Its probably the biggest decision of the whole wedding, and yet, depending on your time limit, its one that you might have to make fairly sharpish.
They can be booked up well in advance, and if they’re a good one, they’re possibly going to be pricey too. Its a big deal choosing your wedding venue, but don’t panic, you can do it and you will get you want, you’ve just to make sure you’re going the right way about it!
Whilst I would no way say I know everything when it comes to choosing your perfect venue, I managed to book mine within a month of looking. It can be so easy to get bogged down, worried and freak out about never finding the perfect place, but you just have to be prepared.
Here are my tips
Have a criteria you want your venue to fall within. Whether you want a lawn big enough for a marquee, accommodation on site for guests or all within a manor house. Know what you want your venue to offer on your big day, and bare that in mind when researching venues.
Search venues within a 10 mile radius of your ideal location. For me, this was home. I knew there would be some guests travelling down to my home town, and I wouldn’t want it to be any further than 10 miles from home or place of stay for those guests. Whether you have a church you would like to marry in, or a location for wedding shots, base your radius within a reasonable distance from them. You really don’t want your second location or only location a far distance away, this can really impact on your day and guest attendance.
Print brochures & prices for any venue within that radius. Gather as much information as you can on those venues without having to go and see them. You don’t want to dedicate too much time visiting venues that aren’t suitable or that don’t match your criteria, so its vital this info is obtained before viewing. Slim your to view list down to those that match your every need and are in budget. Remember your budget!
Write down anything you want to know and what could sway your decision. Can you have real candles? When can you get in to decorate? Do you have to use their recommended suppliers? When is the full payment required? These are all really valuable questions that could sway your decision. Knowing these upfront can save you a lot of time.
Don’t take too many people to look at the venue. Too many opinions can shadow your own opinion and really cloud your view. The venue is something you and your partner only can make a decision on. It is good to have other opinions, but too many can spoil the pie as they say.
View one venue at a time and don’t over book yourself. Just like viewing a property, you need as much time as possible to get a feel for the venue and ask as many questions as you can. Don’t rush yourself and take your time wandering around. Make notes and take pictures if possible. These will come in handy when thinking back to that venue to compare.
Ask as many questions as you can and don’t worry if you forgot some. Take a contact email, or chances are you already have one, to send over any further queries you may have. Don’t be shy if you think your question may be obvious or silly. You need to make sure you have the right info to make a informed decision.
View again before you make a decision. Viewing a venue for the second time is always a good eye opener on some of those small details you may have missed on the first viewing. Again take your time and note down anything you may have missed before hand. You’ll have a better idea this time around on what you would like so think about some of your ideas as you look round. Is there anything you’re going to have to change or compromise on. Make sure its really what you want.
You’ll know when you have found the one. Heck I only viewed one and it was just perfect. I did so much research before hand and my criteria narrowed down suitable venues so much, it was my venue or another. We knew what we wanted and we found it without having to view many venues which was perfect. Its just like your dress, once you know you know and you won’t imagine getting married any where else.
Choosing your venue can be exciting but worrying and that is normal. But once you have found your feet and researched as much as you can, you will soon realise what is obtainable and it will get oh so exciting. Take you time and above all enjoy yourself.
How many venues did you visit?
Have you viewed any?
Have any advice for fellow bride to bes?
Let me know and comment below.
If you haven’t already, why not check out my Getting organisedpost to be prepared for your wedding planning.