How to choose the perfect venue.

When I started looking at venues, I wrote down the most important factors that we wanted from the venue. I knew straight away that I wanted the ceremony, reception and accommodation all at one location, luckily this is something Mark (My fiancé) wanted too.

First decision, ticked! Location was next on the list. Although we have some amazing venues local to us we much preferred to venture out and find somewhere out of the area. We have visited the Cotswolds with friends a few times and I always thought it was the perfect setting for a wedding, so I decided to search wedding venues in the area and began to make a list of venues I would like us to see. At this point, Mark was struggling to find time off work as some of the venues only allow visits in the week, so he trusted my judgement and went to see them with my maid of honour, Ell.

We arrived at the first venue, were we was greeted by one of the wedding co-ordinators who showed us round and answered our many, many questions. The ceremony room was gorgeous, lots of natural light (perfect for photos), spacious and would accommodate all of our guests. Next important factor ticked. We then walked into the room where we would have the wedding breakfast and the evening reception would be held. Again, this was gorgeous too and a tear came to my eye as I realised this could be our wedding venue. The venue also has accommodation for the night before and for the night of the wedding, so this definitely ticks a lot of boxes.

We then visited a few more venues in the area and there was only one other that could match the first one, but the ceremony room was not on par with it. After a long day and sore feet, I went home looking forward to telling Mark what I had seen. I shared with him all the pictures and explained so much to him that evening (poor man!) and we decided on the venue there and then. With my accountancy experience I crunched the numbers and made a plan so we could decide on a date. I contacted the venue to book the date and then took out wedding insurance once this was confirmed.

Luckily our chosen venue hosted a garden party last weekend, so Mark and I decided to visit and I’m so glad we did! This was Mark’s first time seeing the venue and he was so impressed. It was also good to see how the venue is set up for a wedding and gave me the inspiration of what we need to do and organise. There was also wedding suppliers there, showcasing what they offer, so we took a few cards along the way. Visiting the venue has made it all seem real and I’m so excited for the next part of our journey together.

I’m trying not reveal our wedding venue just yet, so we can keep it as a surprise for our guests so if you do manage to figure it out please, please keep it a secret.

Useful tips;

· Write down your most important requirements you want from a venue.

· Choose a few to visit, it doesn’t have to be on the same day so take your time.

· Take a list of questions to ask. Don’t worry about asking too many questions, the wedding co-ordinators know this is really important to you.

· Take lots of photos. This will be helpful making a decision and later on with the wedding planning.

· Wear comfortable shoes and make time for lunch on the day of your visits. It’s a long day!

· Before choosing the venue, crunch the numbers. This will help deciding the date. If you ever need help with this, get in touch and I’ll be happy to help.

· Once you secure the venue and date, keep all the documents in a folder and take out insurance. Insurance is definitely worth the money, better to be safe than sorry.

· Keep an eye out for events at your chosen venue. This will help you with ideas and meet their recommended suppliers.

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