The most important things to know before booking your venue...
Ask anyone that's ever walked down the aisle and they'll tell you the same thing: every second that leads up to your "I Do" can be overwhelming. From the moment you announce your engagement to the second you begin thinking about your big day, planning your wedding means preparing yourself to become overwhelmed by the sheer number of moments, decisions, styles, vibes and different features that you'll start to think about.
From choosing your dream dress and picking your bride tribe to organising an amazing food feast and deciding on your signature cocktails, there are a thousand things to consider -- but none of them is more OMG (read: important) than deciding on your wedding venue.
It's that place where everything will happen, the backdrop to your photos, the place you'll party and somewhere your guests will get all the feels, and that's why it should be one of the first features you have to identify before making any other decisions. Choosing the wrong venue and your big day could feel horrible and the whole experience a far cry from what you dreamed it would be (probably as a teenager). But find the perfect place to tie the knot and party the night away, and your wedding will be so special you'll probably cry every time you walk past your wedding album.
So, if you’re in the process of planning your dream wedding and want to know the two most important tips and tricks to make sure you pick right, then pop on the kettle, plug in your earphones, ignore everything else that is going on in your life and read on!
Step 1: Set Your Budget
Before you even thinking about viewing those potential venues and imagining what it would look like covered in your favourite flowers, you need to sit down with bae (and maybe your parents) and set your budget. That's your very first, most important move, period.
Why? Because knowing how much cash you have to throw around (and where you can save) will have the biggest impact on your whole "where shall we get hitched" decision. Whether you have more or less than you thought you had in your wedding fund, knowing you have X amount will help you whittle down your list of potential venues until you know just what type of locations you can choose between. In short: it’s way better to set yourself a specific number now so that you have something to stick to (and thus avoid being tickled with a huge bill at the end of your big day -- urgh, that would suck.)
Once you have this number, start checking out different wedding venue brochures and price pages to see which ones fall inside your budget, and still allow you to spend on all the little details that make a wedding awesome so that you can have the wedding of your dreams. Oh and, as a little insider tip, never-ever view a venue that is outside your price range. It will just hurt. A lot. And you'll end up with that sucky feeling that you ‘settled’ for something less, when you want to feel like you got something stunning for less.
Step 2: Start Viewing
Oh, this is it. This is the fun part. The bit where your wedding book starts to come to life, your imagination runs wild and the realisation YOU'RE GETTING MARRIED bursts across your heart like a New Year's Eve fireworks finale. Yup. We're talking about making a list of potential places and then booking times to pop in and explore them because, trust us, that's the only way to find your perfect wedding venue.
But the reason for doing this isn't just because it's fun and amazing and beautiful and probably full of complimentary champagne -- it's also your chance to get a real feeling for a place. You see, no matter how stunning the pictures online may be, booking a tour is the only way to meet the team behind a venue, walk the layout, understand the service you'll be getting and imagine what it will be like to arrive in your wedding gown and walk into your reception for the best party of your life.
And here's the best bit: it’s usually free to view a wedding venue, easier to arrange than a hair appointment and, at the top of the list, you're chance to feel that belly-fluttering spark when you enter the one.
Booking a venue is also your chance to get a vibe for a place, so take a note of everything: how they answer the phone, how they make you feel, how easy it is to book, what the tour is like, what magical extras they offer, how far the church is, whether they have a bridal suite you can stay in and whether they make you feel like a freakin' princess, girl, 'cos that's exactly what you want to feel like. This is your opportunity to be vigilant and ensure you're making the perfect decision, especially when you're using the internet to plan your wedding.
Finding the perfect venue for you and your I Do Crew come your big day shouldn't be a difficult task, and make the most of our top tips and tricks above will make sure that's the case! All you gotta do is remember to set your budget first, and start factoring in some of the other expensive aspects of your wedding next (aka your forget-me-not dress, transport, food and flowers), and then start searching for some potential places. OMG, you have the wedding world at your fingertips and we couldn't be more jealous.