Your wedding venue matters. It’s the setting for the celebration. But with so many possibilities, how do you decide which is best for your wedding?
If you don’t have a solid idea of the look and mood you want for your wedding, choosing a venue can be tricky, but these questions should help you narrow down your options. If you have a clear idea of where you want your wedding, these questions can help make sure the venue will actually work out on your big day.
The first thing to consider is the size of your guest list. You don’t need an exact count, but you do need a ballpark figure. An intimate chapel is not going to fit 200 people, and a massive hall is going to feel empty and echo with 50 people in it.
Some venues, such as hotels, offer packages. If you don’t have the free time to organize and do a lot of decorating and menu planning and you want a traditional sit down dinner reception, this can be ideal.
However, if you have the time and the desire to create your own menu and décor, a more offbeat venue such as a pub with function rooms, a sports club or community center might be a better option to make your wedding dreams come true.
For some couples, food is a big issue. Others are happy to pick a hotel or restaurant and go with their menu options. If you want to have a particular type of food, you need to make sure it can be done at your reception venue. Do they offer what you want? Do they allow outside vendors? Are there restrictions on outside vendors or what type of cooking equipment can be used on site?
Considering these questions should give you a short list of possible venues, and you can narrow it further by considering if it will be accessible for any guests who have difficulties with stairs, if the lighting and décor work for the style of your wedding, if you can have live music or your pick of DJ. And of course, there is no escaping the issue of cost.
Should You Have Your Wedding Ceremony and Reception in the Same Venue?
One way avoid a lot of logistics headaches and to save a bit is to have your ceremony and reception in the same venue. Some churches have function rooms that can be decorated to fit your theme and look wonderful. Some ministers, rabbis, justices of the peace and other celebrants will travel to the venue of your choice. Having your ceremony and reception in the same venue means no worries about everyone getting from one to the other, leaving anything behind, dealing with wind or rain or anything else. With the right venue, it can be a perfect choice. But obviously, if you want to get married in your place of worship and it does not have a reception room, or if the perfect reception venue for you does not have an appropriate spot for a ceremony, it won’t work for you.
Whatever venues you are considering, it is important to visit and have a good look around before signing any contracts or paying a deposit. Try to visit at the same time of day as you will be there, and be sure to ask about the possibility of another wedding or other event being booked for the same day.