5 Things to Consider When Choosing Your Venue

by Sunday 2nd August 2020blog, Wedding Planning, wedding venue

Have you just started your wedding planning? One of the first things you need to do to start it off is deciding what kind of venue you are looking for. Once you have an idea in your mind you can then create a list of venues that tick the boxes, then go and have a look around and make an appointment to discuss your requirements with their Wedding Co-ordinator in more detail. It can be difficult to know what you need to consider when deciding on what type of venues you want to look for, I have put together 5 key things below to help you decide.

1. Location

You need to look for a venue that is close to your guests, if they will be required to travel a distance you will need to make sure that there is accommodation nearby at affordable prices. It is also important to you how close the venue is to where you live if you will have to do a few car journeys to get everything to and from the venue you don’t want your venue to be too far away. Something else to think about is if you are travelling to the venue in the morning to get ready there or travelling from the ceremony you don’t want to have to spend too much time travelling on the wedding day. Also, be sure to check the local area, if your venue is short on photo opportunities there may be some beautiful opportunities in the local area. For example, local to our Jackstar Weddings HQ we have Bradgate Park which is a popular location for couples to travel to after the ceremony for photos.

Rustic Woodland Bride in Wedding Dress

2. Theme

When deciding on the style of venue you would like, you need to decide what style and theme you are going to go for. Some venues may be adaptable and can be transformed to fit most styles however this won’t necessarily work for all. For example, if you are wanting to go for a rustic theme you may narrow your options down to a Tipi, Barn or a very rustic venue, it would be difficult to give a very modern hotel a rustic atmosphere.

Chairs organised for outdoor wedding ceremony

3. Capacity

At the beginning stage you will not know the exact number of guests to expect as you won’t have sent our your invitations with RSVPs yet, but you will need to make a list of guests who you are going to invite to give you a rough idea of numbers. This will help narrow down your list of venues to choose from as capacities of venues do vary, be sure to also check what their capacities are in different layouts. As depending on what layout you want to go for their maximum numbers that can be catered for may change, if you go for round tables over rows of long tables this can make a big difference. I would suggest speaking to the venue about this to confirm exactly what you require to make sure there are no surprises later down the line. Also be sure to confirm if they different capacities for different function rooms they have available to hire, this will also be good to discuss if you are looking for a venue where you can also have a civil ceremony.

Floral wedding table setting

4. Testimonials & First Impressions

It is really important that you also narrow down your list of venues based on their online reviews, as these will give you an idea how other couples weddings went there and how they were treated and of course if they would recommend the venue. It is also key to compare how the employees and Wedding Co-ordinator communicate with you, as they will be a big part of your wedding and you want to know that you can leave your special day in their hands. You generally want to look out for professionalism, how they not only communicate well with you but also each other, smart appearance and how quickly they get back to your queries.

Waitress holding tray of canapes at wedding

5. Budget

Of course all of the above points are the most important factors however unfortunately if you have a specific budget you will have to take this into account first. I would recommend arranging show rounds only for venues that you already know are in your budget so you can fairly compare them to one another, this will also give you a realistic vision of what you can expect from venues in your price range. Looking for venues in your budget doesn’t have to mean just going with the lowest price you find, it is about comparing the quality and what is included. Some venues just include a basic package of room hire and a basic meal, whereas there are venues that do a more all-in package that will include a better meal, drinks and even decorations and entertainment. So although the venue with a bigger package may appear more pricey it could potentially work out better overall based on everything included.

Guests raise glasses of champagne for wedding toast

Deciding your venue is one of the most important decisions you will make when planning your wedding, so allocate yourself plenty of time in your planning timeline to do this. It is not something that you want to rush and make a rash decision on, that’s why it’s best to create a shortlist of venues before looking around based on the above 5 points. Then when you have narrowed it down to one or two venues take a look at our other blog about going into more detail with specific questions to ask the Wedding Co-ordinator at your favourite venues.