With so many types of wedding venues available, finding the perfect one can be challenging. As a helping hand, we have compiled our ultimate checklist to help you find your ideal wedding venue so you can get going with your planning.
Types of Venues for Weddings
Venues can range from traditional churches to art galleries, hotels to farm yard barns, a country house or restaurant. You can even choose to marry outside, so long as you’re under a fixture structure (for more details on outdoor weddings, click here). This variety requires some assertive decision making to help narrow options down, and remember, if you don’t get “the feels”, it’s not the right place for your big day.
Here’s a list of the main factors that are likely to influence the venue you decide to go ahead with.
The first thing to consider and arguably the most influential. Set a budget from the outset and don’t tempt yourselves by looking at venues above this. Work out how much you can spend on the venue alone, or with catering and beverages included. Check exactly what you’re being offered for this rate and whether there is flexibility for changing the date.
Do you want to stay close to home or venture away for a mini break? How far will your guests have to travel? Are there plentiful local hotels nearby? Look at the community around the venue, are there are noisy or unattractive sites nearby that could impact your photos/guests? Many large venues will offer complete exclusivity for an increased rate, check the impact that this will have on your budget and if you choose not to go down this route, check the cross over that you may have with another wedding party.
Know your hoped-for guest numbers before searching, all your guests need to comfortably fit whilst not being too overwhelmed in space. The option of having smaller break out rooms is hugely popular for those who are expecting young children or elderly relatives so they may find some quiet.
Important for wedding photos, guest experience and of course safety. Is this venue filled with natural daylight or does it rely on artificial lighting? Visit the venue at the same time of year that you’ll be there, and ask to see lots of photographs of previous events. If you’re opting for a less traditional venue, perhaps an old barn or outdoor archway, then you’ll need to partner up with a technical supplier.
It’s important to remember the style or theme you’re trying to achieve and not be overwhelmed by the venue. Consider which of the types of wedding venues above would suit the personalities of you as a couple, and which would work best with the overall aesthetic of your day.
Non – Negotiables
Catering – decide the style of food you’d like and check the venue can deliver this or if they permit external caterers.
Beverages – do the venue insist you use their suppliers or will they permit your own choices? Check the corkage charge to avoid any surprises.
Suppliers – Confirm if the venue has any compulsory suppliers, or if they are happy for you to use your own. Equally, if you need any help sourcing suppliers, ensure they are able to give you a list of recommendations.
Music – music is a hugely personal choice, and one many couples don’t want to compromise on. Check that the venue allows live bands, to what capacity, how late in the evening, whether they have a green room and whether they can perform outside.
Venues will have a standard timeline that they generally work to, whilst there will likely be some flexibility in this, it’s important that it works for you and your partner. Consider how far your guests will be travelling, where they will be getting ready and how they will be getting home. Crucially, check whether the set up and de-rig time is included with the hire fee or whether there are additional charges. It’s worth checking with your suppliers that they are also happy with the delivery and collection time frame without incurring further costs.
Rules and Restrictions
It’s essential to ask what is not permitted at the venue – it’s not uncommon to have restrictions around confetti, candles, fireworks and sparklers. Check all the information out as soon as possible to avoid any disappointments!
Beautiful Wedding Venues Bristol
Here at Alastair Currie Events, we are delighted to work with some of the most beautiful wedding venues in the South West, covering a range of styles or of course a purpose-built marquee. You can contact us here, and we will help source your perfect destination.