The wedding date, guest list, attire, and major selections, like the number and gender of attendants in your bridal and groomsmen parties, are just a few of the many factors to consider when preparing for your wedding.
Choosing the location of your wedding, however, is a decision that should not be taken lightly under any circumstances. The wedding venue serves as the setting for the big day, provides the backdrop for the wedding photos, and is where you and your spouse will make lifelong memories. How, then, can you guarantee that you'll choose the right choice?
Keep these advice in mind when you have narrowed your selections and are ready to see reception sites.
Table of Contents
FAQs About Wedding Venue
Location. Location is one of the crucial things to consider while choosing a wedding venue. A large number of guests come to attend the marriage ceremony. Moreover, all of your guests come from different locations.
If you plan to transform a space to fit your vision with flowers, greenery, and decorations, selecting a wedding venue that can be a blank canvas for all of those items is important. Look for venues with neutral colouring, natural brick and stone, and open spaces or tall ceilings.
It means the number of people you are expecting to attend your event. Make sure that your venue can easily accommodate your expected target audience. Your venue should not be too small or too large for your guests.
As soon as you and your spouse have settled on a venue, make the reservation. Booking a wedding venue 15 months in advance is considerably better than finding out your preferred wedding venue isn't available for the dates you want.
Location is one of the most important points on this list, as your guests or attendees will be travelling to where you will host the event. The location should be centrally and easy to access, identifiable, clean and secure. Hosting an event at an identifiable venue can bring comfort and legitimacy to an event.
Wedding Day Aesthetics
How well-defined is your ideal party? Is it a formal event? Do you want a classic nuptial or a cutting-edge celebration? When exactly, day or night, will it take place? Are we talking about an indoor or outdoor event? Does it matter if you'll have a garden wedding or if you will be served with gourmet food?
Before you search for a wedding venue, it is helpful to establish a general location and prioritise the features that will make your big day perfect.
Influence of the Climate
The weather becomes a major consideration if any portion of your event is scheduled to take place outside. It's nice to have a party when the sun is shining, but be careful if you're planning on going outside when the temperature starts to climb inside.
Shade from the sun can be achieved with the help of a canopy or table umbrellas. Ensure that your event goes off without a hitch by inquiring with the venue managers about the extent of weather on the days and months in question.
Guests may become uncomfortably warm in a ceremony if held in a room with white walls or other reflective surfaces. Make sure people know to bring a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen if your February event is scheduled for the middle of the day.
If the map also shows guests where they can sit (by the pool, on the yacht dock, or on the grass), they can better plan for the weather.
If you're planning a party this summer, you may want to hold it in the evening instead of the middle of the day. The temperature drops, and you might even be treated to a beautiful sunset as a bonus.
If you're planning an outdoor event during a time of year when the weather is unpredictable and could turn chilly or wet, you should have a backup plan ready, such as a tent or dry indoor location.
Certain locations may have stringent policies. If the majority of your invitees are smokers, for instance, you'll want to have the event somewhere that doesn't prohibit tobacco use. Ensure serving alcohol is legal and investigate whether a bartending licence is required.
If having space for dancing and a loud band is essential, then you should only choose venues that meet those requirements. Is there going to be a mix of young ones, old ones, vegans, and others who need special dietary accommodations? Then you must account for them in your preparations. Before agreeing to terms for your event, you should make a list of what matters most.
Driving And Traffic Considerations
Many of your guests will likely drive long distances to attend your wedding. They could use Google Maps or any other navigation tool to find their place, but keep in mind that these tools aren't always accurate.
With the complexity of the highway system and the likelihood of traffic delays, your guests will appreciate the detailed directions on a separate, to-scale map you send along with the invitation.
Directional symbols (north, south, etc.) and exit names should be included. You should practise following the route to ensure you know the correct exits, landmarks, and street names. If your event will take place in the evening, take a practice run at night to identify lit landmarks that will help your guests find their way to and from the venue.
It's important to keep Friday evening commuters in mind if your event is scheduled for that time, especially if the location is prone to heavy traffic. If you want to avoid traffic, consider having your party after 7 p.m.
Even though you're free to choose wherever you like, you should still think about how long it will take you to get there and back. More than two hours means an overnight stay, which could mean having to hold the event on the weekend instead of a weekday because many of your guests likely won't be able to spare the time to drive for hours during the week.
Assuming that some of your guests will be flying in, having a nearby airport is a must. If any of your coworkers, colleagues, or family members are heavy drinkers, it's also a good idea to book accommodations close to the venue.
It's fine to think about anything extraordinary while you're in an unusual setting. Keep in mind that an on-site coordinator at your venue or a wedding planner can be invaluable resources when organising a destination wedding: Many of these individuals have extensive expertise with destination events and can be invaluable resources.
