This weekend, something very exciting happened. We visited our chosen venue and signed the contract for our wedding day. So, it’s official, we shall be getting married in August 2017.
There are so many considerations to make when choosing a venue and over the past two years, we have visited a fair few to take a look around. It’s probably the most difficult decision you’ll have to make when planning the big day. It certainly has been for us.
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We have put together 10 tips for you, to help you choose your perfect venue:
Venue Type and Style
Do you want a Church wedding or Civil Ceremony? Would you prefer a winter or summer wedding? Do you dream of a rustic barn wedding, a winter wonderland setting or perhaps a wedding by the sea? All important decisions to make before you can consider your venue.
We’ve chosen to have our civil ceremony at a beautiful Georgian Manor House with stunning views across Berkshire.
You’ll also need to consider guest numbers. Some venues may be too small for your requirements whilst others may require a minimum number of guests in order to accommodate you. Just make sure you aim low to start, its easier to add guests to your list than to take them off later down the line.
Be realistic with your available funds. Think about how much you can spend and try to visit venues that you know will suit your budget. Spending too much on your venue will mean cut backs for the rest of your plans or unnecessary debt.
Being flexible about the day of the week, month, or even the year of your wedding will give you a wider choice of venues and will also affect your wedding costs. Friday and Sunday weddings are becoming increasingly popular in a bid to bring down costs. Also, consider a wedding date out of season.
Whether you plan on getting married in a church and transferring your guests to a separate reception venue, or plan on having the ceremony and evening party all in the same place, it’ll need to be a suitable location. Don’t forget to consider the travel implications and overnight accommodation for your guests too.
Whilst you’re looking around, pay attention to the venue as a whole. Check everything including the restrooms, the lobby, the dressing rooms, the overnight accommodation, outdoor lighting and parking, and even the kitchen.
Also consider indoor and outdoor locations for those first special photos. Make a note and be sure to inform your photographer, or maybe arrange a pre-wedding visit with them to determine your preferences.
Venue Guidelines and Restrictions
Are there any decoration guidelines that you need to abide by or restrictions that would prevent you from using candles, confetti, sparklers etc?
Some venues will not allow corkage or permit outside caterers. Some have preferred vendor lists which they would require you to use. Be sure to check any restrictions in place before signing that paperwork!
Looking for an exclusive use wedding venue that is yours for the entire day? Be sure to discuss exclusivity with your venue, some may charge for the privilege and some offer this as standard.
Reviews and Referrals
Be sure to check google and social media pages for wedding venue reviews. You may even know someone who has married in the same venue before, speak to them and do your homework.
Get everything in writing
Your date is not officially reserved until you sign a contract and, in many cases, give a deposit. Before you sign any contract, read the fine print and make sure it includes everything you and the site contact agreed on. As new things are added or changed in your contract, have the updated version printed out and signed by you and the site representative. Also, document all your conversations in emails and keep your correspondence.
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I hope that you’ll find these tips helpful and please do comment below if you have any advice also.