Tips for choosing your wedding venue

Rea Shaw wedding planning

Choosing your venue is one of the most important decisions for your wedding, as it be the back bone of choosing everything else that will compliment it. Before you make your final decision it's so important to work out what your vision is first. Many couples fall into the trap of rushing into choosing a venue because it's either cheap, local, or available, before actually thinking 'does this place match up with what we are trying to create overall'
Think of it this way from an extreme example, if you are after a low key wedding that feels intimate with a relaxed vibe with a organic flow to it, choosing a luxury hotel that has a red carpet outside, chandeliers hanging from the ceiling and a toastmaster to announce you in, is not going to match up with your vision, as that is aiming at a different couple. 
The likely hood of this happening is thankfully very slim as you know what you like and most importantly what you don't like! But I have seen it so many times before, when a couple chose somewhere and forgot to look at the finer details of the venue. Let's take a look at some of the most important things to take into consideration.
Consider your budget
Don't make the mistake by blowing most of your budget on the venue. There are lots of places to have your ceremony and reception at, you just have to do your research and hunt around. Be aware that if a venue is cheap, ask yourself why, often it will be because they are not offering any extras so you may need to sort those things out yourself. So remember to get your quote then work out what else you will need to bring it to life.
Location
How far your guests will have to travel to the venue is something to consider, no one wants to be in the car forever. Consider if it is easy to get to for all those attending and does it have somewhere for your guests to stay on site or nearby.
Space
It's important to consider the size of the venue, having too much of it or too little are not a good either way. Too much and your wedding won't feel intimate, too little and your guests will feel squashed. Also consider the ceiling height as this can transform a space, lots of venues have the options to use drapes to lower the ceiling to bring it down to a more intimate level.
Lighting
What kind of lighting does the venue have for the daytime and evening? This is often overlooked because it's not obvious, as most visits are in the daytime. If you are trying to create a particular mood and atmosphere, such as romantic or magical, lighting will help bring the right mood. So be sure to ask what sort of lighting they have and check if they allow candles.
Decor
Before you decide on your venue, think about how you would like your wedding to look, what kind of decorations are you thinking of having on the tables? This goes back to your vision, and why it is so important to have one. Does the decor you want fit in with it's surroundings? So many times I see couples make this mistake, the last thing you want is for everything to feel mismatched.
Colours
Most couples forget to look at the colour of the carpet, the colour of the walls, or the curtains hanging up, and what the table and chairs are like? Ask yourselves, will the colour or colours you have in mind fit in with what is already there?
Style
Looking at the style of the building needs to be in line with your whole vision. Does it feel like it's suits you as a couple? Is it somewhere you would normally visit, stay or eat at? If not, that is a clear signal to keep looking. If you would like some help with your style, you can check out my styling services here.
Keep an open mind
While it is super important to look at what is already there for you to use, if there is something you don't like ask if it can be changed, hidden or taken away. Sometimes it's the smallest thing that doesn't fit in with your vision so don't let that be the deal breaker.
Visit more than once
If you're really keen on a venue, before you make that final commitment to secure a booking, make sure to visit it more than once, towards the evening is better so you can see it in a different light. Like viewing houses, you are likely to not spot everything the first time and you will have more questions ready to ask no doubt.
Make sure to remember to look at all the points above to make sure everything aligns with your vision.
Listen to recommodations
Before deciding make sure to check out the venues reviews page on their website or ask around in the local area. Recommendations go along way, and could be make or break.
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A lot of choosing a venue comes down to the feeling you have when you first see it. You will know it's the one when you just fall in love with everything about it. This can even refer to a blank space where you know the venue is just perfect to do what you want with.
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