Choosing your venue is a crucial part of wedding planning because once you have decided on the wedding venue, all the other details – colour, décor, etc. – should fall into place.
The most common mistake people make when choosing a wedding venue is falling in love with the aesthetic of the place and signing a contract before considering the practical aspects of it. Never make a down payment under pressure.
Keep in mind that choosing a venue is more than just finding a spot you like, it’s also about meeting all your needs as a couple. Here are some important criteria to consider when choosing your wedding venue:
#01 Establish the Overall Vision
If decor and styling is a priority, this is an important first step. Sit down with your fiancé and discuss what kind of theme you want for your wedding day. If you want a contemporary wedding, think of venues like warehouse spaces or art galleries. If you’re thinking of an outdoor ceremony, look to the highlands or beach venues. You can also consider the list of hotels that offer outdoor spaces here.
Whatever your choice is, deciding on a wedding style prior to visiting potential venues prevents you from being swept away by the place just because it looks nice. ‘Choosing a venue that fits the theme well goes a long way, it will help with your budget as well if less materials are needed to transform a space to fit a vision.’ says Juvien, planner and stylist of Eventisty (a wedding planning company that prides itself in being sustainable).
TIP: Should you decide to have an outdoor wedding like the ones featured here, do consider the weather and season during your wedding date.
#02 Go Through the Order of the Day
For logistic reasons, it would be best to have every session in the same venue. Look for venues that can cater every event you would be having, be it religious ceremonies, reception or even after-parties. Think about the flow of events and how your guests would transition from one event to the other as well.
Considering to host your wedding at two distinct venues? Deciding on venues that are close by to each other is a good idea. Another thing to consider about having separate venues? Décor for each venue may be different and it would be logistically challenging to reuse decors thus adding to the budget.
#03 Get a Rough Estimate on The Guest List
Do you dream of a big fairytale wedding or a small and intimate affair? Your guest list is a big determinant of your wedding location. Each venue have their respective maximum capacity and minimum booking required to keep it exclusive for your event. To accommodate an extensive guest list; hotels, chinese restaurants, banquet halls are the best options. Not only do they have the space to facilitate a large party, they also have the manpower and experience for it.
Alternatively, consider glasshouses. they may not be outdoor per se but you will be able to achieve similar aesthetics.
TIP: Drop by for a peek when the venue of interest is hosting an event with the same guest list size. Make an effort to check out venues you have shortlisted in person if you’re able to.
#04 Stick to Your Budget
Discuss with your fiancé how much you are willing to spend on the venue. It would be prudent to set a budget before paying a visit to any venue. It would help you tremendously if you only ‘shop’ for venues within your budget. However, if you have fallen in love with a particular venue but you have a tight budget, there are ways to get around it. One option is to slash the budget for other things. For example, if having this venue will help you save on décor, then by all means. Another option is to pick an off-peak-season wedding date. Alternatively, find a location with the same ambience or have your wedding in unusual space and bring in a caterer. Commonly used spaces are often overpriced.
TIP: The amount allocated for venue and caterer should not be more than half of your wedding budget.
Read More: How To Get Started on The Wedding Budget
#05 Where are Your Guest Coming From?
Do you have a lot of guest coming from out of town? If so, you may want to consider a location with lodging at site. Remember that you may have to allocate additional finances for van or bus hire if your wedding venue is out of reach of public transportation. The other thing to consider is how your guests would occupy their time before and after your wedding. This is one of the reasons why a venue within the city is still the most sought after option.
#06 Look Into The Specifics
Certain venues require additional rentals of chair, sound system and catering. After factoring all these additional cost, a full-service venue may end up being friendlier to your budget. However, remember that facilities included at full-service venues can also be very basic and you may still have to allocate additional budget for these things. To start, list out the things that you’ll need in order of priority, for some this may include chiavari chairs, DJ, live band, cocktail bar etc. To start, get a rough estimate and price out everything, compare both venues and decide from there.
#07 Personalise It
We understand that choosing a wedding venue can seem like a daunting task and the choices are diverse. As much as you may be drawn to a certain look you perhaps saw on Pinterest or an inspiration drawn from the real weddings featured on TWN, be sure to stay true to yourselves. For whatever reasons, you may not be able to secure the ‘dream location’ you thought you must have, it helps to remember that the end goal is a celebration of your love. Think about how the both of you are as a couple and which part of your relationship you would want to celebrate or highlight. Personalise your wedding! That is the best advice we have for every couple out there. Happy shopping!