The most important decision you make as a couple, about your wedding, is choosing your venue. The venue is a very crucial aspect of any wedding as it dictates every other aspect of the wedding plans. It is also importantly where you want your family and friends to come to bear witness and celebrate your nuptials with you.
The first step is usually on deciding on the type of wedding you both want as this heavily influences your choice of venue.
The most popular types of weddings include:
Traditional wedding – this is traditionally a religious ceremony that takes place in a house of worship. The reception is then held later on either at the same location or a separate location altogether.
A civil wedding – this is usually held at a courthouse, or judge’s chambers and is officiated by a mayor or judge. It is typically brief with only a handful of witnesses and a reception afterwards.
A destination wedding – this is held at an exotic location that usually requires travelling. It is not attended by a lot of people, just very close relatives and friends and often allows the attendees to join in on the honeymoon with the couple.
Cruise wedding – much like the destination wedding, it takes place on a cruise ship and is officiated by the captain or clergy member at the port. Much of the planning, décor and catering are all-inclusive meaning you don’t have much choice but to take what is offered in the cruise package.
Eloping –this is a quick wedding ceremony that usually only involves the couple and sometimes one or two witnesses. It is very fluid and doesn’t have the formality that the other ceremonies have. The couple takes vows and enjoys a night out.
Festival or outdoor wedding – this is where the couple hires out a location, usually a field, and holds both the ceremony and reception right there, making for a beautiful outdoors wedding. It is usually very intimate with few numbers of guests. It provides a beautiful backdrop or photos. You can have a beach wedding, garden wedding or set it up any other way you fancy.
An at-home wedding – this is held at someone’s residence. It is usually considered by couples who have access to a grand home or want to have an intimate, homey celebration of their nuptials.
A ballroom wedding – this is held in a ballroom and quickly transforms into a reception immediately after the ceremony. It offers a touch of elegance, and there is enough space for the guests.
Choosing the location becomes that much easier after deciding on the type of wedding the two of you want to have. Now, all you have to do is narrow down on the many options available in order to arrive at the best possible venue option for you. Here are a few things you can do and should consider when looking for the perfect venue.
Choose a venue that matches your theme and the type of wedding you want to have – When looking for a venue, seek out one that will mesh well with the overall theme and aesthetic of your wedding. Consider how the layout and structure of the venue plays into your theme.
Come up with a comprehensive guest list – by knowing the number of people you expect at the wedding; you will be able to factor in the size of the venue as well as the cost because most venues charge by the space.
Factor in your budget – keep in mind the amount of money you have allocated to renting out a venue. Compare prizes between a full-service venue and renting company. Enquire about what an all-inclusive package entails, whether you are allowed to have your own service providers, what you are allowed to change if they have packages etc. This will help you come to a well-informed decision and minimises undue stress and confusion that may arise on the d-day
Consider your guests – if you are having a lot of guests who are coming from out of town or are holding a destination wedding, consider a venue with accommodation or one that is near a hotel.
Consider the location – an outdoor location usually does not require a lot in the way of décor as compared to an indoor wedding. This means an outdoor wedding might save you more décor costs. However, you do need to rent a backup space just in case it starts to rain, and this might balance out the costs.
Transportation – does the venue offer ample parking space for all your guests who will be arriving in cars? Do they offer transportation service? Is the venue accessible by public transport? You should be able to arrange for a venue that caters to all your guests, transportation wise.