Short Guide: Choosing a Wedding Venue

First, congratulations on your engagement and may you both live happily ever after. Now that you know your journey together is certain you have to begin planning. There are heaps of details to mull over so hopefully you have your binder in hand and maybe even a planner to consult. We’re going to talk about the centerpiece of your big day (besides the two of your, of course) – the wedding venue.

Where to start

The first step should be estimating how many guests you’ll be inviting. This is a pretty big determining factor going forward. Different venues offer different capacities and not all are able to adjust up or down by large amounts. Most venues will have a guest count minimum, so aim low in your estimate because it’s less trouble to add people than to ask they be removed.

Take time with your fiance to decide on a budget that you both know you’ll stick to. If you have your eye on a specific location, look into the prices. Having that budget set can save you the frustration of fall for somewhere outside of what’s affordable. A guideline figure is that less than 50% of your budget should go to the venue. Know what you’re spending and lock it in so you can know what’s left for other expenses.

The internet is your friend

Professional advice never hurt anyone, especially when planning such a big moment in your life. This is doubly so if it’s free. Many planners tend to have websites or blogs where they list their favorite places and often review them. Check out their photos, read the posts and get a better picture of what you can do with space. If you’re looking for some ideas this wedding vendor spotlight is a great place to start.

The wedding date is entirely up to you. Maybe you have a specific date or season in mind or you may be more flexible. If the date isn’t set in stone, take some time to look at different rates for different times. Check out how the seasons affect your venue (especially if it’s outdoors and you don’t live in the tropics.) Inquire about the popularity of your chosen location so you’ll get a grasp of available. Google is definitely your friend here.

Let’s make it “you”

The location you’ve chosen will say heaps about you, but the style of the wedding can shape the mood even further. It’s important to have an idea of what you’re trying to portray on the day of your wedding. When I said early that the venue was the centerpiece, this is what I meant. Pick what you want the guest to “feel” and decorate accordingly.

With the above in mind, your next task is the colors and decorations. This follows the same vein as the above with what your sensibilities as a couple are and what you want to convey to your guest. This is as simple as being consistent with the mood and backdrop. Just have fun with it.

It’s so simple (but only in hindsight)

It’s quite easy to become wrapped up in the chaos of logistics. It’s important and you want everything to be perfect. You want everything to go as you imagined it. You want the day to be beautiful, everyone to be on time and for a good time to be had by all. The truth is that nothing is ever perfect.

Plan for the day to go amazingly, but don’t fret if someone is late, or if it’s a bit cloudy. The truth is that everyone is there because they want to see you happy. The details aren’t as important to your guest as see you and your fiance tie the knot, have your first dance and possibly stumble through a drunken speach. What really matters is the people.

So, get that binder together, consult your planner (if you have one) and remember to have fun. That’s what most important. It will absolutely be stressful, so remember to have a laugh. It’ll all be worth it in the end.