Make sure there is ample parking for guests. An onsite free car park it ideal, otherwise ensure that the venue is near a good parking lot or big, empty (safe) street/s where it’s legal to park.
If parking is a problem, look for other ways to get everyone to the party. While, insufficient parking will not be a deal breaker, it will mean that more time and money is spent on finding a viable vehicular alternative as guests may need to be transported from the ceremony to the reception.
Is the venue a large simple open space, which sets for a blank canvas that can be creatively transformed by adding dramatic lighting, carpeting, draping and props, into almost anything you want. If you have a particular theme in mind then this type of venue is ideal. Tented receptions are a good option because they are blank canvases, which have a lot of scope to set of your imagination making anything possible.
Alternatively, you will find venues that are set in beautiful acres of greeny or picturesque views, which do not require money to be spent on lavish decorations and props.
Another point to think about is your photographs. Photos of your big day will be treasured for many years, so your chosen wedding venue should provide a wonderful backdrop. If you have a particular theme, you may want to pick out key spots and backdrops for your photos. Popular options include landscaped gardens, seaside locations and historic houses.
Some venues will have “preferred suppliers”, such as caterers, Dj’s, etc. which means you will be restricted to use vendors who you may already have chosen. Remember that no matter how beautifully decorated the venue might be, catering is also very important. Make sure that you don’t fall for a venue, without scrutinizing and tasting the menu (read our article on choosing the right caterer)
This type of venue usually offers everything from table and chair to linens and catering supplies, and can sometimes work out as a cheaper option and also less planning for you. While other venues will have a set hire charge, giving you the flexibility to book everything else. With each venue it is important to confirm what is and what is not included.
If the venue is a big open space the sound may be too echoed, it could give some reverberations to the band/DJ, not to mention make it difficult for guests to hear one another talking. A tile or wood floor, for example, will amplify sounds, while a thick carpet will tend to muffle them. Check out the room’s sound quality during an event. And tailor your music/entertainment to the acoustic conditions.
Light can make — or break — the mood and the venue space. If you’re marrying during the day, make sure your hall has plenty of windows. Your guests will not want to spend their afternoon in a dark room when the sun is shining? If it’s an evening affair, make sure the room’s not too dim, or that the lighting can be controlled for the big entrance, dinner, and dancing. If you’re marrying outdoors, say, at dusk, will you be able to set up candles if necessary?
It is advisable to visit the site at the same time of day that you’ve chosen for your wedding. Even if the space looks romantic by candlelight, the sight of that 20-year-old carpet may surprise you during the day. You’ll also miss a chance to see how sunlight streaming through floor-to-ceiling windows completely transforms the room, if you only check it out in the evening.
There are a lot of big and small issues that need to be ironed out with your potential venue. Decide what key features are absolutely necessary for your big day (catering, setting), and which ones you can compromise on. That will be the starting point to choosing the perfect venue for your big day.
Good Luck! 😉
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