Weddings are among the biggest events in a person’s life. It’s the most planned for, talked about and photographed event, with the possible exception of having a baby. Nothing else compares to wedding planning in terms of venue, number of people involved and theme decisions. The first big decision, the one that leads into every decision afterward, is the venue. Finding the perfect venue can be like finding a needle in a haystack. But when you do, it’s as good as gold. So what’s the secret to finding the perfect wedding venue?
TIMING AND BASIC CONSIDERATIONS
Begin thinking of and checking out locations for your wedding within a few minutes, (ok that may be pushing it!) or days of having the engagement ring placed on your finger. For many, it may be as simple as the chapel or church where you were baptized.
For others, it’s a much more difficult process. Considerations include whether relatives and friends are local or scattered in far flung locations, various taste and style options, different religions, budget and more.
SEPARATE DREAMS FROM REALITY
Considering Budget While Choosing Wedding Venue
Your budget will have the most impact on your venue choice. Weddings can be as simple and inexpensive as saying “I do” in the backyard on a nice day to intricate and expensive as the ballroom of a castle in Europe. Most brides will fall somewhere in between when choosing a venue. Consider your budget first because the venue can take a big chunk out of it. If you have $25,000 and securing a small yacht for the night takes 35% of it, you’re spreading the budget very thin for other bits.
What size of wedding venue to choose
Yes, size matters, especially regarding the wedding party and number of guests. Will you have a small intimate ceremony or will it remind you of a scene from the classic movie Father of the Bride where all 500 potential guests accept their invitation? In other words, a tiny chapel hidden in the mountains accessible only by dirt roads will not properly accommodate a wedding party and guests above 25-30 people. Nor will it be appropriate to book a 200 couple capacity ballroom for less than half that number of guests.
Wedding Venue ideas
Destination weddings have become wildly popular among couples of all ages. The most popular locations include beach settings or boutique hotels but mountain ranges, tree lined parks and skyscraper rooftops also make for stunning weddings. Many hostels and hotels, both boutique and chain, offer wedding packages that make planning easy and can work with a wide range of budgets.
THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX
unique wedding venue
When it comes to finding the perfect venue, sometimes thinking outside the box enables you to come up with a brilliant solution. Here are a few suggestions that range from practical and traditional to the adventurous and daring.
- Chapel / Cathedral
- Quiet city street
- Sports bar
- Farm / Ranch
- Sports stadium
- Theme park
- Train / bus station
- Old town city center
- Boutique hotel
- Hotel ballroom
- Restaurant / bar
- Sailboat / yacht / houseboat
- Ballooning / sky diving
unique wedding locations
One couple decided to get married in the chapel of a funeral parlor. The chapel was beautiful and being attached to a funeral home didn’t bother them. In fact, it added the solemnity and hilarity in equal portions as they vowed “till death us do part.” Plus, the staff members were so excited to plan a happy event, they really knocked themselves out to make the wedding special.
GO AHEAD, ASK THE SILLY QUESTIONS
When you decide to book a venue and begin the actual process, please don’t be afraid to ask questions. Ask a lot of questions, even if you think they’re silly.
FOR OUTDOOR VENUES
- What do you suggest as a backup plan to bad weather?
- Is the venue handicap accessible?
- Is first aid offered?
- How close is the nearest hospital?
- What kind of wildlife can be seen in the area?
- How many staff members will be available?
- How many weddings are done in the average month?
- What exactly is included in the package price?
- How soon do I need to book for a specific month or time of day?
- Do you offer catering or have suggestions for a good caterer?
Saying yes to the question “Will you marry me?” was the easy part. Once you sort the venue, you can start planning the invitations, decorations, food, flowers and all the other details that will come together for your special day.
Author Freya Tonks is a PR and Digital Analyst for Pier One Sydney Harbour and specializes in wedding photography, design and hospitality and she enjoys sharing her insights on these areas of expertise.
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