Finding the perfect venue
Firstly consider whether you would like a religious ceremony and then a separate reception venue or a civil ceremony and reception all in one location.
If you are looking for a venue for both make sure it’s licensed to hold civil ceremonies and for the correct number of guests you want to invite.
If you would like a religious ceremony consider how far away the reception venue is and the travel time between the two locations. If it’s a large distance some couples lay on transport, a coach for example, especially if it’s a rural location. If your budget does not stretch to that, make sure a map and thorough directions are given to all guests when sending invitations.
Consider the size of the venue compared to how many guests you are looking to invite. Having a rough number before contacting venues is a good idea. Some venues have a minimum number required; others may be limited to numbers. If you are looking for an intimate wedding then a banqueting hall will probably not be quite right, on the other hand if you are planning a large number of guests, then a small venue may need extra structures adding, for example a marquee, which will increase your costs.
Attend as many open days or arrange visits as necessary and always go back again for a second viewing before putting down a deposit.
Many venues will hold your date for a little while; sometimes a week or so, giving you time to go over your budget etc
Most venues take bookings 2 or even 3 years in advance giving you more time to save.
Don’t forget all the other costs associated with a wedding, it’s easy to get carried away booking a lavish venue at the top of your budget but you may be left with less money to spend on other areas to compliment that venue.
Lastly: Have a good idea of your overall budget before viewing venues and if you are on a tight budget contact the venue for a rough price or download any wedding packs or brochures online before attending an open day or viewing.
Image courtesy of Andy Chambers Photography