In my earlier blog post about the wedding planning tasks to priorities I talked about choosing your wedding venue. This is one of the most important choices about your day, it will influence your budget, your wedding date, the style and feel of your wedding and so much more.
Before you start the search for a venue make a list of answers to the following questions:
1) How many guests will you wish to invite?
This question is key, before you start your venue search, start your guest list. Write an A list (those people who must be with you on your wedding day) and a B list (those people that it would be nice to have if you can.)
Know your total guest numbers before starting to look for a venue.
2) What is your overall budget, and what is your venue budget?
So this is of course a big one. If you have never planned a large scale event before you wont know how much money to allocate for a venue. But you should have already thought about how much money you wish to spend as a total amount on your venue? (go back to my previous blog post for help on setting your budget) As a very rough guide most couples spend around 25% of their budget on venue, not including food
3. What kind of food and drink do you wish to have at your venue?
Some venues will have their own catering provision, some will let you bring in your own caterers, and some will have a choice. If you wish to have a certain type of food you may need to double check this early on.
4. What kind of ceremony do you wish to have?
Do you wish to marry at your venue? Then you need to find a venue that is licenced to perform civil ceremonies. Do you wish to have a specific religious ceremony in a place of worship that local to your venue, then you will need to find a venue close to your chosen place of worship.
5. What kind of style and feel do you wish to use for your wedding?
The style of the venue is one thing you wont be able to change, so make sure you are searching for venues that are suitable for the style of wedding you wish to have.
6. Where do you want the venue to be?
One of the main questions for some couples is venue location. If you wish to find a venue in a specific location this will narrow your search criteria. If you don’t have a specific location in mind, perhaps search for the style of wedding you want ie Country House, Coastal, Marquee, Barn etc.
7. Do you need accommodation at or near to your wedding venue – if so how many guests for.
If the venue does not have accommodation is there a good selection of local hotels, B&Bs and self catering accommodation to choose from.
Now you have established your very own set of venue search criteria, you can start your online research.
If you cant face the thought of trawling the internet to find the perfect venue, and don’t have time to plan numerous venue visits, it might be worth considering the services of a wedding planner. As part of our Complete Wedding Design Service, we do all the leg work for you, shortlisting the venues, visiting them on your behalf, and then accompanying you on the final leg of the selection process to the venues of your choice.
Download my free venue search criteria checklist here!
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