Choosing your wedding venue is one of the most important planning decisions you will make. The venue for your wedding really sets the tone for the day and also will probably account for the largest part of your budget.
If you are having a religious ceremony then you will probably have two wedding venues to organise – the venue for the wedding itself and the venue for the reception. In this case, the location of both the venues needs to be considered and ease of transport between the two places will be important.
If, however, you are thinking of having a civil ceremony you may have the option of choosing somewhere that will host both the actual wedding and the reception. Many places now are licensed for marriage ceremonies from castles and stately homes, to hotels, country houses and even football grounds.
If you have guests who are travelling to your wedding you will also need to take into account that they will need somewhere to stay for perhaps one or two nights. Does your wedding venue have suitable accommodation, are there hotels, or guest houses nearby or would it be possible for them to stay locally with relatives?
Favourite Restaurant / Pub
If you have a favourite restaurant or pub, they may be able to accomodate your wedding reception. Perhaps they have a private room which you could use, or you may want the whole place! They should be able to cater your food and drink requirements at a good price and are great places to use especially if you want a more casual, relaxed wedding reception.
University / College
If you or your partner studied at college or University (perhaps that’s where you met?) you may be allowed as an alumni to have your wedding somewhere on campus. Many universities are now licensed for civil weddings and have dedicated wedding planners to assist you.
The universities often have beautiful buildings with stunning architecture and so its worth checking if this is an option for you. Depending on when you want to get married the university may also be able to provide catering and accomodation for your guests too.
Finally you may want to consider having your wedding reception at home. Perhaps a garden party or barbeque? If you or your parents have a beautiful garden it could make a lovely, relaxed wedding venue and of course you could have whatever you wanted! You could consider hiring a marquee if you have a lot of guests coming and source local caterers or even do your own catering.
Try having your wedding on a Friday or Sunday to keep costs down
When you have found the venue which you think you would like to use remember that Saturdays (particularly in the spring and summer months) will get booked up very quickly and will probably be the most expensive.
Try options for a wedding on a Friday or Sunday, or perhaps have an autumn or winter wedding to save money but still have the wedding venue you really want.
As always, feel free to leave any comments and if you have a tip or two, do share it with us!