Choosing a Wedding Venue: The Ultimate Guide

Choosing a wedding venue is one of the most important things you will do when planning your big day. There are several aspects to consider when doing so. For example, how far in advance should you pick a venue? What is your budget, and how may that restrict your wedding venue ideas? Are you prepared to compromise? These are some of the questions we will answer in today’s article to advise you on how to choose a wedding venue that is perfect for you and your partner.

Determine Your Budget Early

It’s easy to let your wedding venue ideas and dreams get ahead of you. So, when choosing a wedding venue, it’s essential to have your budget predetermined before booking any viewings so you can set realistic expectations and avoid disappointment. 

Alternatively, your budget could encourage you to decide to save for a little longer before deciding on your date, just to make sure you can achieve everything you want! You shouldn’t just like your wedding venue, you should love it. And your budget should be able to offer you the lavish wedding you’re dreaming of. 

Your venue can make or break your day. So once you have determined your budget, consider setting as much as you need of it towards your venue to ensure you receive only the best of the best.

Finalise the Guest List

Although it might seem too soon to finalise your guest list, choosing a wedding venue depends somewhat on the number of guests you invite. 

The best way to create your guest list is to start with those you cannot imagine getting married without the presence of. Close family members, irreplaceable friends, your favourite co-workers, whoever you want. It’s your wedding and money that is being spent. This list of priceless guests will provide a minimum required seat number and an idea of how much space you need. 

The best venues will have a range of rooms of varying capacities to accommodate a wedding of any size. But this number will help you to separate potential venues from those that will be unsuitable. 

Predetermining your capacity will allow you to choose your venue and the room. If you have 50 guests, you may opt for a venue with a marquee. Alternatively, if you’re planning an Asian wedding with 500 guests, you may require a ballroom. 

The room size you need will depend on the number of guests and the activities you’d like to have. Photo booths, sweet stalls, and balloon arches will occupy space. So you should plan for this too. 

Plan Your Visit Strategically

When choosing a wedding venue, consider the date you need it to be available and when you visit your prospective venues. Most couples remain engaged for up to two years before their wedding day, allowing plenty of time to visit various venues in the season the wedding will take place a year or two before they’re wed. 

So, if you want a summer wedding, book a visit to your potential venue the summer before your wedding. However, you should be mindful of the question: how far in advance should you pick a venue?

Depending on the venue you choose, you could be on a waiting list for a date for several years. So, you should ask for an availability estimate when choosing a wedding venue to ensure you get the date you want. You can then plan your visit in line with the available dates to determine whether the way the venue looks in your chosen season is what you expected or whether you need to make alternative arrangements. 

Consider the Location

When choosing a wedding venue, your wants outrank those of your guests. But it is essential to be mindful of the limitations the location of your venue may impose on those you want to attend. For example, particular guests may struggle to travel long distances. So, a location wedding may be a stretch. 

Being sensitive about those limitations, controllable or otherwise, can help you in choosing a wedding venue that all your guests can travel to. Additionally, choosing a wedding venue that is easily accessible can help reduce your stress levels on the day.

Understand What’s Included

One of the most vital wedding venue ideas you can pre-plan for is the food. Venues usually offer tasting events so you can sample the food they offer, and there will probably be some variation in the menus of each location. 

Alternatively, some venues will not offer catering. So you should ask the venue what services they provide to understand whether it’s necessary to contact caterers independently or whether it will all be taken care of. 

Similarly, some venues may not offer furniture, tables, chairs, linen, tableware or crockery. If the inclusion of these services is essential to the venue you choose, you may find that some venues will be unsuitable for your wedding. 

Furthermore, if your intended venue doesn’t include these services, they may have an external suppliers policy. You may find this is the perfect eventuality, as the venue may have suppliers on hand that you’ve never heard of who have everything you need. However, their suppliers could be limited, and they may refuse to host a wedding with suppliers outside of their approved list. 

Ensure you’re clear on their supplier policy, so you don’t have to sacrifice your perfect supplier to have your wedding there.

Discover When Closing Time Is

If you have an exceptionally rowdy father-in-law or a group of friends who are partial to dancing on tables until 3am, consider the closing time of your potential venue before booking. 

It’s only natural for you to want your wedding day to last as long as possible, and you wouldn’t want your party to be crashed unexpectedly by closing time. Some venues may be strict about their closing time, but others may offer late closing for a fee or open a lobby for overnight guests. Be sure to have this cleared before choosing a wedding venue.