a bit more central to your area. A bit more accessible by transport links, rather than too rural. Likewise, if everyone lives nearby you might be thinking about somewhere that everyone goes to lots. Where will your guests (and you be staying? On-site or will a taxi ride be required. Can your venue be found easily on a Sat Nav?
If you've got a nan who can't walk far or a friend in a wheelchair, it's nice to spare a thought for how far your venue spreads out. Being able to get about a venue could be key, does it have lifts or is it all one level? Will guests have to walk far or over uneven surfaces to get around your venue? Many venue websites don't tell you this sort of information, which is why visiting the site is important.
If getting married at a particular time of year is important to you then you need to carefully consider how popular your ideal venue is. The more popular your venue and the date you choose, the less likely it is to be available. The summer months continue to be the most popular time of year to get married, especially in the UK where the hope for good weather and the school holidays, often dictate when weddings occur. If you're flexible around date or day of the week for your wedding then your choice will be a lot wider at most venues, even on short notice.
Is it important to you to have gorgeous outdoor spaces or are you not really fussed? If you want an outdoor wedding in the UK you need to have a plan b, for just in case of bad weather. Likewise, if you're happy to stay inside does the venue have nice areas for your group and couple photos? Either way you need to be sure you'll be happy with how it turns out.
If you're DIY'ing or planning lots of decorative elements and will need plenty of time to set them up, make sure your potential venue allows for that. Some venues will insist on on-the-day set ups whereas others will allow you time the day before your wedding to do the bulk of the setting up.
The style and location of your wedding venue will very much influence all your other decisions, so if you don't get your priorities right at the start, you could end up with exactly the wrong type of venue. Plan your site visits ahead. Have a list of questions to ask the person showing you around. Make sure you can do everything you want to do and understand where any compromises might be. If there's something you really want but can't do it exactly how you'd like to, see if there is another way. Follow your shortlisted venues on Facebook/Instagram for a while, to get a feel for how other couples are using them. And if they'll let you, see if you can do a final visit on the day of a real wedding to see how it all really works.