Every bride wants the perfect venue, but perfection to one bride may not be the views of another.
Your chosen venue needs to be accessible to your intended guests. It needs to be the right size for your number of guests, not too big or too small. It also needs to be affordable and beautifully presented. It pays to ask the prospective venue about local accommodation close to the venue for out of town guests
It is best to start your search on the internet. Choose a few likely venues that appear to be suitable and contact them for more information such as pricing and availability. Make sure there are no hidden costs that may surprise you at a later stage. Check out the cost of the drinks as well as the buffets and ask about flexible bar arrangements and the types of wine they may offer as most of us have our favourite drinks. Some venues will enable you to pre-pay most of the costs, thereby spreading the financial load.
Bear in mind the most popular months for weddings are February and March. It may be wise to set your wedding date outside these most popular months. Maybe even consider a winter wedding. April can offer very settled weather and June or July offers a fantastic opportunity to wear lovely capes, furs, boleros, and boots that cannot be worn in the summer months. The groom and groomsmen may appreciate not being so hot in their wedding suits.
It pays to ask your intended venue about music availability. Some will offer CD players, Juke boxes or compatibility for ipods.
It is a great bonus if your venue can be very close to suitable photographic spots thereby avoiding the necessity of the bridal party having to travel far away to get the best photos. It also means the bridal party can join their guests earlier and continue with the celebrations.
If you are planning an outside ceremony it is a great idea if you use a venue that can offer an alternative inside area for the ceremony in case of rain, which we all know can happen in summer as well as winter.
Ask about setting up the venue prior to the reception, whose responsibility it is and does it incur extra charges. Likewise with removing of wedding presents and decorations, some venues will allow this to happen the next morning.
Finally it is a great idea to make sure there are local shuttles available to make sure your guests get home safely.
It is an exciting time, enjoy the hunt for the perfect venue and make sure you enjoy it