Tips to help you on your way to finding a great wedding venue or at least narrowing down the search.
Marianne Taylor Photography
1. Be flexible
The hottest venues can be booked 18-24 months in advance so be prepared to be flexible when it comes to picking a date and a day. If you are set on a particular venue and you won't wait a year or two then think about the possibility of a Sunday or mid week wedding reception.
Find a list of local and out-of-town wedding venues
2. Negotiate price
Saturday is always going to be the most popular and expensive day. It's easier to negotiate price with a venue on a Sunday, Thursday or Friday evening.
3. Ask the right questions
Find out exactly which function room will be yours for the reception, are you able to use features of the venue such as gardens or pools as the backdrop to your photos. Are there any other weddings or events taking place at the same time as your wedding, if so will there be any chance of a crossing of brides or guests ending up at the wrong wedding. Does the venue have a wet weather plan in place.
4. Creature comforts
Guest transport should be a consideration if your ceremony is not in close proximity to the reception. Unless everyone is driving be sure transport such as cabs are readily available for your guests if not consider hiring a bus.
Book guest transport
5. Lounge around
Take into consideration your older guests who will need to sit most of the event. If you are having a cocktail reception have a few chairs and tables for people to sit at and rest drinks on.
A guest lounge is a popular feature at weddings, they can be an oasis for guests who want a break from the dance floor.
6. Interim venue
If you have more than a 1-2 hour gap between the ceremony and the wedding reception offer another venue for your guests to have cocktail hour. It could be at the venue itself in the bar away from the reception room or perhaps at the local pub or club.
7. Consider the kids
If small children are invited, make sure the venue has high-chairs and serve kids meals - a few entertaining toys or a drawing desk would be much appreciated by all mums.
Find more on including children at weddings.
8. In-house wedding coordinator
If your chosen venue has an experienced in-house wedding co-ordinator, great! Use them and work with them to plan your wedding - they will have experience and knowledge of how the venue functions best. Make sure they share the same vision as you do for your wedding day.
Find out more on using a wedding planner
9. Get it in writing
When you have chosen your venue, make sure you get confirmation of everything in writing. Read the fine print before signing off on anything and don't be shy to discuss any changes or additions to the confirmation/ booking form that you may wish to make.
Find out more about booking wedding services
10. Cinderella's wedding day pumpkinitis
To avoid having overtime and loadings added to your bill at the end of the night, be sure that you stick to the schedule and depart before the clock strikes the hour.