Today, we will be learning about the factors to take into consideration when choosing your wedding venue. If you haven't checked out my blog on How to Begin Planning Your Wedding, then head over there now and get caught up :)
When I first started shooting weddings. I never really understood the importance of the venue. I was just excited to be taking pictures of beautiful people on the happiest day of their lives. The more weddings I photographed the more I realised that it's so important! I am currently planning my wedding (July 2016) and the wedding venue was top of the list. We checked out a bunch of places and I used what I have learned from attending so many weddings, to choose a place that ticked all the boxes. I'll tell you where we booked later and how we came to the decision (don't peek! Read the rest of the article)
Here's my list of things to consider when choosing a venue.
1. Can it cater for your numbers
Write a hypothetical Guest list and call venues before you visit them to ask what their minimum and maximum numbers they can cater for are. You will find that some venues have a MINIMUM number and all will have a Maximum. Finding this out will help you filter out places that can't cater for you. Sure, some of them may be gorgeous but if your nearest and dearest can't be there, then whats the point in looking at it and tormenting yourself.
2. Think about the Photographer (duh!)
This should be number 1 haha. As a photographer, I cannot emphasize how awesome it is when people choose a venue that is a photographers dream. Thinking about the photography and choosing venues with beautiful natural light (big windows, light walls) it makes it so much more fun and translates into much better pictures. I love to shoot outdoors and would put gorgeous exteriors higher on my list than the interior BUT if it's a horrible day and going outside is not an option, there needs to be a back up plan and we really appreciate when we can get a good balance. Just something to consider :)
DISCLAIMER: I will get you great pictures and work my butt off for you even if you were getting married in a dark cave :)
3. Is it accessible? Think about Logistics.
First of all, I fully understand that talking about logistics is really boring but It's easy to get caught up in the beauty of a venue and book it there and then. There's things to consider here folks! Think about how your guests are going to get there. Is it 100 miles away and people need to drive therefor the wine on the tables you spent so much money on isn't getting polished off cause everyone is driving home? Is the cost to hire coaches huge because the distance of travel? Do people perhaps need to stay over night? Can the hotel accommodate everyone? Do they have enough rooms? Got a headache yet? Thought so. There's nothing wrong with a bit of travel, people often get excited on the coach to the venue and it's all part of a special day but don't make it too far. Keep it under the hour mark.
4. Got Style?
Have you chosen a theme for you're wedding? If its an ultra modern bling fest then an old country estate might not be the right place and vice versa. Its a bit like a round peg and square hole. It's not gonna fit. Make a list of theme ideas and look at some venues that would suit those styles. You'll soon weed out the ones that don't make the cut.
So these are just a small bunch of things to consider. Ultimately the venue is completely up to you if a venue makes you fell warm and fuzzy then just go for it!. It is your day after all and it will be amazing. It would be great though if everyone at your wedding was comfortable and happy, creating a great atmosphere and a great day for you and for them.
So to recap....
1. Get a rough numbers guide together.
2. Think about your theme and look at venues that suit the ideology.
3. Consider how you and your guests would travel to and from the venue
and finally and most importantly ;)...
4. Consider your photographer. Choose somewhere with nice lighting both indoors and out. We'll love you forever if you do.
To let you in on where Jennifer and I booked. New Lanark Mill Hotel. It can cater for large and small amounts of people, its 40 minutes away from us meaning its not too far away for people getting the coach home when they're drunk and tired, and therefor do not need to book rooms to stay over night...but it does have a lot of rooms (20 are set aside for the wedding which is nice) if people decide to book. The ceremony room has light walls and is surrounded by large windows giving it beautiful natural light. It has absolutely gorgeous grounds with lots and lots of photography opportunities both inside and out, Including the original old Mill.
The most important thing about this venue was that it felt right. We felt excited being there and even more excited after getting the tour, meeting the wedding planner and imagining getting married there.
Hopefully this has been helpful, Good luck!