Location, Location, Location
The venue you choose will be the starting point for all the other plans you make
Choosing your venue is arguably the most important decision for the day, as everything else you plan will be based on this. Your first discussion is going to be whether you want to have the ceremony at a church, register office or somewhere that is special to you, or whether you will be getting married at the same venue as your reception. Hiring a celebrant can open up the options of where you can get married.
Going for two venues may mean you need to consider putting on transport between the two for the guests, so ideally try to keep them as close to each other as possible. You will also need careful planning in getting the two venues booked on the same day – popular venues get snapped up years in advance, so start your search as soon as possible.
Tying the knot on a weekday could open up your options and will most likely be cheaper.
Your guest list (and budget of course!) will define the size of location. Having a large list will rule out some smaller intimate venues, whereas if you are keeping it to close family and friends a large venue may make the occasion feel a bit empty.
Venues will have both upper and lower limits on numbers of guests so you need to be realistic from the outset as to the size of your party.
Geographical location will also be a factor. Do you want to hold it near to where you live, or is there a particular location most of your family and friends are situated? Alternatively, do you have your heart set on a venue that is nowhere near anyone in particular? Key considerations include: How easy will it be for guests to get to the venue? Do you need to look at finding accommodation for anyone? Does the venue offer any accommodation?
Also see what packages the venue has with regards to catering, music and entertainment, decorations etc, and find out if they can offer discounts if you take up all of their services.
Find out if there are any restrictions, such as how late the party can go on for, what you are allowed regarding music and decorations, or whether you can have fireworks in the evening. Ask whether you will have a dedicated wedding co-ordinator to discuss plans with the in the months running up to your nuptials and whether they will be there on the day to help things run smoothly.
Other key questions to ask include: Is there somewhere for you to get ready in the morning? Will yours be the only event taking place there on the day? When do you have to put down the deposit? And when is the final payment needed?
Do you have your heart set on a particular venue but it is not big enough for the number of guests you are inviting? Don’t dismay, look at the grounds available to the venue – will they let you put up a marquee to give you that extra space?
Marquees can offer you so many options, whether to hold the entire celebration in, the wedding breakfast, or just the evening’s disco. With the unpredictable British weather, a marquee could simply offer shelter whether it be from sun or rain should you choose to have an outdoor wedding.
• For more venue inspiration, visit www.planningyourwedding.co.uk
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