There are so many things to think about now you are engaged. One of the most important things is your venue for the big day. Are you going to have the ceremony at the same location as the reception? Are you going to stay there the night after your wedding, or are you going on somewhere else? Do you want a sit down dinner or a buffet? A band or a DJ? Whatever your answers to these questions, it is going to have an impact on where you decide for your venue. For example, if you want a band but the venue that you are looking at cannot accomodate this, then you are going to need to compromise somewhere.
Other key things you will need to think about when choosing your venue are:
- Location – is the location of the venue easily accessible for the wedding party and guests? If it’s difficult to get to, it can put people off coming, or they will need to make other arrangements for getting there and home again.
- Guests – depending on how many guests you plan on inviting, your choice of venue will need to be able to accomodate that many people. If guests are going to be staying on site, ensuring the venue has enough hotel rooms for them as well is key, unless there are other places nearby that can accomodate the overflow.
- Curfew – some venues have a curfew for entertainment and/or alcohol. Make sure you check this with the venue before booking. If they have some random early “last call” and you want your guests to be able to party all night, it might put a dampener on the atmosphere.
- Food – not only will your venue possibly dictate your choice between a sit down dinner or a buffet, but it may also place other restrictions on your choice of food. You need to make sure that your venue can provide a range of food that is suitable for all your guests – from anyone with intolerances, allergies or other dietary requirements. Whether you have children coming who might want nuggets and chips, through to someone who may have a gluten allergy or even be vegan, you want to make sure that they all can enjoy the food on offer.
- Decor – can your venue accomodate specific decor and decoration requirements? Is the venue itself in line with the vision of your day? There’s no point booking a fancy minimalist and modern hotel if you are looking for something more like a country barn type venue like Cain Manor. From chair covers to wall hangings, and balloons to centre pieces. You want to make sure that the chosen venue can support your vision and support it – even if they aren’t providing the items themselves.
- Flexibility – can the venue be flexible with the arrangements – whether for set up, or close down of the event. You might have a wide variety of guests and contractors working on your, and if people can only arrive at certain times or with certain restrictions, then it might make the day harder to manage. Ideally a wedding venue should have a wedding or events planner who can help you coordinate everything, but a degree of flexibility is always a bonus. Make sure to ask them anything and everything you can think of before you book your venue – that’s what they are there for after all. Don’t forget though that ultimately they are sales people so don’t fall for the sales pitch unless you are ready to sign on the line!