Planning 101 19th June 2024

Key Considerations When Choosing a Unique Wedding Venue

Every element of your wedding can be tailored to you as a couple, because it’s all about making it your day — a day that celebrates your unique relationship and what makes your love special. In other words, every aspect is optional, from ditching the big white dress for a colourful jumpsuit to skipping a cake in favour of a delicious cheese board. But there’s one element that you can’t avoid — the venue.

No matter how small you intend for your wedding day to be, you need a place to exchange your vows. Finding the right venue can be a challenge and there are many options to choose from. Here, we’ve outlined some key considerations to bear in mind to help you find your dream wedding venue.

Decide on Your Wedding Style

Picture your dream wedding — what’s the theme and overall style? Do you want a small, intimate gathering with your nearest and dearest, or are you thinking of a huge, glamorous affair with extended family and friends? Do you want a traditional church wedding or are you picturing a more unique historical venue that offers a quirkier backdrop to your nuptials? Knowing what you want from your special day and the style of the wedding itself will help you narrow down the wide array of options available to you.

Determine Your Budget

All too often, couples go way over their budget because they don’t factor in everything they want or need for the day in the early stages. Weddings are an opportunity to get creative and create your perfect day, but that can get expensive if you don’t set a clear budget up front and stick to it. You’re less likely to fall into reckless spending if you know what you have to work with, and when it comes to your venue, you’ll be able to weed out the spaces that aren’t financially viable quickly so you don’t fall in love with a venue you can’t afford.

Check the Lighting

Lighting is incredibly important when choosing a wedding venue because it can transform the entire feel and ambiance of your wedding day, and can make or break your photos on the day. Ideally you want to choose a venue that provides plenty of natural light, but if that’s not possible, you should at least choose one that has a great indoor lighting system, so you don’t run the risk of your photos turning out too dark. Make sure there’s plenty of lights dotted throughout the venue – if there’s just one or two down lights, it can cast shadows and make you and your guests look tired.

[Image source: Deposit photos]

Will it Accommodate Your Guest List?

The number of guests you have at your wedding is personal to each couple. But it’s important to consider capacity when choosing your venue, because there’s no point in opting for a small space if you intend to invite hundreds of people to celebrate with you. Too small and the venue will feel crowded and stuffy, while too big will leave it feeling cold and deserted. A large part of this will be affected by your budget but it helps to make a rough guest list early on in your search to scope out how much space you may need on the day.

Plan for the Season

An often-overlooked element of choosing a venue is the time of year you’re planning to get married in. If you’re thinking of having a sun-filled summer wedding, it can help to make sure your venue has an outdoor space you can use to give your guests a place to relax and enjoy the weather. That might be a terrace or a garden — better still, if there's a place to put a marquee, you’ll have protection from unexpected rain showers. If an autumn or winter wedding is more your style, think about how your venue will help you create a cosy vibe, from rustic barns to hotels with a roaring fire for guests to gather round in the evening.

Does it Come with Amenities?

Amenities are an important consideration for wedding venues because they can help you create the perfect day that suits the type of wedding you’ve always dreamed of. From catering services and bars to tables and chairs, sound systems and even parking spaces, what do you need your venue to have for a stress-free day? Some couples want the option to add their own amenities and tailor every feature while others will value having it taken care of by the venue itself so they don’t need to think about it. Think about what you need and what you want, or don’t want, to pay for.

[Image source: Deposit photos]

Location, Location, Location

Location is personal to each couple and there may be specific places you’ve considered tying the knot, such as the place you got engaged, for example, or the city where you both met for the first time. Maybe you want to get married where you live now or you might be planning a wedding abroad in a holiday destination that offers sentimental memories for you both. Location is a good starting point for narrowing down your venue search but bear in mind how it will affect your guests — if you’re planning a destination wedding abroad, make sure you tell your guests as far in advance as possible so they can plan accordingly. 

Your perfect wedding day centres on your venue, so it’s important to think through these various considerations to make sure that you choose the right space for what will be one of the most special days of your life. It’s not just about the location — you need to make sure it has the space for the number of guests you want to invite, has ample lighting for perfect photos and, above all, fits your theme and budget. There are so many possibilities when it comes to wedding venues, from small and cosy to large and extravagant, so don’t be scared to think outside the box for a unique space.