You know you want a picture, perfect wedding but now the challenge begins; how do you create it?
Once you’re engaged the wedding planning makes most couples spin. Most couples will be overwhelmed with all the wedding decisions they need to make but by dealing with them one at a time and staying organised, you can be sure that you will be just fine.
One of the very first decisions you’ll need to make is when and where to hold your wedding. Trusting your instincts here is fundamental…
Your wedding is one of the most important events of your life so choose wisely, don’t go rushing into choosing the perfect wedding venue. It is, after all, where you will share lasting memories with not only your life partner but also friends and family. The when and the where often are interdependent as you may not be able to secure your dream venue for the date you have in mind, so being flexible and settling on a few date options will increase your chances for getting that perfect venue when you want it.
You need to be sure exactly what the venue hire includes as many a venue offers merely a blank canvas with you needing to supply all the equipment and décor to create that special backdrop to your day.
Consider these guidelines, they could affect that all important venue choice decision:
The Numbers – Even though the day is about you, it’s also about your guests so list the number of guests you plan on inviting which will determine what you need from your location. Be sure the venue can accommodate all those you’re inviting although it is seldom that all invited guests are able to make it so expect a number of declined invitations. This could make a substantial difference to your budget and at the same time give you added flexibility on your ultimate choice of venue.
The Area – Agree on the area both of you prefer getting married in. Traditionally couples got married in the immediate vicinity of their residential area but the current tendency is to have a destination wedding either abroad or in your own country; but definitely nowhere near home.
The Logistics – Establish whether you want the ceremony and the reception in the same venue – if opting for a church wedding, consider factors like sufficient space for all your guests, the distance to the reception venue, and of course transport for the entire wedding party to the reception. Also think through the theme you are aiming for on your special day as this will impact hugely on your selection of potential venues; decide early whether you’d like a garden wedding with a large Bedouin tent or marquee, or whether an indoor wedding would work better for you.
Once you’ve given these guidelines some thought, there are a few realities that also need consideration:
- Establish whether the venue allows you to use your own florist, caterer and decorator; certain venues may have specific service providers they prefer to use
- If tableware and glassware is included in the venue hire, be sure its style is in keeping with your theme
- Determine all the afterhours charges and at what times these charges become applicable. Insist on a full quote and breakdown of all cost allocations as well as any additional charges that may apply; typical extra charges are corkage fees per bottle if supplying your own wine, and post wedding gratuity charges
- Be sure the venue is appropriate for the time of year of your wedding
- Check that the layout of the venue will suit your look and feel throughout the reception in terms of entertainment and the number of guests
- Find out whether you can make changes to the décor should you wish to, and ask for photos of previous weddings held at the venue
- At venues with more than one option available, find out if any other functions are to be held on the date that could affect your day in any way
- Check whether there are any limitations in the hiring of the venue, perhaps areas of the property which are restricted or the use of candles being prohibited
- Find out whether sufficient parking is available; perhaps a minor consideration but without doubt the difference between a satisfied guest, and a frustrated one
- Check on any constraints when it comes to both alcohol and food: whether you can bring your own wine, whether corkage applies, and whether barmen are included in the hire; and be sure to have sampled and approved the full menu before the day if your venue is doing the catering
And if you’ve ticked all your most important boxes… then you’ve chosen the perfect venue for a perfect wedding.