If the wedding dress is thought to be THE most important choice for your special day, then the wedding venue must be a close second! The venue is generally the first step in the planning process as the theme, date, and all of the day’s other decisions are based on the venue.
Settling on the site for the wedding day takes research, planning, time, and patience. To be able to have your first choice in location means narrowing down your favourites quickly. The “perfect” venue may even require a booking a year or two in advance!
Since choosing a venue can be a crucial decision, we have collected some ideas and tips to help you in your search for the perfect wedding venue!
Pens to paper, it’s time for the venue budget! Don’t fret, you can still manage to stick to the overall wedding budget with just a bit of imagination and brainstorming. The venue you choose may have an all-in-one package to include the ceremony, flowers, décor, reception, catering, and possibly the photographer costs.
For those without all the bells and whistles, be sure to list what you want and expect when discussing options with the venue manager. If you need to hire someone from each category, you may need to shrink one budget to expand another.
As in real estate, location, location, location is key! If you have everything in one spot, half of your work is done. In most cases, this is not an option, so choosing a venue location takes more planning. For instance, if you are getting married in a church, chances are you will need to travel to a nearby spot for pictures and then to another for a catered reception. And perhaps to another spot for a dance and party.
Travelling between places will take time, as well as a backup plan in case of traffic or bad weather. This holds true not only for the wedded couple but for vendors and wedding guests.
Another location factor to consider is logistics. That is, if the wedding is to take place in the same region as most of the guests are from, or if the special day is a destination wedding.
Whether it is a destination wedding or a wedding in your home province, keep in mind the number of guests you may want to invite. Venues have capacity limits, which may be the deciding factor in your guest list. While you don’t want to book a space that can only hold 200 people if you have a 300+ guest list, you also don’t want to book a place that is too big for your guest count. This will cause headaches and cost you more money as you try to compensate for the emptiness of the room by filling it with more décor and flowers.
Check the Reviews Before Booking
Reviews are the go-to for restaurants, hotels, and trade services. Wedding venues are no different. People will certainly give an honest opinion when it comes to whether the most important day of their lives was a success, or a disaster, because of the venue.
Pay attention to the language used in the review as some people use these comment sections to complain about insignificant details. While not every place is going to be perfect, it should check most of your requirement boxes to be given a chance. These reviews can help to narrow down the venue before spending time and effort to visit the location.
Consider Your Wedding Theme
Your dream wedding may have a theme as a backdrop. For most venues, this idea will work fine as popular locations regularly host weddings and have adequate equipment or vendors on hand. If your theme is unique and your chosen location cannot supply what you need, renting everything can require an expanded budget.
Another consideration for coordinating your theme with the wedding venue is the available décor. A Victorian-themed wedding could be held in a garden setting, a castle, or a manor house. The venue may be draped in exactly what you are looking for, from the type of lighting down to the tablecloths.
Transportation and Parking
As mentioned, the needs of the guests should be considered when choosing a venue. This doesn’t mean you have to base your decision solely on the comforts of your guests, but you should ensure particular needs are met. For example, accessibility to and from various locations can be handled by renting a shuttle and driver to transport guests. If that plan isn’t feasible, ensure the locations of the day offer sufficient parking close by.
It seems insignificant in the bigger picture of a wedding to plan; however, it is imperative to ensure there are washrooms on site and that there is an adequate number to accommodate a crowd. While wedding-hosting locations offer acceptable and accessible facilities, you may have to make other arrangements in the form of portable restrooms if the venue is not near public facilities.
Matching Your Wedding Dress with the Venue
Depending on if you have a theme or want to ensure you do not clash with the décor, you may choose the venue BEFORE settling on the details of the dress. Wedding dress shopping can be an adventure when looking to coordinate the dress with the venue. This can be seen with a lace dress for a soft romantic setting or a bohemian style dress for an outdoor ceremony. Bridal shops often display dresses in accordance with style to help with the search.
Opportunity Bridal can help you find your dream dress that may just make the venue choice a bit easier! Our travelling pop-up wedding dress shop sale provides an opportunity to choose from more than 600 dresses in sizes 2 to 28. Nowhere else can you buy a designer wedding dress with savings of up to 90% off the suggested retail price and take it home the same day! Check out our schedule here to see when we are coming to a location near you!
Ricarda is the National Sales Manager for Opportunity Bridal. Ricarda comes from a creative background but has been working in the Bridal industry for over 5 years and has done over 300 sales events, coast to coast. Her mission is to create welcoming and warm experiences for everyone she meets and loves the chance to learn and share her knowledge of the Bridal industry with others.