When it’s time to plan a wedding, choosing the location is one of the first steps. It’s not always easy though, and that’s why we have collected some fundamental suggestions that will help you find the right place for your dream wedding. Either you have a wedding planner’s help, or you have decided to do everything by yourself, you should consider many aspects in order to find “the right one”…
Before starting, there are a few essential things to be considered…
First, you have to set your budget. I know, it’s not always easy to talk about money, but it is important to know your total budget and how much of it you want to invest in the location (be sure to consider enough for the other suppliers – which will be quite a few).
Some venues will rent only their spaces, and it is up to you to rent everything else from a catering company (tables and chairs, table linens, tableware, glasses, food and beverage, etc.), which will be a separate cost. Other locations may have their own restaurant and offer an all-included wedding package; still, you might want to change something to better fit your wedding’s general mood, theme, colors and atmosphere. Gazebos, food stations, lights, and similar arrangements may be included; but finding neutral spaces that can be fully personalized is always the best choice. After all, changing the flowers’ color alone doesn’t mean having a taylor-made wedding.
Even though it may change until the day before the wedding, drawing up a guest list is another thing you should do as soon as possible. When you look for venues, both for ceremony and reception, it is important to check how many guests can be accommodated, and be sure to have enough space.
When it comes to choosing the place for your wedding, narrowing the choice will help you to find the one you have been dreaming of – be that on the beach, in an open field or in an oak park. For some people the location might be an easy choice (for example if they want to get married close to their home or already have a spot in mind), while for others it is not. If you are open to many ideas but you don’t want to make ordinary choices, you have to ask yourself:
- Is this place easy to reach?
- Will my suppliers be able to get in easily?
- (If you have chosen a specific time of the year) Is this what I really want? Remember – summer is hot and winter is cold, you can’t complain later.
Unless you are bound to a specific day, it’s better to be flexible with dates. Apart from that, it’s always good to have already in mind a time of the year in which you would like to get married. Just keep in mind a few things, such as:
- Is there a specific season in which you’d rather celebrate your wedding?
- Are you available to choose a date which will let you save some money?
- Which day of the week would you like to get married?
- Do you or your family have any limitation that may influence the decision?
Find your place
When looking for a wedding location you will have to search deeper, especially if you live distant from the place where you will get married. Google, Instagram and social media in general are certainly great sources: take a look to past weddings’ pictures, find the available places and be sure they have good reviews, too.
It is important to ask yourself what you are looking for in a location, meaning not only its style but also its characteristics.
Once you’ll find a couple of places that meet most of your standards, it will be time to narrow the choices and start planning the site inspections! While some couples fall in love at first sight with a specific location and don’t need other visits, most of them actually need to see more spots to be sure of choosing the right one.
Get all the information you need from the site inspection
When it’s time to choose your wedding venue, there are a few things you’ll have to pay attention to while you are on the spot. While walking, stop to look at every space and angle and try to imagine how they will be used during your wedding. Also, consider in advance a rain-plan for uncertain weather, if you are planning an open-air event.
How and where will your guests enter the location? Where will be the reception, and where will you celebrate and party all night long?
It is also worth thinking about the photographs: look for nice spots – both inside and outside – where your photographer will be able to take wonderful pictures.
Some venues have their own restaurants, with menus that can be personalized just slightly or almost in full, while others don’t. In this case, you’ll need to ask for a catering service that can either be suggested by the location itself, or being a completely external supplier. Maybe you already know some catering companies. Be always sure to make your choice according to your standards.
Similar to the catering company, many other suppliers can be suggested by the location itself during the first visit: from wedding planner to kids animation, from flower to cake designer, … Many venues will suggest you to choose someone you already know and trust, without any requirement; but always verify with them possible restrictions in hiring external vendors.
Accommodation and logistics
Having accommodation is essential for many couples who wish to get married away from their home, or when the event lasts more than a day, as in destination weddings. With on-site accommodations everything becomes easier; when this is not possible, it is important to know if there are other options available in the proximity, and if they are easy to get in.
Another important thing is to clarify what time will the wedding start, and mostly end, to avoid being kicked out right in the middle of the party! Many locations have a fixed closing time that cannot be changed.
Be very clear with the location about what is included in the final cost and what is not, and be sure that meets your budget.
Remember to take pictures during the site inspection! It is easy to forget many details after some time. Also, it will be very useful to have a second look, and compare different places at the same time after the visits are done. Even though the season of your visit and the one of your wedding may be different, it is still essential to catch as many details as possible, because they can really help you choose the right location for you.
As usual, if you still have some doubts or questions, feel free to get in touch.