For most newly engaged couples, choosing the wedding venue is said to be the second most crucial aspect of planning a wedding, behind choosing a wedding date. Some wedding planning experts do believe it is far more important to jointly select a group of possible wedding venues first before setting a realistic date to say your marital vows.
The question of when and where a couple should have their wedding is never easy to answer. Unlike past years when it was simply a matter of using the only possible wedding venue in their hometown and move forward with the wedding plans, the sheer number and variety of wedding venues has increased dramatically of course, most couple now have so many more issues to contend with nowadays before selecting the most suitable space that fits in with their plans and pockets.
So before paying that deposit and start sending out the invitations, here are a few key factors and ideas to consider before making your final decision on the wedding venue.
Estimate Your Guest List and Wedding Budget
It’s very simple. You need to have a realistic rough idea of how many people are actually coming to your wedding, compared with how much you can spend on the venue. This is because not all event centers can accommodate a variety of wedding guests’ sizes, but having this key information will enable you pick a venue that will comfortably hold all your guests and similarly avoid venues that may be too small.
Is the wedding venue located in an area that is easily accessible to family and friends? How can all the guests get there from multiple locations? Are there enough parking spaces? Will there be other necessary movements to be made on that day such as before or after photo shoots, the church, the reception, etc.? Will the multiple drives between locations lead to a possible travel hazard? These are some of the questions or issues that must be considered. Better yet, all of these headaches can be avoided by having a destination wedding or simply picking one venue for all aspects of the wedding ceremony to be held together. Remember to check for affordable overnight accommodation nearby for your long distance travelling family members or guests.
Once you start visiting your possible dream wedding venues, tune down your excitement levels and critically look at the possible logistical nightmares probably waiting to happen. Stuff like arrangements for backup power supply, access points for your disabled guests, sufficient restroom facilities for the ladies and the gents, contingency plans (rain, wind, excessive heat or sunshine) in the case of an outdoor venue, storage rooms, parking spaces and etc. In other words, keep your eyes open for any possible logistical red flags during your visit.
Is the venue naturally beautiful even without any decoration? Is the venue a full service venue (do they already offer everything from table and chair rentals, linen and catering supplies) or a non full service venue? Be aware of this information before making a deposit, but bear in mind that a naturally beautiful, full service venue is much more convenient and preferable.
Most couples will want to add some elements of their personalities to the wedding food by serving their guests a very specific menu of food and drinks. Not all venues allow outside catering and some will only allow you to choose their preferred caterers and even bakers for your own wedding cake! Same also goes for the drinks and even the wedding bands. All of these cause further additions to the total venue costs and leave very little opportunity for personalizing your wedding reception. If this is unacceptable to you, then it’s time to start looking at other wedding venue options.
Visit The Potential Wedding Venue More Than Once
At this point you must have narrowed down your list to just two or three options. Times to pay another visit to each of them again, but this time, visit each one at the time of day you want to marry. If you first saw the venue at 9am, you should check it out again at 4pm, the time you plan to have your own wedding ceremony and reception. Take note of the lighting, beauty/ aesthetics, and overall vibe coming from the space at that particular time. This is also to the best time to bring your wedding planner along, have them take a look around and give their professional opinion.
HINT: Visit your preferred venue on an actual wedding day, preferably around when you plan to have your own, so as to get a firsthand glimpse on of the place in its fully operational glory.