After the dress, this is probably the biggest decision you'll have to make for your wedding. There are so many things to consider and honestly, it can get a little overwhelming. It's also probably the first thing you should book. Until you have your venue, it's very hard to do anything else or envisage what you want your wedding to look like.
When we were looking we did this through a couple of different ways:
- Wedding Magazines (local ones)
Google was probably the biggest help to us as you could see their gallery of photos, what they do and don't allow, general package prices and most importantly - reviews. Reviews were essential when picking ones we wanted to go and view. It was so helpful and honestly I paid more attention to these than most other bits because as far as I was concerned - I could go and view the venue and ask those questions, but I couldn't ask previous brides.
Once we'd found a few we wanted to go and see I got in touch to set a date to visit. When planning your visits keep the following in mind:
- Each visit took around thirty minutes each for us so keep this in mind when booking other venues on the same day
- Try and book when a wedding it going to take place. The rooms will already be set up and it's so much easier to envisage your wedding there if you get an idea of another one. A couple of places we say weren't set up for a wedding and it was so hard to picture it.
- Take a list of questions. I didn't actually do this and I really regretted it by the second place.
- Take away everything they give you. Honestly - it helps later when you come back to look over everything. You may see something you missed.
In terms of what questions to ask it really is up to you. For me I wanted to know what was included, what we would need to sort out, how loud the DJ could play (some venues have sound restrictions), could the photographer take pictures inside (some places don't allow this) etc. If you want to get married at that venue you'll need to ask if they're licensed. You'll think of more as you go and as you see more, but honestly most of the people who showed us around do this ALL the time so they know what you'll need to know anyway. If you don't know what to ask them - just say that and they'll help.
For me the one thing that really stuck out for me when picking my venue was this - when I found it, I knew. I know they say this about the dress but it's just as true for the venue. I was feeling a bit like "okay, this one is nice I guess" about all of them until I got to the one we chose and honestly, I just knew. Straight away it was like I want to get married here. Adam said I was just walking around with a massive smile on my face the whole time so he knew I was sold. I would say, hold out for the one that makes you feel like that. Where when you look at the aisle you can see yourself walking down it, or when you see where you're dancing you can see yourself having your first dance there. Wait for the place that gives you butterflies. Even if it takes that little bit longer - it's worth it.