Finally, we have our date…
Before getting engaged I never realised how important finding the perfect venue was. Deciding what to go for when you have no idea of what style/ type you want is tricky, then there’s all of the other factors to consider like budget and guest list! It’s taken me 6 months to find the one so I thought it would be good to share my experience
BEFORE VENUE HUNTING
There’s a couple of things I did before looking at venues that helped speed up the process…
1) Write a guest list… We will be inviting 65 people to the day and then around 120 for the evening. Most venues can cater to this as it’s on the smaller/ more average side of a guest list, however I did like one venue that had a minimum of 80 guests for the ceremony and wedding breakfast, so straight away I was able to take that one off the list and save myself the hassle of organising a visit.
2) Set a budget… A pretty obvious one that most people getting married need to do, setting a budget as soon as you start planning is important, and again helps to narrow things down. Already I can see how the costs of a wedding can quickly get out of hand. As soon as you mention ‘wedding’ a couple of 00’s seem to add on to the initial price of a venue.
3) Gather Inspiration… I think I found this most helpful when thinking about the venue, it definitely didn’t narrow things down completely but this really helped me discover the kind of theme/ colour scheme to go for. I knew I wanted a rustic style with a more modern twist, and this seemed to fit a barn/ lodge style venue much better than a manor house or hall. My partner actually wanted to get married outside, which I would have been happy with but obviously it’s too weather dependent, baring this in mind I wanted a venue that was light and airy, allowing the same effect as an outdoor wedding.
4) Think about the ceremony… Getting married in a church did cross my mind but in the end we have decided to have it all in one venue. There are so many factors to consider such as transport, budget and location.
5) Take a note of any special requirements… By special requirements I mean all the little things, a big thing for me was knowing that there was accommodation local to the venue for the guests to make it easier for them. Another thing is alcohol, find out if there is a corkage charge and how that impacts your budget!
1) Look at different styles of venue in person… You can never get a true feel for a venue by looking online. Visiting venues really clarified everything for me, as much as I loved so many different locations and appreciated how lovely they looked – in person a lot of them just didn’t feel right!
2) Go to open days to get a feel for the venue done up for a wedding… Seeing the venue dressed for a wedding is just amazing, it really helped me visualise the day and whether or not I wanted to get married there, instantly I was able to cross venues off the list.
3) Ask all the questions you need to! Talking to someone in person is the best way to find out everything. It’s also nice because you will more often than not be chatting to the wedding co-ordinator at the venue, so you can see if you like them too. With the venue we have gone for the wedding organisers are so lovely, and from the testimonials I’ve seen I’m pretty certain they are going to be incredibly helpful and help make the day stress free.
OTHER HELPFUL TIPS
1) Buy wedding magazines and read wedding blogs… By being nosey and looking at other people’s weddings I started to notice that I was most interested in those that had a barn setting with a more rustic feel over anything else. I started to cut out sections of the magazines I liked and put them in a plastic wallet, looking back at them two weeks later confirmed the type of venue we wanted.
2) Trust your instinct… Sounds silly but you’ll have a lot of family and friends sharing their opinions on your venue choice. I’ve been incredibly lucky to have everyone be very supportive, but a lot of the time people will share what THEY like and what venue THEY would opt for – try not to let what your loved ones want as a wedding cast over what you like. If you like a certain venue but a loved one prefers the exact opposite, that’s fine – but remember it’s your wedding!
At the start of the whole wedding planning process I had no idea what kind of venue to go for, but I can honestly say what we have chosen was worth the wait!