According to Bridebook’s 2018 Wedding Report, the venue is reported to be the highest associated cost to the wedding with spend in venues and marquee reaching £6,152 and £5,468 respectively. There was also a 22% increase in venue dressing (transforming a venue to meet the theme of your wedding) which now amounts to £882.
Make no mistake, the venue can make or break any wedding. As mother of the bride or the groom, it is one of your duties to help out with the planning and venues, but also to help the happy couple pick the right venue in the first place. To make things a little bit easier we’ve compiled a quick guide to help you find the perfect wedding space.
Consider Your Financial Capacity
Your budget is the first thing you should consider when shopping for a venue. This will help you narrow down your options early on and make the selection process easier by ruling out certain venues.
Space and Proximity
Another thing you should take note of is how near or far the venue is from the couple and your guests. You should also consider the number of guests. There’s no point booking a breathtaking venue if it can’t accommodate everyone on your wedding list. Make sure the venue has enough space for the activities you have planned for that day.
You’d want everyone to be able to attend your wedding, so the venue should be accessible to all your guests. Also be on the lookout for elevators and other facilities that would make it easier, even for your elderly guests to get around. If any of your guests have physical disabilities you might also need to check that there is wheelchair access / disabled toilets.
Research and be Open to Suggestions
Search for reviews online and listen to the recommendations of the people you know. Don’t be too quick to shutdown a certain venue you haven’t seen yet as well. Sometimes, there is more to a venue than just the photos. Some spaces can be transformed to your liking so try to see the potential of a place instead of picturing it exactly how it is in the photos. With a little bit of imagination, you might be able to turn a place you otherwise won’t consider into the perfect spot for your dream wedding.
Know what you Want
Before scouting for a venue, it’s best to know the specific things that you want the venue to have or accommodate, such as marquees on the lawn, a stage or a late licence. Make sure to communicate these details to the venue manager from the outset, so you’ll know right away, whether or not these expectations can be met.
Select a venue first before deciding on the colors for your wedding
This way, the colors will complement the space you’ll be renting and you’ll have more options to choose from since you won’t have to settle for venues in particular shades. Whilst many wedding styles will work with multiple venues, some may clash so find your venue first and all other style and theme considerations will flow naturally from that.
Decide on a style
What sort of style do you think reflects the personality of the couple? What sort of styling do they prefer? Any theme that they would like to work with?
Don’t limit the choices to conventional wedding spaces
Hotels and dedicated events venues are not all there is. Several ranches and barns can now be styled to work well with rustic weddings. Industrial warehouses work well for those with a modern taste while historic homes can serve as a unique venue for traditional weddings. For something nature-inspired, cliff top weddings can be absolutely breathtaking.
Other Essentials to Consider
Although most wedding days are exactly that, more and more people are opting for a two or three day wedding. According to the 2018 Bridebook report, 23% more people are opting to celebrate their big day over three days compared to five years ago. If this is something the couple is considering, pick a venue that can provide accommodation for your guests and allows you to mix the union with recreation. That will definitely create a memorable experience for everyone.
For great-looking photos, the venue should have adequate lighting. Its surrounding area should also be filled with picturesque spots for more shoot location options on the wedding day. Likewise, lighting is important because well-lit space allows the guests to appreciate the styling more and sets the mood for the celebration. Make sure the venue can accommodate the lighting style needed to enhance your theme.
Don’t be in too much haste when booking a venue. See to it that you and the couple are 100% sure with your choice before making that reservation. View the venue more than once. If something does not feel right, consider checking another venue. It’s better to take your time venue hunting at this stage to ensure that you have no doubts before booking.
Important Questions to Ask the Venue Provider
Often overlooked, here are some questions you should ask the people in charge at the venue:
- Will they be providing an MC or host?
- What does a typical flow of the program looks like?
- If there are venues for both the ceremony and reception in the same property, how far are they from one another?
- Do they have a shuttle to transport guests from one location to another within the venue?
- Do they provide in-house entertainment? What can guests do as they wait for the transition from ceremony to reception?
- Do they have food and beverages available?
- In case of rain, what options can they provide the couple?
The right wedding venue can encapsulate the couple’s wedding story and reflect their personalities. But while it is crucial for the setup of the event, remember that it is only one aspect of the wedding. There are other elements such as the food, program, attire, and many more that you should also pay attention to so don’t let the venue selection consume you.
Come the wedding day, there’s no telling what could happen. But take comfort in knowing that you did everything in your power to support the couple in planning their big day, in a way that only a mother can.