Wedding reception venues are often easy to come by, but finding the right one is a different task altogether. Aside from what you want, you need to consider logistics, practicality, and what the guests are looking for. It is for this reason that choosing the venue is one of the first aspects of your wedding you should plan as a couple.
Finding a Wedding Reception Venue that Matches Your Tastes
The first thing you should do is sit down with your partner and discuss what you’d like from a venue. While your ideal destination might involve a marquee, theirs could be a fancy hall. Even if your idea of the perfect venue is the polar opposite to theirs, there’s a chance you can reach a happy compromise.
Once you know the type of venue you want, think about the following:
- How much space do you need and what do you want to do with it?
- What’s your theme? When narrowing venues down, you need to decide whether they support your chosen theme
- Your budget: no matter how perfect a venue is, if you can’t afford it you can’t afford it
Choosing the Right Wedding Venue Location
Unless you’re planning on getting hitched at the same venue you’ll be using for the celebrations, you need to consider how close the venue is to wherever the ceremony takes place. There are no hard and fast rules here, but you should aim for 25 to 30 minutes away at the most.
In addition to this, think about how easy it is for the guests to reach. That cute country barn might look good in the pictures, but if it’s a logistical nightmare for your nearest and dearest it could put people off going. If there’s little parking, look at whether laying on additional transport will make it easier.
Don’t be fooled by how pretty a wedding venue is. If it’s a logistical nightmare, all the sparkle in the world won’t make it right for your big day.
Are you having entertainment? If so, you need to consider whether the venue has the right staging, electrical supplies, and acoustics. If the venue’s outdoors, can you get a generator to make everything possible? Are your chosen suppliers willing to travel to your venue? Can your photographer get there easily?
Another factor you may overlook is space. Venues that often cater for weddings will explicitly state how many people they can accommodate sitting and standing. However, you also need to make sure they have enough room for the entertainment, dance floor, and other essentials that make your big day special.
Another logistical consideration is accommodation. Does your venue have it? Will it offer block discounts? If not, is there somewhere nearby that does?
Making Sure Your Wedding Venue is Within Budget
When it comes to your wedding, you should never avoid reading the small print. The price your wedding venue states may not be inclusive of GST, so make sure each one you chat to is being upfront about their tax policy. Further to this, some may add little charges in here and there. This can include corkage fees when you bring your own alcohol, charges for dressing rooms, and charges for people overstaying their welcome.
Above all, you need to draw up a checklist of what your venue should offer and narrow down your options according to how many each one ticks off.