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  • Writer's pictureNicola Rose Weddings and Events

CHOOSING YOUR WEDDING VENUE

Choosing your wedding venue will be one of the first wedding planning tasks you have to do.


If you are particular about which venue you would love chances are it is popular.


My advice is to start venue searching around 18 months before your wedding date to make sure you are going to be able to book your dream venue. The earlier the better. The same goes for great suppliers, both are in demand.


CHOOSING YOUR WEDDING DATE.

When you start venue searching choose a couple of dates, this will provide you with a bit more flexibility in case your dream date is already booked.


If you already have a dream date, for example, an anniversary of the day you met then be prepared to compromise slightly on your wedding venue or be super organised and book well in advance just to secure your date.


If you are hosting your ceremony in a church also check which dates are available first and choose a few, then you can start your venue hunting.


Do also consider the travel time between each location if you are booking a ceremony location and a reception location.



LOCATION

Whether you are planning your wedding close to home or a destination wedding, location is high on the list of considerations.


Is it easily accessible? Often dream wedding locations can be a challenge to get to, are you going to provide transport for your guests or expect them to make their own way there.


Does the venue have adequate parking? Do bear in mind it is not just parking for the guests but also for all the suppliers you are hiring for your wedding day. If you are planning onsite catering all the waiters, waitresses, chefs, and other suppliers will be arriving in cars.


VENUE SIZE AND CAPACITY

The size of your venue is important, you don't want to be squashing lots of guests into a tiny space and conversely, there is nothing worse than trying to fill a vast space with fewer guests.


You will end up spending a lot of money to fill it out so be mindful when choosing a wedding venue about how many guests you will have.


CHECK WHAT THE VENUE INCLUDES

Don't assume hiring a venue includes everything. You may find you are charged extra for simple things such as the use of a cloakroom, toilets, furniture and cleaning charges. This is what we call a dry hire, literally the room and any extra services are deemed as extras as they need staff to man them.


You may find there is an extra cost if you wish your wedding suppliers to be able to have access earlier as someone needs to come along and open up the venue.



YOUR WEDDING BUDGET

Most wedding venues provide a package that will include a variety of things from catering, bar, a DJ and some decor.

If it is a hotel or private estate you may also have accommodation included such as a bridal suite. Do check all the packages available to you and decide if this fits within your wedding budget.


Often weekdays are cheaper as most couples want a weekend wedding but do consider this especially if you are planning a destination wedding.

Work on around 50% of your wedding budget for venue, food and drink.

Also, be sure to check out the minimum spend a venue expects you to cover, for example at the weekends a venue may expect a minimum spend of 24k but on the weekdays a minimum spend will be lower, say around 12k.


YOUR GUEST EXPERIENCE

I cannot reiterate this enough, your guest's experience is at the utmost when choosing your venue and its location.


Do make sure there are plenty of accommodation options nearby. If you haven't laid on any guest transport ensure it isn't going to cost your guests a fortune to get to, this never goes down well.

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