Top Tips For Choosing The Perfect Wedding Venue

Water views or bush setting? Marquee or inside? Sumptuous feasts or dancing under the stars? What do you see when you dream about your ideal wedding day?

A wedding venue sets the tone for your day; creating the feel and style that aligns with your vision. It is one of the big spend items that can dictate other costly parts of your day and helps the other elements fall into place during your planning. Therefore, it is vital that you spend the time researching and finding the best option for you.

However, with so many venues out there, selecting your perfect location can seem a daunting task. So, we have put together our 5 top tips for finding your perfect wedding venue to help you through this process.

ONE - Work out your budget and guest list FIRST!

How much you can and want to spend, as well as your ideal number of guests will play a huge part in what venues are right for you.

Be aware that if your guest list is very small or very large, your options will decrease.

This doesn’t mean you have to increase or decrease who you invite – just be aware you may have to compromise a little on your wish list.

Knowing your guest list now also means you can be mindful some of the more specific requirements your venue will need.

For example,
• if you are expecting guests from out of town, consider a venue near accommodation.

• are you inviting guests who are in a wheelchair or who struggle with their mobility? Venues with soft ground / sand, lots of stairs or no lifts may not be ideal.

Yes, it is your special day but considering the needs of your guests will minimise some of the logistical headaches further down the planning stage.

TWO – What are your loves?

Figure out what is important to you both. Is it exceptional food and drinks? Is having a live band high on your list of must-haves? Do you want beautiful views – city, water, bush?

Some venues have restrictions on what you can have (ie no BYO, music curfews..) so knowing what is important to you is vital.

THREE - Any specific locations?

Do you love the down south region or keen to stay more inner-city? You don’t have to get too specific but having a few ideas in mind helps narrow your focus.

FOUR – Hands on or off?

Consider how much of your wedding you want to do yourself.

There are venues that require you to use their staff, kitchen, drinks, etc which means you are constrained by their pricing and what they offer. However, there are venues which literally just provide the building, meaning you can bring in your choice of caterer, drinks, furniture. Additionally, there are venues which offer everything in between!

All options have their pros and cons with regards to pricing, options and how much time it means to you. The trick is to figure out what is the right fit for you.

FIVE - Research Research Research

Spend some time searching the internet to get some ideas of what you like and what’s out there.

Use google to search through venue sites, blogs, wedding websites, wedding planner’s and photographer’s websites for info and images of places.

Also use social media (Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook) to check out the above sites but also use the specific search functions within each platform (eg, hashtags).

It is important to save any image that takes your fancy.

Regularly look back at them to see if there is a recurring theme amongst them all. ​

It may be the way a cocktail reception looks, a location near water, or a specific style.

It is worth noting that seeing images of a venue actually set up for a wedding can be really helpful in picturing how it works for this type of function. You don’t have to love the floor plan or style in the picture, but it does help those couples who find it difficult to visualise a space set up.

PLUS one more for good luck!!

SIX - Spreadsheet it!

Trust me when I say once you begin to plan your wedding there will be soooo much information for you to remember, absorb, make decisions on or contemplate.

Do yourself a favour and start a spreadsheet so that you can see all the information in front of you. This will help you make an informed decision about which venue is right for you.

Once you have a short list of options, arrange a visit to the venue and speak with the Functions Manager.

It is a good opportunity to meet the contact person who you will be dealing with to ensure that you feel comfortable with them and that they are organised, listen and communicate well.

Create headings on your spreadsheet to have a clear picture on what each offers. It needs to include information such as location, inclusions, facilities, restrictions, price.

The venue of your wedding plays a big part in the feel of your day and has a significant flow on effect to the planning of many other elements. Thus it is important to spend some time getting the right place with the fit for your vision.

Good luck!

No idea where to start with your wedding planning? Struggling to figure out how all your ideas fit together with your budget and guest list?

Book a session to meet with your personal Wedding Planning Consultant to help steer you in the right direction and save you huge amounts of stress, time and money in your planning journey.

Contact us at natalie@iconicweddings.com.au for more information. We are here to help.

Stunning images from weddings with our couples captured by
Shoshana Kruger Photography and THE DAY Weddings.
(please contact us for the photographer of a specific photo)