Securing the Date of Your Function
You've only been looking for a garden for a day, and already you've found a stunning one that's on the day you seek. You've only looked at two places so far, so even if you like it, you're not sure it's the one. Sure thing; no worries there. In order to leave your choices open, you make a tentative reservation.
The coordinator at the site will note your scheduled visit, congratulate you, and then add you to her appointment book. You thank them and then mention that you could find "about 27" more interesting websites to check out, but this particular one caught your eye. You can always return to this lovely garden if your other options aren't working out.
The nightmare doesn't begin until you've done all your homework and phoned back the first place you would like to finalise the details. That time frame could be measured in weeks or months. An apology from the coordinator is made because, apparently, your date was given away due to:
- One of the other ladies in the office accidentally deleted your name (after all, you only pencilled it in).
- Missed your response a little bit
- You didn't pay a deposit to secure your reservation.
You're frustrated, but there's little you could do but think about physically harming the manager or suing the facility.
Hotels that would prefer book a large convention on your wedding date than a small one will sometimes give up a date for a smaller wedding because of a mistake or because they believe the larger event will bring in more money.
Instead of being tentatively pencilled in for the date, ask whether a refundable check can be written to hold it for a set period of time. This will lessen the blow (and worry) of getting bumped. Supposing the accountable party only agrees to this condition—that they receive the full amount immediately (usually non-refundable).
Your ability to absorb a total loss if you discover a more suitable alternative at a later date is entirely under your control. Once the administrator or salesperson gets your money, you are considerably more difficult to dislodge.
You should request a receipt that specifies the date, month, year, area(s), and expiry date of your provisional booking. Then, to be extra cautious while you're exploring other options, it's recommended that you contact the venue once every week.
Get anything in writing when you're ready to make a long-term commitment. Don't stop nagging the coordinator until you get written confirmation if you don't hear back from them within a week. Get in your car and go to the sales office, if that's what it takes.
You should still get in touch with the director every few months to make sure everything is still on track, even after you settled in cash and obtained a confirmation letter and contract. No matter how secure you feel in your position, staying on top will do you well.
Food And Alcohol Quality
The majority of event budgets go towards food and drink, thus, caterers typically provide extensive menus. You should think carefully about the variety, quantity, and quality of your food and drink, as this is where a sizable portion of your budget will go. If catering is offered on-site, you may want to try a few different dishes before committing to a large upfront payment. Ask the caterer to set up a visit to another event half an hour before your own to see how the food is set up and presented. You should try the wines and beers ahead of time and be very specific when choosing the hard liquors.
If you're having your wedding in a rural region, parking probably won't be a big deal, but if you have your celebration in a place like Sydney or Melbourne, be sure you know how it's going to be handled.
You can provide parking instructions on a map included with the invitation. You might want to include a comment advising carpooling or mentioning that valet parking or shuttle service is available at the venue. If there is a parking fee, please specify how much it will be per vehicle and where the entrances are located. You don't want your guests to be annoyed because they couldn't find parking or are unprepared for the $10-$30 parking fee.
Tips for Choosing Your Wedding Venue
Establish Your Absolute Must-Haves.
Skip tours without outdoor space. If not, you may find love and need to reorganise your life.
Never Visit More Than Three Wedding Venues In One Day.
Don't let your senses get overstimulated! Due to the scheduled ceremony times, there are often strict limits on when a reception can begin.
Leave Out Any Romantic Sounding Location That Can't Fit Your Guest Number.
Don't gamble on RSVPs lowering the final number. This strategy has never been successful.
To what extent do the numbers vary? Sixty to ninety days before your event, many venues may ask for a ballpark estimate, and some will even want a deposit based on that number. An official headcount or guarantee is required no later than 72 hours before the event. You'll need to know how many people to expect in order to set a realistic budget and choose the best location for your ceremony and reception.
It's also crucial that the number of attendees you report to the venue ahead of time stays consistent. It is possible, though unlikely that more guests will show up to your reception than you anticipated. How? It's possible that some guests who didn't bother to RSVP will turn up regardless.
Reach out to everyone who didn't respond to your invitation so you won't have any uninvited guests, especially if your reception will be enormous and names will be hard to keep track of. Inform them that you need a response by a certain date to finalise food and drink costs.
Confirm The Valet And Security Policy.
Some locations demand a flat cost of several hundred dollars, while others charge between $5 and $25 per vehicle. (Add around $40 to $60 for each attendant in gratuities.)
Choose a Location From the Central Area if Most of Your Guests Are Going to Be on the Road.
Guests may find it challenging to travel to a distant estate four hours away from the nearest airport.
Some Hotels May Have Many Weddings on the Same Weekend.
