Some people have spent their whole life dreaming about their perfect wedding day. They have it all planned out and maybe even have a few pinterest boards for wedding inspiration. Then… you finally have a ring on your finger and bam! You’re met with the stressful reality of planning a wedding.
Finding the right venue is probably one of the most difficult decisions that you are going to have to make. There are so many things to think about, like whether the venue is big enough, what food will be served, what music will be played, what the theme will be, or if the venue is even available on the day that you want to tie the knot.
Before you get too overwhelmed, here are a few tips on how to find the perfect wedding venue.
This probably isn’t the first thing that you want to think about. There are so many more exciting things to plan for than figuring out a budget. But wait. There is a reason behind why we’ve decided to make you think about your budget before you think about anything else.
It’s so easy to get completely carried away with ideas for a beautiful set up, gifts, food… you name it. To avoid yourself from getting frustrated and demotivated, set out a budget with your partner so that you know what ideas are realistic and achievable.
Of course everyone’s budget will look different and once you’ve decided on a venue then things in your budget may change. Some venues are all inclusive, whereas others offer you catering and seating as part of the venue rental package.
Remember that not every location is designed for hosting a wedding. So decide on some kind of theme for your wedding. It could be that you prefer a traditional wedding that is classic, timeless and without a lot of fuss.
Rustic themes are also growing in popularity. There is something very special about a simply elegant and homey celebration. If this is the theme that you are going for, then try to find a venue that offers you both indoor and outdoor space.
If you are leaning more towards a modern, clean and crisp theme then consider finding a venue such as an art gallery, a loft, or a modern restaurant that boasts light and openness.
There is also something incredibly magical about a romantic themed wedding. The twinkling lights and ongoing bouquets of your favorite flowers will make all of your guests feel in love. An old castle, an elegant ballroom or a historic mansion are great venue ideas for a romantic theme.
Know the venues capacity limit
Now that you are set on a theme, the next step is to know how many people the venue can host. The pandemic has made this quite annoying and difficult, but at least now you have an excuse for the people that didn’t make the cut.
There has been ongoing confusion about how to deal with bigger events with Covid in mind, but here are the rules as they currently stand for alert level 1:
- Gatherings are allowed as long as the number of people present do not exceed 50% of the venues holding capacity.
- A maximum of 250 people are allowed at indoor gatherings.
- A maximum of 500 people are allowed at outdoor gatherings.
Although it’s your special day, you also need to consider other people, in other words, your guests. Consider whether your guests need to travel a very long way just to get to your wedding, and remember that they need to get home before curfew.
That brings yourself to the next question, whether there is accomodation nearby the venue where your guests can stay overnight. You want everything to run as easily and smoothly as possible for your guests, so make sure that there is a shuttle service available for them to return safely to their accomodation.
As soon as you find that it will be difficult for your guests to get to the venue, then sorry to say, but it is probably best you let it go and find a new venue. The last thing that you want to do on your wedding day is inconvenience your guests.
Time of year
Wedding venue competition gets hot in summer. The most common months for weddings are the warm, long days of summer. Wedding venues are booked months in advance to get the venue on a summer day, so do your research and plan ahead!
If you are on a tight budget, then maybe consider hiring a venue off season. It will really save you a lot of money and it will also save you a lot of worries about finding a venue that hasn’t been booked out yet.
We still have beautiful winter days here in South Africa, so unless you have decided to have an outdoor wedding in the midst of winter, there shouldn’t be a problem.
As special as your day is to you, it’s really not necessary to serve your guests michelin star meals. Some venues have their own catering services and waiters that are included in the venue price.
If you decide to outsource your own catering service, then make sure that your venue has a kitchen on-site where the food can be prepared and kept warm.
The venue that you choose may have a list of caterers that they work with, and be prepared to be charged an additional fee for hiring an outside caterer.
The same goes for the wedding cake. If you decide not to have the venue’s bakery make you a cake, then be prepared to pay a cake cutting fee for bringing in your own wedding cake.
Now that you have considered your budget, the venue’s capacity limit, catering, the location and the time of year of your special day, you can enjoy planning all of the exciting details that make your special day truly magical.
Remember to visit your wedding venue weeks in advance to get a good idea of the layout of the space, and try to opt for exclusivity. Some venues like to book two weddings in one day. Try your best to make sure that the day is all about your future forever partner.