They call a wedding venue a main point in a check-list for organizing a wedding. It’s often very time consuming. And it is feeling based, as long as you don’t really know what you are looking for. Except the fact that it’s should be suitable for a certain amount of people on a certain day. You should have a good feeling about it, but it shouldn’t be too far (as long as we are not speaking about destination weddings).
When I was studying to certify myself as a wedding planner and we had the topic of wedding venues, I was very surprised by the content we’ve received. It was deeply, deeply practical.
In this blog I’ll try to connect practical advices with my experience of choosing the wedding venue, which is right for YOUR wedding. I’ll share with you my golden tips.
TIP 1. Determine YOUR choice
Searching for a wedding venue is opposite to choosing a dress. If by choosing a dress, the more you imagined something in your head, the less chance is to find it. By choosing a wedding venue, the more details you know in advance, the more chance is to find the right one and not to spend to much time on it.
I give this advice a lot pretty much about everything. BRAINSTORM. You WANT to imagine your wedding day. If you CAN imagine it, you will solve a lot of problems in advance. You need to answer the following questions in order to start a search of a wedding venue. How many people shell we invite to our wedding? Do we want an urban or country-side style? Do we want modern or vintage? Do we want our guests to be able to go home after party or to stay overnight? Do we want everything in one location or in different? Do we want a pond on the territory? Do we want a photoshoot capacity? Do we need wheelchair adaptions?
If you answered all these questions, you can start an Internet research. Yes, you don’t even need to visit venues yet. You have now enough criteria’s to search 4-5 venues you really want to visit.
During the Internet research you will for sure find some venues, which you visually like, but they don’t meet one or two criteria’s. Don’t feel upset! Right it down. It may happen, that 5 locations, which meet your formal criteria’s don’t fit your hart. Than you can use my next tip.
TIP 2. Create a concept around your wedding venue.
It happens pretty often, that a couple already has a certain venue in mind. They drove by, and they just loved it. How it looks, the atmosphere, the smells. They want their wedding only there! Only it doesn’t meet their formal criteria’s. For example, they can merry there, but are not allowed to hold the festivities (it happens a lot in Dutch castles). The amount of people, which fits the unit is different from the guests number. Anyway, one or more points you find important and you didn’t find there.
Don’t be afraid and don’t think that it’s over. If you search further and you still have in mind only THAT venue, it means only one thing. You found YOUR wedding venue. How to deal with all wrincles?
Reinvent a concept. You’ve found YOUR dream venue which is different from your well thought-of image. That means you need to correct the image. And assure, that all differences are solved.
For example, you wanted to have all festivities and a ceremony at one place. But at a dream wedding venue, you are only allowed to have a ceremony. That switches you to the concept of multy-venue wedding.
Or, you can’t have a photoshoot within your location. Than a solvation would be to hold a photoshoot somewhere else.
By trying to solve all uncertainties one by one, you’ll know soon enough, if you REALLY want this location or you need to search further.
TIP 3. Visit a wedding venue with a check list.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions and write the answers down. Take time to make pictures. When you’re back home, you’ll have only the memories and a feeling. All this will become vague after you visit different locations. You’ll not know any more, what you’ve seen where. Because of this reason it’s really important to document everything. It’ll be easier to make a comparison later. Sometimes I advise to give a mark to a location, or per point. This, if you’re fond of quantitative analysis.
In the checklist can be totally different questions. From the acoustic capacities of the dance hall to the kitchen cleaning schedule, amount of stuff available during the evening hours, parking capacities, etc.
Why do you need to know this all? If you organize a wedding yourself, you need to be sure you solved most of the issues in advance, before your wedding day. Why? Because you really don’t want to deal with them on your wedding day. And, this is exactly what a professional wedding planner would do to secure a smooth wedding day.
I would say, you can’t secure everything. Unexpected things happen. But the better you prepare, the less problems will appear on a day itself. And a wedding venue is a core point in this chain.
TIP 4. To follow a feeling?
Imagine, you followed all my practical tips, asked questions, made a list with marks. And you heart chooses a location, which is worse on certain criteria’s than another one. It feels wrong to choose on the base of you feelings, when you know – there will be problems. It also feels wrong to choose the “best options”, because intuitively you like another, imperfect one more. What to do if imperfect is better than perfect?
Actually we had to start with this. Perfect is perfect for YOU. And the most important in making a choice for such an emotional occasion as a wedding is your FEELING. If you feel good about a venue, which has problem points, you can do three things.
1) Accept the fact, that somewhat called “perfect” location doesn’t exist. Another one, with all the good marks, is also not perfect, just by a simple fact, you don’t quite like it.
2) Sometimes we get a feeling about something, but after some time this feeling is gone. You need to put an option on your wedding day on both locations, and visit them couple of times more within two-three months. One day you will know.
3) Do you decide to choose one or another (practical or emotional variant)? Do it with your eyes open. Be aware, which issues you’d need solve by choosing one or another variant. Be honest to yourself, and you’ll have a wonderful wedding venue.
TIP 5. What is really important – safety!
The only way to really care about your guests is to assure, that they are safe during your wedding day. A lot of you will be surprised by now. What is she talking about? We’re in The Netherlands, everything is already checked out by authorities.
I’ll tell you, where a lot of people are partying together, everything can happen. Because it’s your wedding you don’t want to think about such terrible things as fire and evacuation plan, toxication and sanitary plan, etc.
You don’t want to imagine that a fire can start during YOUR wedding or that the food will not be fresh and good. I understand. Don’t think about that. But please take care, that it won’t happen by checking the necessary stuff with the venue.
The fact that you care will also make a venue more alert.
The choice of your wedding venue is one of the first choices you’re to make during your wedding organization process. In making this choice there are a lot of practical points, which are crucial for how your wedding day will look like.
Follow the intuition and have your eyes open.
Sincerely yours, Anna Joostensz
P.S. Share with me in the field comment bellow, what are/were the most difficult things for you in searching and choosing a wedding venue?