Choosing your wedding venue is such an emotional part of your planning and it’s also one of the biggest decisions you will have to make as you plan your big day. After all, the wedding venue will dictate the location, date and style of your wedding day, so you want to feel confident you are making the right decision.
As you start to think about which wedding venue to choose, there are some important factors you need to think about.
To help you make the right decision, we have asked the Wedding & Events Manager, Michelle Stewart at Trump Turnberry – a Luxury Collection Resort in Scotland for her pearls of wisdom and advice.
Estimate your number of day guests
You’re not going to know your exact numbers the day guests at your wedding but before you start to visit wedding venues sit down with your partner and make a rough list of who you think you would like to invite to your full wedding day. If your rough list is hitting the 100 mark then there is no point in letting yourself fall in love with a wedding venue that has a maximum capacity of 60.
…And remember to estimate your number of evening guests
As your evening guests won’t be seated, you will have much more flexibility with numbers. Tricky guest list situations like inviting additional plus ones and your colleagues can be solved by inviting them purely to your evening do but you might be surprised by how quickly the numbers add up. Make sure you are clear on the evening maximum capacity before you visit your shortlisted venues.
Does the venue offer on-site ceremonies?
Do you dream of holding your wedding ceremony and reception all in one location? If so then make sure you ask if the venue can hold legal wedding ceremonies and if they do, ask which rooms and locations are licensed. If you have really fallen for a venue and they don’t offer civil ceremonies then you may be able to hold a blessing at the venue and do the legal part with just your witnesses the day before.
Consider Your Preferred Wedding Dates
If you have your heart set on a specific time of year then come prepared to your venue viewing with these dates in mind. Talk to your partner about how flexible you are willing to be and if you would consider a weekday wedding if it meant you could book the time of year you wanted.
Check out what offers are available
Many venues will offer specific deals for low season or for weekday weddings. If you have found the venue of your dreams but you think it might be a little out of your budget then ask what special offers are running and you might be able to find a date and price available that suits your requirements.
What are the unique selling points of the venue?
Everyone wants their wedding to stand out from the crowd – so before you go to visit a venue, think about what makes it special or what makes it truly unique. For example Trump Turnberry has a spectacular and lavish lighthouse and how many other weddings have you attended that has their very own lighthouse in the backdrop?
Do you want a venue with set packages or something bespoke?
If you feel unsure of what type of menu you want or what you would like to include in your wedding breakfast then a set package with a fixed price per head will be a straightforward and simple way to plan out your day. Alternatively, if you want to create something unique then you should check with the venue whether they can be flexible and offer a bespoke package that is tailored to your specific needs.
What photo opportunities are there?
Your wedding album will be a lasting memory of your day and you are going to want to post some of your wedding highlights on social media! Ask the venue what photo opportunities there are inside the building and on the grounds.
Is there guest accommodation?
Check how much accommodation is available at your venue and see if you can block book this for your wedding guests. If your favoured venue doesn’t offer accommodation for your wedding guests then explore what local accommodation is available, particularly if you know your guests will be travelling far from home.
What are the contract and payment terms?
Before you agree to pay your deposit, make sure you are clear on what is included in the contract – it may be worth paying extra attention about what time your wedding will need to end and what time you will need all your hired wedding items to be out of the venue. You should also ask about the payment terms, will you be paying one lump sum or in instalments?