Ensure you enquire about any potential conflicts between your party and other events.
Determine the Catering Policies of the Venue.
To what extent can the menu be customised? Do you have the option of shopping from any retailers, or are you limited to those on a select list? If you are a food lover, make sure to find out if the venue offers tastings. In the absence of a tasting menu or other opportunities to try the food before making a reservation, you should ask for recommendations from other diners.
How Long Are You Planning to Party?
The volume of music may not exceed a certain level in some places, especially residential neighbourhoods. Make sure everything is in order before making a reservation. Overtime pay may cost you thousands of dollars per hour.
Is Your Ideal Location Fit Within Your Price Range? Is There Anything Else You Need To Pay For Besides The Site Fee?
To avoid debt, it's important to check that there are no undisclosed associated costs with your chosen option.
It's possible that if you don't own the tables, chairs, plates, cutlery, etc., you'll have to pay a hefty sum to rent them. Find out if the final price includes all applicable taxes and if tips are included.
There Could Be Two Separate Setup Fees if Your Ceremony Is Taking Place on the Premises.
Arranging chairs for a reception or ceremony at some locations can cost an additional $50-$100.
Check the Electrical Capability of the Venue
Verify the electrical needs of the DJ or wedding band. You may need to reserve or pay for a generator if the power supply is insufficient.
Do They Have Restrooms, or Do You Have to Pay Extra for Them?
This is something you definitely don't want to miss!
If you're too busy to worry about the finer details of throwing a party but yet want it to go off without a hitch, choose a location that will take care of everything from the food and drink to the décor and entertainment.
Better still, get the services of a professional wedding or event planner. Regardless of the situation, delegating work will make your life considerably simpler. These experts usually have established networks of reliable suppliers that may provide discounts to their clients.
The site of the ceremony is a crucial choice that should never be made hastily. If any part of your event is going to be held outside, weather is a crucial factor to think about. It's probably best to avoid the heat of the day if you're throwing a party this summer. You should have a tent or another dry inside spot ready in case of rain if you're hosting an event outdoors. For example, if the vast majority of your guests are smokers, selecting a venue that does not allow smoking indoors is crucial.
The best way to guarantee that you remember the correct exits, landmarks, and street names is to practise following the route. There should be an airport in the area. As an added precaution, it's smart to reserve a hotel close to the event if you know that any of your friends, colleagues, or family members tend to drink excessively. While planning a destination wedding, it can be quite helpful to have either an on-site coordinator at your location or a wedding planner. When making a long-term commitment, ensure sure everything is documented.
If the coordinator hasn't responded to your email within a week, keep bugging them until you have written confirmation. Variety, quantity, and quality of what you eat and drink should all be given serious consideration. If on-site catering is available, you might wish to sample a few items before making a sizable down payment. No later than 72 hours before the event, an official headcount or assurance is necessary. If you want to have a successful wedding and reception, you need to know how many guests to prepare for.
A few spots charge a few hundred dollars all at once, while others charge between five and twenty-five dollars each car. Learn the Venue's Requirements for Catering. Can you shop at any store, or are there only a few you can visit? Find out if the location offers tastings if you are interested in food. You may need to rent a generator or make other arrangements if there isn't enough electricity. Can you use the restrooms there, or do you have to pay extra?
- There are a lot of things to think about while organising a wedding, such as the date, the number of guests, the attire, and the important choices, such as the makeup of the bridal and groomsmen parties.
- Still, you shouldn't take too much time over the choice of where to have your wedding.
- It is in this location that you and your spouse will create memories that will last a lifetime: the setting for the ceremony and reception, the backdrop for your wedding album, and your first home as man and wife.
- It's best to have a rough idea of where you want to have your wedding and what amenities are most important to you before you start looking for a specific venue.
- If any part of your event is going to be held outside, weather is a crucial factor to think about.
- You may avoid any hiccups with your event by checking with the venue managers to see what the weather will be like on the days and months in question.
- Guests can prepare for the weather more effectively if the map includes indicates the areas where they can sit (by the pool, on the boat dock, or on the lawn).
- It's probably best to avoid the heat of the day if you're throwing a party this summer.
- Having a tent or a dry indoor site ready is a good idea if you're hosting an outdoor event during a time of year when the weather is unpredictable and could turn cold or wet.
- For example, if the vast majority of your guests are smokers, selecting a venue that does not allow smoking indoors is crucial.
- Find out if a bartending licence is necessary and check local laws regarding the sale and service of alcoholic beverages.
- If so, you'll need to factor them into your plans.
- It's important to prioritise your needs for the event before finalising the details.
- Guests will travel from far and wide to celebrate your special day with you.
