How to choose a wedding venue: 6 things to consider 

How to choose a wedding venue
Photography: Cat Arwel Photographer

Choosing the venue for your wedding is a biggie! Not only because it’s where the largest portion of your budget will go, but because it will ultimately set the tone for your celebration. This is why it can feel like a big challenge to get right, but although not easy, it is fun finding the venue you’ll celebrate your love in!

To help you during this exciting and important part of your planning journey, here are 6 things to consider when making your shortlist. 

What’s the capacity?

When you first start researching venues looking at the capacity is one of the first things I’d recommend – not only to make sure your guests can fit into the venue but also to make sure the space isn’t too large. This is where knowing your numbers start to come in handy and why writing a draft guest list is one of my suggested first steps to take when you start planning.  

Does it work with your budget?

I’m sure checking the price of the venue seems a little obvious, however, reminding yourself of your budget never hurts especially when it’s very easy to get carried away and fall for a venue!

There are different types of pricing and you are likely to come across venue hire, package prices and price per head, so getting clear on how each venue you like charges will help you create a clear comparrison. If they offer a package price ask them to clarify exactly what’s included even down to the tables, chairs and linen. It’s also worth asking if there’s a minimum spend and if VAT is included to avoid any shockers later on!  

Do you get exclusivity of the venue?

Depending on the style of wedding and venue you’d like this may or may not be something important to you.

For example, if you’re having an intimate reception and looking to hire a private space within a venue, you may be okay knowing other people will be dining or staying in another part of the venue. If however you’re having a larger celebration and want privacy for you and your guests, you may not be keen to learn you’ll be sharing your venue with another couple getting married on the same day as you, which can happen as some locations. If having exclusivity is important to you, ask what the options are as there may be an additional fee for this.  

Is there a preferred supplier list? 

Sometimes venues have a preferred supplier list, which can mean you’re restricted to only using suppliers from this list. Often the venue has worked with the supplier previously and would prefer you to use them but other times suppliers pay to be on this list or will give the venue a commission back if they get booked. Either way, bear in mind that the suggested suppliers may not necessarily be the right fit for you. Chat to the venue about their flexibility on allowing you to work with different suppliers – some will allow it but it can incur a cost!

Does it fit your priorities and vision?

You’ll get a gut feeling when you visit a venue about whether the style feels right and works for you, but remember to also think about your priorities – for example, if you’re planning to party into the early hours does the venue have a late licence? 

Is the location accessible?

Wherever your venue is located you want to make sure it’s easy to travel to for you and your guests. If people will be driving is there plenty of parking available or if you’re in the city is it easy to reach by public transport? In addition, it’s always worth checking what local hotels and accommodation are nearby that will suit you and your guests!  

Happy venue hunting! 

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Hi, I'm Clara

London wedding designer, planner & stylist

I create bespoke weddings for modern city-loving couples who want to step away from the norm and have a celebration that feels personal to them.

By working in collaboration with my couples and encouraging their individual style, I can interpret what’s important to them and curate an experience that reflects their story. 

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