Choosing A Wedding Venue

The venue for your wedding is really important.  It will be a big part of the day’s success. There are a number of things to think about when considering different venues.

First and most important, choose a venue that matches the style of wedding you want to remember.  Are you going for classic traditional, contemporary, vintage, rustic, destination, beach, or romantic vineyard?  Shortlist venue options that connect with your preferred style.

Next, think about your guest list.  How many people are invited? This sets criteria for venue size.  Also think about how many of your guests will be travelling, would a location that is central to most be best?  Destination weddings always sound idyllic, but they come at a cost to your guests. Also think about who is on your guest list.  Navigating sand dunes might sound romantic, but it might make the day much harder for elderly uncles, aunts and grandparents who could find the going tough.  Just think about the experience from the viewpoint of your guests, and factor this into your decision making. Now that you have a venue style, and likely location in mind, get started assessing available venue options. 

What do particular venues offer? Do you need a location that can accomodate the ceremony and the reception? Are you looking for a venue that will provide all the services (decoration, food, beverage etc) or are you looking simply for a location where  you DIY everything yourself? Usually this will come down to the budget you set for the venue. These days a popular option is to marry in a location home, perhaps booked from the likes of Airbnb. If you go down this path, make sure you think about the restrictions associated with playing music into the night if the home is in a residential area.

With a few venue options on the shortlist, time to look at the factors you can’t ignore.  Cost is always one of those factors. Make sure the venue is realistically within the overall budget set for your day.  Don’t forget to check availability for your proposed date. Also think about things like hours and access. What time could guests arrive?  Is there a deadline time that the venue must be vacated by. Do these conditions fit with how you see your day unfolding? Don’t go overboard on the cost of the venue at the expense of everything else that needs to be covered in your budget for the whole wedding. 

Also think about the “Plan B” options available at the location. That casual wedding under the giant Oak Tree at your local reserve sounds perfect, if the weather arrives right. If not, then you’ll need a Plan B.

Without doubt, the venue provides the backdrop to your wedding and should connect seamlessly with the style of wedding you have chosen.  Consider location, the perspective of guests and don’t forget detailed conditions associated with the venue. A good choice will mean the venue adds to the experience of all, on the big day.