9 Top Tips to Find a Wedding Venue

Bride & Groom in a Wedding Venue - Minstrel Court

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Regardless of the style and size of the wedding you fancy, you always need a place where your friends and family can congregate and celebrate your marriage. But finding the perfect venue isn’t easy as there are tons of options to choose from. Frankly, it, sometimes, even gets overwhelming to find your dream venue. The good news is that you can definitely find an option that suits your needs within your budget. Here, we have listed the 9 top tips to help you find “the one.”

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1. Think of a Date

If you don’t have your heart set on marrying on a particular date, try to have a more flexible timeline before looking for venues. To have a wider selection of venues to choose from, decide on your wedding date based on your venue’s availability. However, you need to decide what time of year you want to get married before you start your venue hunting. We recommend picking a few dates that work for you, your families, your wedding party and your non-negotiable vendors.

2. Decide on the Style and Location of Your Wedding

The first step in the venue search process is to determine what type of space you want and what your preferences are. Will you say “I do” locally or prefer a more adventurous destination wedding? Is it going to be a religious ceremony? Will your reception be at a different location from the ceremony? Do you need an all-inclusive or a la carte venue? Would you prefer an outdoor or an indoor party? Should you hire a traditional venue or a non-traditional one? 

3. Choose a Theme

The venue you choose determines your wedding day’s general tone. As a result, you must have a broad idea of your theme before you start looking for locations

Will you have a formal black-tie nuptial, a rustic wedding in a barn, a party with your toes in the sand, or a little dinner at a restaurant? Pick a theme that reflects your personality as a couple.

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4. Work Out Your Rough Head Count

The size of your wedding and the venue you select are determined by the number of guests you are going to invite. So, before you start looking for locations, you must know how many guests you plan to invite. Determine the number of guests you and your partner want to invite, as well as the number your parents desire to add to the list.

5. Set Your Overall Budget

It’s not possible to make any decisions and purchases without drafting your total budget. Have a serious talk with your partner and your families to figure out how you’ll pay for your wedding. You can rely on your own savings as well as your fiancé’s, the money you can set aside from your income, financial contributions from your families, and loans.

Usually, 50% of your total budget must be dedicated to your venue and catering. Knowing your approximate venue hire fee will help you select a venue within your budget and have enough money to spend on the other details of your wedding. 

What couples want in a wedding venue pretty much defines their venue hire fee. As a result, they must compromise on their wishes to plan a wedding on a budget. Otherwise, they need to stretch their funds.

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6. Search for Wedding Venues Online

Google

When it comes to searching for something, as usual, without even giving it a second thought, just “google it.” Google can help you locate unique wedding venues. You can search ‘Wedding Venues near me’ and come up with a long list of results containing various kinds of venues. However, to receive more specific and accurate results, couples can use a combination of 

words that describe their theme/style+their chosen area+what couples want in a wedding venue

For example 

Barn wedding venues Birmingham

Lake wedding venues in Cambridge

Small outdoor wedding venues Hampshire

Hotel wedding venues in Bristol

Venue Finder Websites

You can find the perfect wedding venues that fit your theme and budget much more quickly by using online venue finder tools. You can easily find a wide variety of unique and affordable wedding venues and compare them on the venue finder websites listed below.

Bridebook

Hitched

Guides for Brides

 Wedding-spot

TagVenue

Peerspace

Gigster

7. Reach Out to Venues

See a wedding venue’s photos, read the reviews and all the information provided on the listings. You can reach out to them by sending an email and asking about their services, amenities, fees or any other details that may not be clear on the listings. Enquire what is included in the total price and take careful notes. Then, you can schedule some site visits to finalise your options.

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8. Visit Venues If Possible

Once you’ve decided that a venue’s features are fitting, it’s time to prepare for an in-person visit. Contact your top venue choices to schedule a tour – of course, if it doesn’t require an overseas trip, which you can’t make.

You need to prioritise your must-haves, establish your wedding wish list and know what questions to ask before visiting potential venues. These preparations enable you to express your wishes clearly and have more effective venue visits.

Questions to Ask: Wedding Venues

There are many things to consider before making a deposit. Equipping themselves with the right list of questions during the site visits will help couples communicate what they want in a wedding venue. As a result, they can save themselves from any unexpected headaches and heartaches down the road. Below, we have listed the most basic set of questions for you. Depending on the venues you visit and your priorities, you can add your more personalised questions to the list. 

Basics

  1. What is your capacity?
  2. What is the venue hire fee and what does it include? 
  3. What are your payment terms?
  4. How many other events will be held on the same day? 
  5. What are your refund and cancellation policies?
  6. What is your rain or contingency weather plan?
  7. Do you have a generator on-site to prevent power outages?

Facilities

  1. Is there a place on-site for the couple and their wedding party to get ready and relax?
  2. Is there proper heating or air conditioning available?
  3. Is there a bridal suite?
  4. Is there any nearby accommodation for our out-of-town guests?
  5. Is your venue accessible for the elderly or physically disabled guests?
  6. Is there a sufficient number of bathrooms?
  7. Is there onsite free parking? How many vehicles can it accommodate?

Food and Beverages

  1. Is there an in-house caterer?
  2. Can we bring in our own caterer? Is there an exclusive list you work with?
  3. Is there a kitchen available for the caterer we hire?
  4. Are you licensed to provide alcohol service?
  5. Can we bring our alcohol? Is there a corkage fee?

Vendors

  1. Is there a list of approved vendors or can we bring any vendor we choose?
  2. Is there enough daylight and proper lighting in indoor spaces? 
  3. Is there a sound system available for speeches and music?
  4. Do you have any noise restraints or curfew? What is your quiet-hour policy and local noise ordinance?
  5. Is there enough room for a band, DJ, dance floor and photo booth?
  6. Is there a dance floor available?
  7. Are there adequate power and outlets for all the pros?

Decor and Rentals

  1. Are there any rentals or decorations provided?
  2. Can we bring our own decorations?
  3. Are there any decoration restrictions?
  4. Can we use candles, confetti or fireworks?

9. Make the Final Decision

Take notes and try to collect as much information as possible. The above questions help you narrow down your list of potential wedding venues by eliminating the options that don’t fit. As a result, you can save time and energy and easily make your final decision. 

Once you’ve found ‘the one,’ sign a written agreement to secure your wedding venue. Ensure to get everything you have agreed to in writing.

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Conclusion

You’ve finally selected your ideal location and made it official. Well done! You’re one step closer to your big day – one huge step! You may now smoothly move forward with your wedding plans. Remember to keep your wedding venue, its amenities and its potentials in mind throughout the planning process.

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