Once you have selected they type of venue and created a list of places to visit you need to be able to objectively select the best option.
The article highlights all the various things that you might want to look out for when lloking for that winning venue.
Assuming that you have your heart set on a particular day, or have already announced when you are to tie the knot, then availability of the venue is crucial.
Ringing round venues in advance of visiting them to determine availability will ensure that you donít make wasted journeys. That said, if the actual date is still to be decide upon, a visit to a venue could that you fall in love with could help you to pinpoint the date in the calendar when you'll tie the knot!
Consider how difficult the venue is to find. How well signposted is it? Is it down small and windy country roads? Will inclement weather prior to a winter wedding make it difficult to get to? These and other factors should be considered prior to making your final decision.
The last thing you want is for a 30 minute journey to take 3 hours or have the guests need to make the last mile on foot (in snow) because the steep road has become inaccessible to cars, so make sure you fully do your research.
Parking at the venue is of obvious importance.
Many venues will have their own parking facilities - but you need to check if they are sufficient for the number of guests you are inviting?
Try to get an idea of how many vehicles you will need spaces for and how many other guests are likely to be at the venue that day for other functions - a huge carpark could soon be full to overflowing if there are multiple wedding receptions taking place.
Much the same as for parking, look to ensure that the venue you choose has sufficient capacity for all of your guests.
Normally the number of guests that a venue can hold will vary depending upon the activity that is taking place. A large function suite may be able to seat 100, but for an evening reception maximum capacity could be twice that number so make sure you confirm exact capacities with the venue relative to what you want it for.
State of Repair
The exterior of the building is the first glimpse that the guests will have into what they can expect from the day.
A shabby, uncared for building on the outside often reflects the attitudes of the owner, management and possibly even the staff. With this in mind, keep a close lookout for rubbish, clocks showing the wrong time, missing roof tiles, broken windows, flaky paintwork and alike because if you can spot them, you can be sure that your guests will spot them too. What's worse, such tings will even make your photos look bad!
First of all ask if the venue has a music system. Secondly, ask if you can take a listen.
Many venues claim to have quality music systems and surround sound speakers, but sometimes what you end up with is a ten year old portable CD player that they wheel out for such occasions. We think you'll agree, it's well worthwhile asking!
Older venues and listed buildings in particular can have access problems, so if you are inviting wheelchair users or guests who have limited mobility you need to look for ramps or venues with limited stairs that need to be climbed Ė alternative entrances may be available but not necessarily noticeable, so be sure to ask the venue about access.
Many venues can hold more than one wedding reception each day. For some couples this won't be an issue, but for others it most certainly will.
Check out with the venue how many other couples may be celebrating on your preferred day. Remember that you need to know how many could be, not are. If you are asking a long time before the big day, you could well be the first to book, but you may not be the last.
Another thing to find out is how close together the parties will be, and whether there is the possibility of your guests getting caught up in some one elses events and vice versa. Beleiev us, there's nothing worse than talking politely for someone for half an hour only to realise that they're at the wrong wedding!
Finally, with all that you find out in mind, consider how important it is to you. Would it really effect your day if there was another happy couple in the room next door, or if you bumped in to them on your garden photoshoot? Perhaps, but then again perhaps not.
Grounds / outdoors
You will find that a number of photographs are taken outside the venue in and around the building, so make sure that the grounds are to your satisfaction.
Well kept pathways, well stocked flowerbeds, and well manicured lawns will definitely add to your images so look out for such things when choosing your venue.
Finally, cost is obviously crucial.
In terms of room hire, many venues will either charge a small cost or nothing at all, whilse other add a hefty surcharge for use of their premises. With this in mind, make sure you know exactly how much they will charge for use of the facilities.
However make sure you factor in everything to the final cost. Room hire, the cost of the meal, drinks packages, evening arrangements (buffet and such) etc., because where you make a saving on room hire you may pay twice the cost for a sit down meal.
This bit is entirely down to you. Is there something special you are looking for from the reception venue - a long tree lined driveway, spa or leisure facilities or a marquee for example. Remember it is your day, so even if you want something extravagant like a helipad, then as long as you're willing to look hard enough, then you will be able to find it!
So, grab yourself a pen and paper, a car topped with fuel, a mobile phone and get comparing.
Related: There are hundreds of wedding articles on the site, each filled with superb ideas, advice and inspiration. Check out the links in the left hand column to read more. Alternatively, to search for a local wedding venue, product or service provider, try our Wedding Directory. With over 13,000 companies already listed, you're sure to find what you're looking for.