When it comes to planning a wedding, there simply isn’t any aspect that is truly hassle-free – but that’s all part of the (fun, exciting, albeit slightly exhausting) challenge! Planning a wedding is certainly not an easy mission and, as most brides can confirm, selecting just the right venue for the big event is one of the most testing tasks at hand. Since weddings are highly personalized events, there is simply no ultra-fast way to pick the venue of your dreams (unless you’re exceptionally lucky – enviably so) while skipping the entire list-making, planning, strategizing and location-visiting steps of the process. But no need to worry, as there are a few guidelines designed to help you select the venue of your dreams – all while maintaining a realistic, budget-friendly approach.
Step 1: Prioritize Your Budget
As tedious as it may sound, the first thing that you need to consider when on the hunt for the world’s most dreamy wedding venue is, you guessed, your budget. By setting a budget you are also setting your expectations at a reasonable level – and once you know what you can and cannot afford, you won’t go through the heartbreaking process of investing time, research (and daydreams!) into gorgeous, yet totally out-of-budget venues.
Step 2: Pick a Wedding Theme
You’ve been fantasizing your entire life about getting married the bohemian-chic way, in a natural space, full of greenery, where those Pinterest-worthy pictures basically take themselves – well, there you have it: you’ve just curated your list of venues with one simple thought: that of opting for a whimsical, boho wedding, perfect for that crochet wedding dress and that flower crown you’ve been eyeing for a while. Once you’re all set on the theme and concept of the event, you will find the process of searching for (and finding) those inspiring venues much easier and faster.
Step 3: Consider the Capacity of the Venue
You don’t need to have the wedding guest list finalized a year and a half before the wedding (which is around the time you should be starting to look for a venue), but you should have a rough estimate of the number of family members and friends that you want near on your biggest day. Most wedding venues will display on their websites the maximum number of people their spaces can host – but that is not the number you need in order to make sure your guests will enjoy themselves and dine comfortably at your reception. Make sure to ask each venue representative about the optimal number of people their space can host to ensure the overall success of your celebration.
Step 4: Consider the Additional Services and Costs
Let’s say you found a venue that meets your numbers in terms of budget and capacity and you can’t believe your luck – a simple, white hall ‘with great potential’. Think of all the services you will need to opt for in order to transform this space into the reception of your dreams: does it need extensive décor in order to look festive, or is it breathtaking on its own? Or is it too wide and bare and you would need to spend a lot more of flowers? Does it come with a very expensive caterer? Such additional services and their costs can have a real impact on your budget – so remember that when some venues seem ‘too good to be true’, it is because they probably are.
Step 5: Think of the Logistics
One of the most essential aspects to consider in terms of making your event unforgettable for all those involved is truly thinking of your guests – if you are expecting friends and family from other cities / countries, does this venue come with a hotel, or is it in walking distance from one? How can your guests access your venue? Does the venue offer parking or transportation of any kind? Make sure to ask all these questions before booking any space, as you want to guarantee the fact that both you and your guests will have the most hassle-free, enjoyable and memorable day.
Step 6: Think of the Weather
Yes, weather is unpredictable – even more so when having to decide on a date and a venue more than a year before the big day. But since terrible weather is right there on any bride’s ‘things that can go horribly wrong on the big day’ list, it simply can’t be ignored. Once you’ve set your eyes on an outdoor wedding venue, get a confirmation that your pick can provide viable alternatives (that match your needs and tastes) in case of unfortunate weather. On the same note, if you pick a wedding tent as your reception space, make sure you have all your questions answered: how hot / cold does it get inside during the desired moth of the year? When is the optimal time to have a wedding in a tent – or in a barn / on a yacht out on the ocean, etc.?
Step 7: Double Check the Availability
It’s settled: you’ve found the wedding venue you were looking for, full of charm, pizzazz and pure magic, just like you dreamed – but is it available? And if the answer is YES, then always make sure to double check the availability and to confirm your booking – twice. Start your venue search well over a year before the big day in order to ensure that your hunt will end with the best of the best. But no worries – in case you’re getting married in just a few months (or, gasp, weeks!), there is still hope, as you can definitely get great last-minute venues with bargain prices for their unbooked and cancelled dates.
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