So you have got over the excitement of the engagement and decided to start planning your big day. Your wedding venue is one of the biggest and most important elements of the day so take time and make sure you pick a wedding venuethat suits the type of day that you want to have. Don’t just go for the local hotel cause that’s what everyone does, it might not be for you.

Here are some questions to ask yourself when deciding on your wedding venue:

CHOOSING THE BEST VENUE FOR YOU BOTH

Hotel vs Country House vs Marquee:
Where do you see yourself and your partner having your wedding? Do you want a 4 star hotel full of luxury, an old Country house full of history and tradition or a marquee in your back garden that encapsulates your romantic relationship? Decide on what setting you want and then…! Check out my top tips on creating the ultimate wedding checklist.

Make an appointment:
After you have made a list of possible wedding venues, make an appointment to meet the wedding co-ordinator or a member of wedding team. Check the venue’s website first to get an idea of packages and prices and have some questions ready to ask.

Been there before:
Have you attended a wedding there before and really like it or do you want to try somewhere new? Why not have lunch or dinner there while you are visiting to get a taste for the food too.

It’s not just the reception:
When choosing the wedding venue, other things you might want to think about are, could you have the ceremony there? What’s the area for the cocktail hour like? If you want it outside, is that possible? Are there grounds for taking photos to save time travelling somewhere else?

DATES, GUESTS AND PACKAGES

Save the date:
If you have the date picked already, make sure to ask in your appointment if it’s free. You can provisionally hold a date for 2 weeks without a deposit while you are deciding on venues.

How many:
It’s no good falling in love with a venue if it can’t seat your guests. Make sure you find out what the minimum and maximum number of guests possible are before you set your heart on a venue.

Packages:
Do the wedding packages on offer include what you want? Don’t go by the list on the website, it is worth asking. Some venues will tailor their packages to suit your needs. Things like bringing in your own wine, the number of bedrooms included or having an extra choice of main course will all affect your package price.

BUDGET, DISCOUNTS & PAYMENT PLANS

Budget:
A fairytale venue is great…if you can afford it. Make sure you do your sums before committing to a venue, if you’re budget allows for €45 per person don’t go to a 5 star venue where they might only start at €75. Don’t let the dinner put you into debt!

Discounts: 
Some venues offer discounts for couples getting married midweek or in the Winter season. It’s worth asking the venue if you are flexible with your dates, there are lots of extras that they will add to your big day for no extra cost.

Payment plan:
Find out how much of a deposit is required to secure your wedding date, it could be anything from €500 to €2,000. All venues have different types of payment plans. Some may require 50% of the amount due 6 months before the wedding date, others let you pay as much as you’d like up to the big day. Make sure that you know your venues requirements when booking your big day.

Once you are happy with what the venue has to offer, book it in and start planning!