Choosing a venue is one of the most important wedding-related decisions you’ll ever make. On many occasions brides and grooms will fall head over heels in love with a venue and then will tend to loose all sense of practicality and just go ahead and book. While it is of course important for you to love your venue there are so many things to take into consideration when making up your mind. Here’s our top 10 list of things to look out for:
Where is the venue located? Is it going to be easy for your guests to get to? If not, it might be worth looking elsewhere because there’s nothing worse than guests getting lost or turning up late. You also need to think about your suppliers – will they be able to find the place easily? Make sure there’s an area for them to off load and a lift if they need to get to a higher floor.
Is there a decent amount of parking available? If your venue is in the middle of nowhere and there is no parking, your guests are likely to be irritated if they have to walk a long distance – even more so if it ruins their favourite party shoes. Also, are taxis likely to make the journey at night to pick your guests up from the venue? If you’re serving alcohol many people may be looking to go home in a taxi so ensure you check this beforehand.
Is there good signage? This leads back to point number 1. If it’s a brand new place which people haven’t really heard of then they will be relying very heavily on signage to get them there, as we all know Sat Navs aren’t always the most reliable.
Speaking of signage above, you need to ensure there is sufficient lighting so that your guests can read any signs – especially if your event is in the evening. The lighting outside is just as important as the lighting inside your venue. If your event is in the morning look to see if there are any large windows which will provide natural lighting. If it’s in the evening look to see if you need to hire any extra lighting on the day to ensure your photographs come out well.
Look at the layout of the room or various rooms you will be using. Is there a general flow and will it work for the type of event you will be putting on? Some venues may have restrictions in certain areas so be sure to check all the details before you sign. If you’re hiring the venue for the full day and have more than one event taking place, ensure there is somewhere your guests can relax during the turnaround time. Check to see if there is also any outdoor space you can use to get your pictures taken.
If you’re looking to have any kind of authentic cuisine on your big day then check to see if the venue will allow outdoor caterers or if they only work with one or two preferred suppliers. While it can sometimes be in your interest to work with one of their preferred caterers, make sure they’re not charging you over the odds. Ensure there are sufficient facilities your caterers can use within the venue, as there are often many rules and regulations when it comes to onsite cooking.
When it comes to Asian weddings numbers are fairly high. Even if it’s a small Asian wedding you’re still looking at around the 250 – 300 mark, which is a number not all hotels or independent venues can accommodate. Our advice would be to not try and squeeze as many people as you can into a room and fill it to full capacity, as it doesn’t allow for any breathing space. You want your guests to feel relaxed and fresh not flustered and claustrophobic.
8. WiFi & Phone Signal
It is not uncommon for there to be no WiFi or phone signal in venues that are further afield (and in the middle of nowhere). While this may seem as a blessing in disguise for some brides who don’t want their guests glued to their phone screens, you should understand that it may irritate some guests. It also means it will be a lot harder to stay in contact with some of your suppliers if need be.
Your wedding date pretty much determines where you should be getting married. Some venues may have beautiful views in the summer, but may not be very practical to get to in the winter. For example if you need to travel through narrow uphill lanes and there is a sudden outbreak of snow, it’s going to be very difficult for everyone to get where they need to be.
10. Customer Service
Ultimately when it comes to making a decision, go with your gut. When meeting with your wedding sales executive, it is important that you feel a level of trust and comfort. You need to be 100% happy that they fully understand your vision and will execute it to the highest standard possible. If there are any doubts or questions, make sure you raise these before you book.