Finding the perfect wedding venue

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Finding the perfect wedding venue

Finding the perfect venue can be daunting but probably the most crucial decision in your wedding planning as it sets the tone for your wedding and it will also be the backdrop to the most important day of your life. 

There’s just so much to think about! Is it going to be indoors or outdoors, who are we putting on the guest list, what food are we going to serve and can I have all this within my budget? The detail in each decision matter!

You might have an idea of what you want your dream wedding to look like or maybe you are a blank canvas, either way, finding a venue doesn’t have to be that hard once you start to narrow things down by asking yourself the right questions. The beauty of these questions is that there is no right or wrong answer, just the answer that you feel comfortable with.

BUDGET 

Weddings are expensive so before you start any planning you should work out a realistic budget you can stick to. It definitely isn’t the most exciting part of planning but it will allow you to plan appropriately and start shopping around. 

Your venue and catering should make up approximately 50% of your budget. Make sure you ask the venue manager what exactly is included in the hire fee to ensure there aren’t any surprise costs. It will also be a good idea to think about decor and floral designs and how much it will cost to execute on top of your venue cost and whether this is realistic. 

If you select your venue first, then realise you have gone over your allocated budget, it becomes an uphill battle when you have so many other things you need to organise.

THE GUESTLIST

To be able to choose your ideal wedding venue you will need to have a rough idea of how many people you are planning to invite. Will there be 40 people at your wedding or 300 people? Many couples fall into the trap of underestimating how many people they are going to invite or how many their parents want to add.

There is no rule on who you should or shouldn’t invite, it’s more about who you truely want to be there. Then you need to think about plus ones and friends with kids and where do you draw the line.

LOCATION

Your location needs to represent your unique style and personality. How did you envisage your wedding to look like? Whether you’re boho rustic or contemporary modern, once you have decided on a specific theme for your wedding you can start researching potential venues. 

You don’t need to be conventional, your wedding could be on the beach, in the wilderness or on a yacht in the middle of the harbour. But remember wherever you choose, your location is the backdrop to the most important day of your life.

VISIT THE VENUES

Once you have narrowed down your potential venues, make sure you set up an initial visit with the event coordinator so you can feel and visualise the wedding in that space. There is no better feeling than listening to your gut!

Also prepare a checklist of things to ask so you can compare the venues afterwards

  • Does it have all the various rooms/spaces you need such as a bridal room for you to get changed or a dance floor?
  • What is Plan B if it’s raining and we are having an outdoor ceremony?
  • Is there in-house catering? 
  • Are there any vendor restrictions or decorating restrictions. Can we have a live band or a smoke machine for the dance floor? Can you throw confetti at the reception or have a sparkler exit at the end of the reception?
  • What furniture and styling is provided in the hire fee?
  • Does the venue have a closing hour or noise restrictions?
  • Do you have exclusivity to the venue?
  • Is it pet friendly if you want your dog to be the ring bearer?
  • Is there accommodation on-site or close by for guests?
  • What is transportation like to make sure all our guests get home safely. Is there onsite parking?

Don’t forget to ask if they have any deals or offers. As it is such a competitive market a lot of venues are willing to offer you some incentive to make sure you book with them. If you are having your wedding at a hotel they might provide you with the bridal suite for the night or a discounted room rate for your guest. Some venues might provide a signature welcome drink and canapé for your guest when they arrive. Don’t underestimate these small details as it can have a positive impact on your budget. 

CHECK OUT SOCIAL MEDIA

With social media being such a prominent space now, it is worthwhile to see how your potential wedding venue looked at someone else’s wedding. Real wedding photos give you a great idea of how the space can be used and give you some inspiration for when you plan your own wedding. 

AND NOW THE FUN BEGINS…

With the wedding venue and the date all locked in, the fun begins. Now you get to design the space that is reflective of you as a couple and create the perfect setting for the wedding of your dreams. 

Next stop – wedding dress, stationery, photographer & videographer, floristry, cake, neon lights, photo booths…..