Selecting a wedding venue is a major undertaking. You might even say it is the featured food in your wedding entrée. The venue you choose will set the tone for the ceremony, so you need to think about your preferences carefully. However, before you look at venues, you need to draft a budget. Never sign a contract for a venue until you have reviewed all the expenses. Some brides-to-be pay for the venue early on and find out later they are unable to pay for other amenities.
Set Up a Spreadsheet
In order to make the selection process easier, set up a spreadsheet. The sheet can be used to organise and track your venue ideas so you can quickly survey the results. A spreadsheet is needed as this part of the search can be frustrating if you don’t conduct some initial research. You can obtain information about a wedding venue by reviewing a venue’s marketing packets or looking at the details for a location online.
What to Research
If you are searching for wedding venues in Perth, for example, you need to add the following information to your “research” spreadsheet:
- The location of the venue.
- The capacity – if you are planning a cocktail party instead of a sit-down dinner, the space will probably fit more people.
- The availability of the location.
- The type of venue such as outdoor restaurant, hotel, or historical site.
- The layout – make sure the space can accommodate all your wedding specifications.
- The rates – compare the various costs of securing a venue.
- Parking and transportation – does the venue feature free parking?
- Facility amenities such as chairs, tables, A/V equipment, and linens.
- Catering – does the venue provide the caterer or do they want you to work with a recommended list of caterers?
Once you have conducted the research online, you can narrow down your favourite venues. This is the part of the exercise where you need to determine cost. Use the budget you draft and create different variations of the budget for each venue. That way, you will get a more in-depth idea of the actual costs for each location.
What to Ask
Next you will need to ask yourself some major questions:
- Can I afford the venue?
- Is this location available on the planned wedding date?
- Does the venue’s capacity fit with my projected guest list?
- Does the layout or space fit my wedding needs?
- Am I happy with the location? Is it practical?
- Does the venue location have any restrictions with respect to catering?
- Does the venue fit my personality?
After you review the above questions, you can visit the sites you like best. Make sure you confirm the visits and be prepared to ask more questions. If you take this approach, you will be able to find a venue that not only meets your personality and fits in with your wedding plans, but one that meets your wedding budget as well. If you need help from a wedding planner to make a decision, contact a professional to lend you the support and advice you need to make an informed decision.