Selecting the wedding venue is one of the major decisions that a bride and a groom will do. This decision will influence a lot of the other wedding decisions that will follow; picking the decorations, selection of vendors, and most importantly the date of the wedding. This will also dictate the ambience of the wedding so make sure you choose only the best venue for the most special day of your life.
When should you book the wedding venue?
Ideally, the wedding planning should take about 12 months or more. During the first month of wedding planning, the wedding venue should be among your first decisions because this will set the official date when you will exchange ‘I do’s’. Allowing more time to plan for the wedding will also give you ample time to check out several choices before choosing the best venue.
Four important details that you should know prior to venue visits:
Date of the wedding. Some brides and grooms already have preferences in mind when choosing the date of the wedding. Some prefer weekends and seasonality or it might coincide with a special occasion or holidays. Bear in mind that decisions must be immediate if your preferred wedding date falls on a Friday or Saturday or on a holiday. Being flexible on the wedding date will give you more variety of choices for wedding venues. You should at least have up to three dates in case the venue is not available on your first choice.
Budget. Sit down and discuss how much you can afford to spend for the wedding and how much of the total budget you will allot for the wedding venue. To give you an idea, an average wedding allocate 50% of the wedding budget on venue rental; that includes the food and service, beverages and cake.
Number of guests. With this in mind, you can already decide if the space is enough to accommodate all the guests you will invite to your wedding.
Vision. How do you imagine your perfect wedding to be like? Are you going to have a civil or a church wedding?
Do your homework!
It is necessary to conduct research about the venues first. Scout your area of the available wedding venues nearby or ask referrals from married friends. Take time to do a background check on several venues by browsing their website or by reading customer feedback online. You may also check wedding blogs of photographers and wedding planners for actual photos of the venues. Then make a call to inquire for the availability of your wedding date. Finally when all is considered, narrow down your choices to 3-5 venues which you will schedule for visits in the next few weeks.
Aside from the beauty of the place, make sure you also consider the following on your venue visits:
On-site ceremony venue. This will significantly cut the cost of booking two venues; one for the ceremony and another for the reception. Also your guests and vendors will not be inconvenient with traveling from one venue to another.
Accessibility. The wedding venue should be conveniently located near hotels and churches (shall you decide to have a separate venue for the ceremony). Church and reception should just be within 20 minute radius to avoid delays.
Reasonable pricing. At times, brides and grooms are easily swayed by the beauty of the venue. Then get disappointed once the price of the venue is too high from their working budget. Check how reasonable the price is. Ask if they offer packages and other amenities that will cut your cost on the other wedding vendors.
Plan B. Most especially for outdoor venues, do they offer contingencies shall it suddenly rain on your wedding day?
House rules. Some venues have very strict regulations in terms of decorations and bringing in non-accredited wedding vendors. Be proactive in inquiring such rules so you can adjust your wedding plans accordingly.
Parking space. Does the venue have enough spaces to accommodate all the cars of your guests?
Number of events in a day. How many events do they accept in a day? Do they already have another event on your chosen date? If so check what amenities you will have to share with the other event (example: parking).
PWD facilities. Be mindful of your PWD and elderly guests by asking your venue attendant if they have proper facilities to accommodate your guests with special needs.