How to pick the right venue for your big day
From manor houses and fancy hotels, to converted barns and country inns, when it comes to picking a wedding venue there are so many options to choose from.
So, he’s popped the question, you’ve got the ring on your finger and it’s now time to get down the fun, but somewhat daunting, task of planning the wedding. First on your to do list (yes, even before the dress) should be choosing a venue for your big day. The best venues get booked up months, and even years in advance, so the earlier you begin, the more chance you have of securing your perfect venue. However, with so many venues to choose from it can be difficult to know where to start. We’ve put together some top tips to help steer you in the right direction.
Numbers and budget
Two of the most important things you need to consider when it comes to choosing a venue are how many people you want to invite and how much money you have available to spend. By nailing this down at the outset you will automatically knock some venues out of the running. You may see the venue of your dreams online but if it’s completely out of your price range or can only accommodate half of your guests there is no point considering it.
Your preferred style of wedding will be another important influence on your choice of venue. For example, if you want a big, traditional wedding, you might want to go for a manor house or country hotel, whereas for more informal affairs, a rustic converted barn or a field with a marquee might be more suitable. If you have a specific theme or colour scheme in mind, be sure to choose a venue that will complement it. When it comes to Essex weddings, there are so many different types of venues to choose from that you are sure to find something that fits your style.
Location, location, location
It’s also important to think about the location of your wedding venue. How far is it from your home (or the ceremony, if you’re holding it at a separate venue), and how long will it take you to travel there? Is it easily accessible for guests and is there accommodation on site or nearby for people who want to stay over? If not, you may have to organise transport for guests which will impact on your budget. These are all important things to consider at the beginning of your search – after all there’s no point falling in love with a venue if it’s completely impractical to get to.
When looking at potential venues don’t forget to check if it has suitable locations for your wedding photos. Venues with landscaped gardens or picturesque views are always a good option, but in light of the infamous British weather, it’s also worth checking out what indoor photo opportunities are available at the venue in case it’s too wet to head outside. As well as looking at the venue websites, visit wedding photographer blogs to get an idea of photography options at your preferred venue.
Once you have narrowed down your options, arrange to visit a few venues and speak with the wedding planners to be sure that they can accommodate your requirements. It’s also a good idea to visit when they are hosting a wedding fayre or show if possible so that you can get an idea of how it would look on your wedding day.
As we’ve already mentioned, venues tend to get booked up very quickly so once you find ‘the one’, reserve it as soon as you can to avoid missing out. You’re then free to get on with the rest of the wedding planning, including finding that perfect dress!