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Choosing A Wedding Venue

choosing a wedding venue


Choosing a wedding venue is one of the most important decisions you'll ever have to make when it comes to preparing for your big day. You will be spending most of your day there, so it is vital that you choose the venue that is both right for you and your fiance. If you are based in the UK.  A good starting point is to check Office For National Statistics where you can purchase a list of over 3000 venues for a very small fee.

Many couples decide to have a civil cereomony which can take place at the venue itself.  If you decide upon a religious ceremony, it's a good idea to make sure the venue is no more than 20 minutes away and that hotel accomodation for your guests is also near the wedding venue.  

Finding the right wedding venue can take a lot of time and research.  You will want it to be as perfect as it can be.  You will want to make a shortlist of all the venues you like and visit each of these venues, asking several questions about what they provide.  First thing first.  Once you have narrowed your choices down, check your date is available and set up meetings as soon as possible, you will want to book your venue as early as you possible can.

There are several types of venues you can choose to have.

Historic wedding reception
Hotel wedding reception
Marquee wedding reception
Sports or social club wedding reception
Restaurant or pub wedding reception

When choosing a venue.  Ask yourself some questions, because the answers may rule out some of your choices.

How many guests will be coming?

The wedding venue will need to be large enough to accomodate all your guests.  It should have a formal room for your wedding breakfast and also a place for your guests to relax and drink when they arrive or shortly after the ceremony.

Is there room for a band or dancefloor?

Although it seems like an obvious question.  It's these details that can be overlooked.  Visit the venue and ask the same question.

What kind of atmospehere are you looking to create?

A venue is not just a place where people gather, it can create the whole atmosphere of your wedding reception.  Do you want a small intimate reception or a grand reception in a hundred year old castle.  Holding the reception in your local pub could be very much you, so you have to think about all these things.  It is important that you and your partner agree, it's his day as much as yours.  Many couples hire a field and hold the whole reception there, bare in mind, these types of weddings are like organising a mini festival, you will need power, toilets e.t.c.  This informal type of wedding can create a laid back atmosphere, removing all the formalities.  Deciding on the atmosphere you want to create first will help in choosing your wedding venue.

Can you personalise your venue?

You probably already have an idea of how you want your wedding to look and feel.  Check with your venue and see if they are flexible enough to help you create all your ideas for the day.  Always check how the venue is decorated, if there is something that you don't like in the room, ask if it can be removed for your big day.  If you want to add something to the rooms, make sure you ask if this is also possible.  Never assume anything and always ask everything.

Do you want a wedding co-ordinator?

Some venues will have their own wedding co-ordinator for the day.  They will help the day run smoothly and get you and your guests organised at the right moments.  Remember, it is your day, so you are in charge.  If the venue do have a co-ordinator, ensure you meet with them, so they know exactly what you want from your day.

Questions to ask the venue :

What is the cost of hiring the venue, are there any extras or additional charges?
Will any other functions be taking place on the same date?
Is catering provided? Can we use our own caterers? Is there a charge for using our own caterers?
Are tables, chairs, linen and tableware provided and choices of each? Do we need to hire these items?
How many hours are included in the cost?
Is everything insured?
Are there gardens, can we use them, is there room for a marquee?
Is there scope to decorate the reception rooms?
Is there a bridal suite for us to stay in?
Is there a music system or do we need to provide our own?

You may have more questions to ask, so before visiting the venue, create your very own checklist to take with you.  Don't be afraid to ask as many questions as you need to before you have booked the wedding venue and even afterwards.

Once you have decided on the venue.  Get your date booked and ask for everything you have discussed in a confirmation letter.  Most venues will require a deposit to secure your date, so before you do, check everything is in order.  Read the contracts and all the fine print.  This is a big decision and you will want to ensure everything is in order.

Finally.  Sit back and relax knowing you have gone over every details with a fine toothcomb.

If you have any further questions, why not ask other brides in our Forum
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