When it comes to planning your dream wedding, one of the first (and definitely the biggest) decision you’ll need to make as a couple is the venue.
Whether you’re looking to host an intimate gathering of close friends and family or have a guest list running into the hundreds, finding the right venue is key to the success of your big day. Few things can be worse than choosing a wedding venue which disappoints and leaves you nothing but regrets and a handful of underwhelming photos.
Imperial Venues, which offers a number of central London wedding venues, has created a list of its top five mistakes and how to avoid them when choosing your perfect wedding venue.
The sort of venue you choose should reflect who you are as a couple. While some will want a grand champagne reception at a big stately home, others will want a far cosier affair at a much smaller venue.
Never feel you have to choose a particular venue because it’s the ‘done thing’ or purely to impress your wider social circle – you won’t be able to relax if you feel out of place, so follow your gut feeling and choose somewhere you both feel comfortable.
The venue is probably the biggest upfront expense of your big day. While this is one area where you shouldn’t cut corners or compromise, you should also be careful not to spend beyond your means.
It’s a good idea to sit down with a calculator and your bank statements early on and decide between you how much you can realistically spend when choosing a wedding venue. Once you know where your upper limit lies, you’ll know where to direct your research and will avoid the heartache of falling in love with a place only to find it’s beyond your reach.
As the majority of couples want to tie the knot over the summer months, most venues will book up quickly between April and September. Try to be flexible and consider an autumn or winter wedding if necessary, you may even be able to negotiate a better deal in the less popular months of the year.
Do your research, ring around and find out about availability. The more open-minded you are about setting a date, the more choices you’re likely to have.
When choosing a wedding venue, you should bear in mind that the people who manage such venues are experts in the field. They will almost certainly have a list of contacts and approved suppliers who can handle everything from the decorations and floral arrangements to the live music or other evening entertainment.
Rather than run the risk of picking someone you haven’t tried and tested, let the venue do the hard work. They can usually offer some very attractive packages which will not only ensure every aspect of the day is covered, but will help you keep tighter control of the purse strings.
If you pick a venue which is miles away from where the majority of your friends and family live, don’t be surprised if they turn down your invitations. Remote venues can be lovely, but not everyone will have easy access to transport and travelling to an idyllic but very rural venue might be off the cards for some of your nearest and dearest.
If you’re looking at wedding venues in London or other well-connected cities, then you increase the chances of people accepting your invitation. Remember, though, that if you’re hosting the ceremony and reception at separate locations, you might need to think about laying on transportation for your guests.
Finding the perfect wedding venue is not a decision which can be rushed or taken lightly. You should begin by doing some general research to find out where your spending limits lie and what packages might be available to you, then move on to drawing up longlists and shortlists, and finally to paying each potential venue a visit. In the vast majority of cases a couple will simply know from instinct when they have found ‘the one’, so try not to worry if it takes you a little time to find your dream venue.
Imperial Venues offers a number of central London wedding venues, from historic townhouses to modern spaces. With a license for civil ceremonies, range of reception packages and dedicated events team, Imperial Venues is the ideal choice for a city wedding.