As we mentioned earlier in our What to Consider While Setting Your Wedding Budget article, it is not uncommon to spend almost fifty percent of your wedding budget on the venue and catering. Your catering and decors all depend on the space of your venue. To find your perfect wedding venue consider some of your favorite places to visit. Do you have a favorite museum or hotel? You may even turn to online databases such as Brides.com, check out their real weddings, or Weddingwire.com to find the right spot. While you are exploring wedding venues, it is a good idea to limit yourself to three venues, at most, per day. Anymore than three, you will have a sensory overload.
A few items you must bear in mind are:
1. Remove any venue, no matter how exquisite, that does not support your total head count. Do not count on reservations to decrease your head count, this will not happen.
2. Does the venue cater? If the venue does cater, what customizations are available to you? If they cannot support your customizations, are you allowed to find a third party vendor? There may be a list of third party caterers that the venue has pre-approved.
3. Can you sample your caterer? Some caterers offer sampling for a fee and may credit the fee back to you if you book with them. If they do not, you can check out their reviews from past clients.
4. Consider a central location for your friends and family. If you really want your friends and family to attend and the drive is difficult to that remote location, try a venue closer to everyone.
5. Will you be having a religious ceremony? You may need to reserve your house of worship. Many places have specific ceremony times and their schedule may impact the start time of your reception.
6. Are you planning to party until dawn? Some venues have set hours and a maximum noise level. Find out before you confirm your reservation.
7. Some hotels book multiple weddings during the weekend. Find out if there are other weddings and consider how that will affect yours.
8 Compose a list of non-negotiable items. For example don’t waste your time touring a venue that will not support your head count or a venue that will not work for you. You should not be forced to alter your wedding plans to make it work.
You may spend a great deal of time searching for the right venue, it’s easy to forget the most important part about the wedding and that is to have a little fun. I have had some couples select choice venues at remote locations and made a sort of mini-moon from them. It’s a great idea to take a short holiday and tour the area outside of the venue.