WEDDING PLANNING: 10 Tips for Choosing your Wedding Venue

12 June 2016 / Wedding Planning/ Latest News

Weddings at Holkham Hall Norfolk

Wedding Venue: Holkham Hall // Image by Katherine Ashdown Photography

Choosing a wedding venue is like buying a house. You check it out online, make an appointment to visit and then when you find the one that feels like “home”, you agonise over the price before deciding to put in an offer. However, if you ultimately don’t like the house, you can always move again – not so with a wedding!

We’ve come up with 10 top tips to help you find your forever wedding venue.

1.     Decisions, decisions, decisions

The venue is probably the biggest wedding planning decision you will make (maybe apart from the dress, girls). It determines the location, number of guests, styling, and therefore should be the first item on your spreadsheet after you make some decisions about what kind of wedding you want. It should also be the first thing you book, as a lot of your other bookings can’t be made until this one is firmly on the calendar.  

2.     Have fun!

It should also be one of the most enjoyable decisions, so be sure to make the most of it. Visit as many different type wedding venues as you can, do as many tastings as possible, and always take the complimentary bubbly when it’s offered – after all, you are getting married!

3.     Style over substance

While it’s important to consider the type of venue you want – traditional, quirky, city chic – it’s also important to make sure it is fit for purpose. 

What good is a converted barn if it only holds 50 and your guest list is already creeping up to 100? Be prepared to make some tough decisions and compromise ( I know, not the word you like to hear!) 

4.     That blasted budget

We’d all love to shout to the world “there is no cost to our love” but realistically, there is! Think about how much you can spend and try to visit venues that you know are in that ballpark. If you get your heart set on a budget-busting wedding venue then the rest of your day may suffer as you try to claw back the budget or you will have to dig deep to get extra funds. 

5.     Check out the reviews

We do it when making most of our big purchases: car, holidays, phones – so why not a wedding venue? Type it into google (other search engines are available) and you will most likely find a number of brides that are only too happy to tell you about their day – all good hopefully! Don't forget the reviews on social media pages and ask the questions in Facebook groups. 

6.     Make a list

You will have so many ideas and questions going round in your head, so be sure to write them down and take that list with you when you visit each venue. Or even better, create a spreadsheet/questionnaire with all of your questions and tick them off so you can compare venues 'like for like'.  That way, you can walk away knowing you have all the information you need to make a decision.

7.     Travel Time

If you’re having the service in your local church, think about the maximum time you and your guests are prepared to spend travelling to the reception venue. Maybe draw a circle on a map with the church in the middle to identify your search area.

8.     Make a connection

You will no doubt get to know the wedding coordinator at your chosen venue very well in the months leading up to the wedding. Although it’s certainly not a deal breaker, making a good connection with them will make the journey to your big day much less stressful.

9.     Access all areas

A wedding venue has many parts to play: ceremony, eating, drinking, dancing & photography. When visiting, try to envisage how the space would work. If you’re keeping your daytime guest list to a minimum and inviting more evening guests, it’s worth asking if the room can be sectioned off until then. Ask questions and make suggestions if you see the potential. If you don't ask, you don't get, right?

10.     Picture perfect

There’s nothing better to beat off those post-wedding blues than checking out your pictures and video. While you’re looking around, think about locations for those special first shots as man and wife. And don’t forget to consider inside options – we do live in England after all!

I hope you found these helpful and if you have any other tips that you think we should add, do comment and let us know! 

Much love and until next time, 

Dalia Courridge Norfolk Brides
Dalia Courridge

By Dalia Courridge

Owner of Norfolk Brides - the wedding guide, wedding blog and inspirational hub for couples planning their wedding in Norfolk; Wedding Fair and Wedding Show organiser. Editor to a FREE annual glossy Norfolk Brides Magazine.