Starting to plan a wedding can be a daunting task. Where do you start? What needs to be done first? Many people think that choosing the venue is the place to start and everything else will fall into place, which to an extent can be true, but there are some decisions that need to be made before you even look at a venue.
The more information you have before you start your search the easier it will be and the less time you will waste viewing venues that were never going to be right for you to begin with. Here are my top 10 things to consider BEFORE you start your venue search.
Before you start any kind of planning you need to set your budget, it’s no good finding your dream venue and then discovering you can’t afford it. And this applies to the kind of wedding you want as well, if you want a luxurious country house, weekend long wedding with 200 guests your budget has to reflect this. So be realistic and don’t set yourselves up for heartbreak at the first hurdle, decide what you can afford to spend on your day and plan accordingly.
2. What kind of wedding do you want?
Here you need to consider if you want, for example, an outdoor wedding set in beautiful countryside with Tipis or a marquee as the backdrop or whether you would prefer a country house with the wedding breakfast set in the glamorous dining room, or a city wedding in a funky boutique hotel. There are so many options, but I advise to start with Indoor or outdoor, country or city and go from there.
3. Things that are important to you
You will have been dreaming of this for a long time and you will no doubt have certain things that you absolutely want for your day, these need to be considered before you choose a venue. For example, if the environment is important to you and being eco conscious is part of your way of life then you will want to consider this when planning your wedding. Or maybe you just have to have your doggo there as part of your day, they are part of the family after all.
It’s good to have a list of these things before you start so you can look at this when choosing your short list of venues.
Do you have your heart set on a summer wedding, or maybe you’re picturing a snowy winter wonderland for your big day? The time of year will have a big impact on the type of venue you decide on. Also, some people have a specific date in mind, the date that they met for example. This could rule out a venue straight away if they are booked on that date.
Photo: Dani Louise Photography
Where you want to get married is obviously a big deciding factor in your venue search, do you want to get married in your hometown, or a special place that means something to you both or in another country entirely! You need to have a location and a radius around that location in mind before you start your search. On the other hand, if you’re not bothered about location then this opens your search to many possible venues.
6. Guest list numbers
Before looking at any venues you need to know what capacity you are going to need. So, sit down with a cuppa and put together an initial guest list. It’s not set in stone, but it will give you an idea, is it 30, 80 or 200 for example.
Are you planning a weekend wedding, do you want a morning ceremony or does the party go on into the night, do you have lots of guests travelling a long distance? If the answer to any of these is yes then you need to consider accommodation, either at the venue itself or close by.
8. Are you looking for an all-in-one venue?
Think about the type of ceremony you want; do you want to get married in church or would you prefer a registrar or celebrant. Some venues have onsite chapels or a church close by, others have a licence for you to legally marry onsite, or you can have a ceremony with a celebrant at any venue and do the legal part separately. It’s all down to personal choice, but it’s good to know this before you start to look for venues.
Photo: EKR Pictures Venue: Elopement in the Derbyshire Peak District
9. What you would like the venue to include
Every venue offers different packages and has different things that they do or do not include. If you are wanting a Tipi or Barn wedding for example, these will more than likely be dry hire venues where you organise everything yourself, or you get a wedding planner or stylist to help you! Whereas a hotel or country house venue will generally offer packages including a variety of things from food and drink packages to full packages where you don’t need to think about anything. It’s worth thinking about this before you start your search.
The final thing to consider is how long you want your wedding to last. Do you want a full weekend festival style event where you can party all night, do you want to have live music playing full blast as late as you want or are you happy to have a curfew of midnight or sometimes earlier depending on the venue’s surroundings. Each venue is different so it’s worth thinking about this beforehand.
If you have the answers to all of these things before you start your venue search it will make it so much easier to find possible options to view without spending time visiting places that can’t accommodate your needs or are out of your budget. And let’s face it there is enough to do when planning your wedding, you need all the time you can get.
If you need any more help or advice visit my website or get in touch, I offer a bespoke venue search service and also various planning options to help make your day perfect and take the stress out of your big day!