Wedding Venue Tips
Choosing the right venue for your day is very important. It can really make your day a whole lot easier if you pick the ‘right’ venue. I use quotations as I believe any venue can be right depending on what you want from your day. My wedding venue tips are based on my 8 years spent in the wedding industry. I hope you gain value from my writing.
Set a Budget
The venue is usually the highest cost to a wedding. This is why it’s important you set aside a budget before looking into venues. Nobody has to put them self into debt to have a fantastic wedding. Spend some time to think about what you envisage a fantastic wedding would like for the two of you. Setting out a sensible budget from the start and sticking with it will really benefit you.
Follow these steps to work out your overall budget.
First of all, choose the time of year you would like to get married. Read this blog to help.
Then decide on how much money you could save each month.
Lastly, work out how much money you could save for the chosen time of year, each year, for the next three years. Add any savings in that you would like to include.
If it were now January, I wanted to get married in September and I could save £500 a month (which is a lot) then I would have the following amount as a budget.
This year – £4000.00
Next year – £10,000.00
The year after – £16,000.00
You can see why it’s beneficial to have a long engagement. There’s rarely a reason why you should run down the aisle almost immediately. Take your time, cultivate a structured plan, with a sensible budget and you’ll have a stress free wedding.
Please be aware the above are very large amounts and no budget is right for everyone. A word of warning also, some venues and supplies will want you to pay the full balance a while before your wedding.
Consider your Location
The location of a venue is very important. Travelling a lot in a day can eat into your time quite significantly.
I’m sure if you were a guest you would really appreciate being considered during the planning of someones wedding day. A few questions to ask yourself?
Can your guests afford the cost of travel?
Can your guests afford the cost of a/the hotel?
Are your guests physically able to travel?
Your guests are going to most likely travel from their home to your venue/s. This isn’t much of a problem in the morning but could mean some guests leave early in the evening should the distance be far with no hotel options.
If you’re planning to hold different parts of your day in different venues then you may want to consider my maximum travel time between venues suggestion of 30 minutes. As you can see on my Ideal Wedding Timings blog, the time between the ceremony and the reception is often limited.
If your family and friends can afford to stay at a hotel nearby for the night of your wedding then it really adds to the day. They can stay till the latest time also having the option to enjoy alcohol. Having the majority of your guests in one/close hotel/s enables the atmosphere to carry into the next day. Some of my couples have organised breakfast at a local cafe the next morning or a walk with a picnic at lunchtime. These are great cheap ways to keep the party going and make your day roll into two. Meeting the night before for an evening meal is also a great idea.
Next inline for my Wedding Venue Tips is Space. It is incredibly important and can sometimes be misleading when you go to a venue on an open day. They will set their venues up so they look there best. They’ll put enough seating and tables out so it looks comfortable not overcrowded or empty. For this reason it’s worth only looking at venues who do a max capacity close to your guest number.
I often find as a photographer a venue with a lot of rooms can sometimes spread your party too thin making them hard to capture. You’ll find your 80 person guest list looks rather small when it’s split across 4 rooms. On a positive note these multiples of different rooms can provide great photographic alternatives should it rain.
Do not be concerned if your venue isn’t an old stately home or if it doesn’t have aches of land around it. A photographer worth their money will find a way to photograph your venue in the most imaginable way. If there really isn’t any places to take photographs then there is always an abundance of local parks, reserves, historical buildings all open to the general public.
Bitesize Wedding Venue Tips
Shared or Exclusive – Ask your venue whether you’ll be the only event on the day. If they’re a hotel, ask them if they’ll be blocking out rooms for your guests. It’s always nice to know the venue is whole heartedly committed to your day.
No Corkage Charge – This means you can bring in your own alcohol and have the table attendants serve it.
Curfew – Does your venue have one and if so, does it fit your plan?
Money Doesn’t Buy Happiness – I’ve been to a vast range of weddings with various expenditures. Some of the most happiest and loved up wedding parties I have had the honour of being among have been part of budget weddings.
I hope you enjoyed reading my top wedding venue tips. I wish you the best of luck with selecting your wedding venue. If you’d like a kick-ass photographer to go with it then just pop me a message over here.