10 Tips on Finding the Perfect Wedding Venue

As a wedding photographer and someone who has just got married, I thought I would begin a new series that aims to provide a few helpful tips to brides to be. My wife and I got married 2 months ago so I have been through the whole planning process very recently. While things are still fresh in my mind I want to get them down to help all you brides-to-be out. I have written a few tip posts before but I am hoping that this is going to become much more than just the odd post but a whole series on useful tips, advice and general info on all things wedding! First up is a bit of advice on finding that perfect venue.

Wedding planning advice: How to find a great wedding venue

So you're newly engaged and eager to get the whole wedding planning underway. The first, and one of the most important decisions you are going to make in this whole process (after choosing your husband of course!), is going to be where to have the wedding. Looking for your wedding venue is the first step that makes your engagement seem really real.  You may have bought some bridal magazines looked at various wedding websites online and started to form an idea of how you would like your wedding to be but now comes the good stuff.  Once you’re ready to start thinking about possible venues it may seem quite daunting at first but as with most things, once you get started with the process it's never as overwhelming as it seems and you really will enjoy finding the perfect place to get married in. Here's the 5 steps that we took to find our perfect wedding venue.

  1. Search the internet. You could ask friends and family about any great venues they may have been guests to other weddings at. However, most couples are going to want something unique that all your friends and family have not been to so the likelihood is you are on your own for this part.
  2. Use the search function in http://www.hitched.co.uk/ where you’re able to specify the different elements you want in a venue including dinning options, venue type, accommodation and capacity
  3. Request more details from the chosen venues and do some initial research to see if it holds up to most of your requirements.
  4. Arrange appointments to visit.
  5. Book the favourite!

Top tips:

  • Try to visit all the venues within a few weeks so you can remember them clearly
  • Take a list of questions to each venue – you will forget most of them when you get there!
  • When visiting a venue don’t book straight away, its easy to get caught up in the excitement – and whilst you think the first venue is perfect there may be others that suit your needs more.
  • Think about your wedding photography on the day, are there suitable locations to have couple and group shots?
  • Find out who will be coordinating your day, it might not be the person showing you around the venue.  You will have a lot of contact with the coordinator requesting both big and small details, confidence in their ability will make the planning process a lot easier and more enjoyable if you are planning it yourself.
  • Look at the menu options and check if they are able to arrange a trial so you can pick with confidence, this may be at an extra cost depending on the venue*
  • Bar prices can be high at wedding venues but this is an area you could save, ask the venue if you can supply and pay the corkage.*
  • Be sure of all the venue costs before you sign the dotted line

 The venue is one of the most important elements of your wedding as it sets the theme for your day so don’t feel rushed in making a decision, if it doesn’t feel right, move onto the next place and although a bit cliché, you will know when ‘its the one’. Remember, whether you have found the perfect venue or not, it's always a good time to start looking for your wedding photographer. They can get booked up just as early as the venues so it's always a good idea to have someone in mind to contact as soon as you have a date. Have a look around the website to check out some of my wedding photography from London and around the world.