- Your guests will greatly appreciate the included, to-scale map with clear directions, especially given the intricacy of the local highway system and the potential of traffic delays.
- The best way to guarantee that you remember the correct exits, landmarks, and street names is to practise following the route.
- If your event is going to take place in the evening, you should do a dry run under the lights to find prominent landmarks that will help your attendees find their way.
- If your event is planned for a time on a Friday when a lot of people are likely to be commuting home from work, you should take that into account.
- If your visitors have to travel more than two hours each way, they will need at least one night away from home, which may force you to schedule your event for the weekend instead of during the week.
- Having a nearby airport is essential if you expect any of your guests to arrive via plane.
- As an added precaution, it's smart to reserve a hotel close to the event if you know that any of your friends, colleagues, or family members tend to drink excessively.
- While in a peculiar environment, it is acceptable to entertain any and all out-of-the-ordinary ideas.
- If you're planning a destination wedding, don't forget that the venue's on-site coordinator and a wedding planner can be huge help. Invaluable resources exist among this group, many of whom have substantial experience with destination events.
- A beautiful garden matching your criteria has been discovered in less than 24 hours.
- The reservation is tentative because you want to keep your options open.
- The site coordinator will see that you have an appointment, give you her congratulations, and write you into her appointment book.
- In case your other choices prove futile, you can always come back to this beautiful garden.
- Once you've finished researching your options and called the first business you'd like to deal with to finalise the arrangements, the horror can begin.
- The organiser extends her apologies, saying that your date was given away because one of the other women in the office accidently erased your name from the guest list (after all, you only pencilled it in).
- It appears that you did not reserve this room by making a deposit.
- Hotels that accidentally schedule a huge convention on your wedding date may reject your request to do a smaller wedding on the same day. This may be the case if the hotel believes the convention will bring in more money.
- If you'd like to secure the date for a certain amount of time without committing to it, you might ask if a refundable check can be made.
- If you do this, getting bumped won't be as devastating (or stressful) as it otherwise would be.
- It will be far more challenging to get your money back after the administrator or salesperson has it.
- Make sure you have a receipt that includes the day, month, year, reservation area(s), and cancellation policy.
- Then, it's advised that you get in touch with the venue once a week to be safe while you're looking into alternative possibilities.
- When making a long-term commitment, ensure sure everything is documented.
- If the coordinator hasn't responded to your email within a week, keep bugging them until you have written confirmation.
- Even after you've payed in cash and gotten a confirmation letter and contract, you should check in with the director every few months to make sure everything is still on track.
- Food and drink normally take up the bulk of event costs, thus caterers usually offer a wide variety of options.
- Since your food and drink will consume a substantial percentage of your budget, it's important to give serious consideration to the variety, quantity, and quality of what you purchase.
- If you want to see how the catering will be set up and presented, ask the caterer if you can stop by another event half an hour before your own.
- If you're hosting your wedding in a more rural area, parking won't be a problem, but if it's going to be held in a city like Sydney or Melbourne, you need plan ahead and figure out how guests will be accommodated.
- Including a map with the invitation is a great way to communicate parking information to guests.
- A comment suggesting carpooling or noting the availability of valet parking or shuttle service could be useful.
- Indicate the entrances and the cost per vehicle if a parking fee is required.
- It would be awful if your guests were irritated because they couldn't find parking or didn't bring enough money to pay the $10-$30 price.
- Limits on when a reception can start are commonly imposed by the scheduled ceremony times.
- Don't take the chance that fewer people will show up after RSVPing.
- No later than 72 hours before the event, an official headcount or assurance is necessary.
- If you want to have a successful wedding and reception, you need to know how many guests to prepare for.
- It is also essential that the pre-event attendance count you provide the venue with remains unchanged.
- Although it's quite unusual, your wedding reception could end up having more attendees than you expected.
- Even if not all invited guests have responded with an RSVP, it is still feasible that everyone invited will show up.
- If your reception is going to be really large and names are going to be difficult to keep track of, you may want to contact all of the people who didn't RSVP to make sure that nobody shows up who wasn't invited.
- Don't forget to mention that you'll need an answer by a specific date in order to finalise the food and beverages budget.
- You should find out if there will be any scheduling issues between your party and other activities.
- Find out if the location offers tastings if you are interested in food.
- Ask for recommendations from other diners if the restaurant doesn't provide a tasting menu or other ways to test the meal before making a reservation.
- If you want to make a reservation, you should check that everything is in order first.
- Determine if the total you'll be charged includes all taxes and whether or not tips are added in.
- For ceremonies and receptions, some venues may charge an extra $50-$100 for chair arrangements.
- Check that the DJ or wedding band will have enough power.
- If there isn't enough electricity, you may need to rent a generator or make other arrangements.