With years of experience of photographing weddings in Bromsgrove, Birmingham and many other locations, I think I know what makes a fabulous wedding venue: whether it's for your Vows and
Wedding Breakfast or just your Wedding Breakfast, here are a few things you should consider when you start looking at venues.
Budget - First of all, cost has to play a part when considering which venue you would like to hire for your wedding day.
You must set a budget for your day. Set yourself a maximum and minimum spend amount for your venue. If you hire your venue for less than you budgeted for, you can consider increasing your budget in other areas, such as flowers or decorations. If you are paying for your own wedding, give yourself enough time to save towards it.
It might be hard, but once you set a budget, you must do your best to stay within in.
Time of year: This will play a big part in what might be available and cost. Late autumn, winter and early spring are all less popular times for weddings which means that some venues may offer a discount if you book out of season. Sought after wedding venues during the summer months, get booked up years in advance.
It it has become increasingly prevalent for weddings to take place during the week. Friday is clearly a popular choice, but if you have a tight budget why not consider a day earlier in the week?
If you do decide on a week day ceremony, give your guests lots of warning so they can organise time off work. It is also worth considering that if you do have a summer wedding, some of your guests might have plans to be away on holiday, so let people know the date as soon as you can.
If you are considering a wedding out of season, consider choosing a venue that has a large, but lovely inside space as even if the day is bright and dry, it will still be cold - not ideal if you have little ones or older relatives.
Large inside or outside space is a must to allow your wedding photographer to get all of the bridal party into a group picture. Also consider suitable areas where the photographer can capture the posed bride and groom pictures and formal group shots.
Light is a really big issue for photographers. Yes, we can use a flash, but these can sometimes create harsh shadows and can sometimes be less flattering than natural light. If you can find a venue that has great light at any time of the year, your photographer will love you for it. A beautiful backdrop with natural light makes all the difference.
Outside space considerations: If you are considering a wedding in late spring, summer or early autumn, then consider venues that have lovely outside areas. This should ideally have some shade: again those little ones and elderly relatives don't want to be out in high hot summer sun for too long.
Some outside shade also helps reduce everybody squinting in bright sunlight.
My biggest recommendation would be to visit your venue at the same time of year to the date you want to get married. Also go at the same time of day you think your ceremony might be. This will allow you to see where the sun is and where the shade is. It will also allow you to consider where you might have your pictures if the weather isn't kind. Your photographer will have to consider this but if its already been thought about before hand, it is one less worry.
Other general considerations: If the location of where you say your vows is some distance from where you want to have your wedding breakfast, is it within easy travelling distance?
Once at the venue, is there enough car parking for all your guests? Is the venue serviced by a local taxi service? If your venue is in a town location, with limited parking, be sure to tell your guests where they can park.
This may sound like a strange consideration, but if you are planning on having a wedding dress with a long train or you think you might have a long veil, try to find a venue with a great set of stairs, or somewhere you can show off your dress to its best effect.
Another thing to consider is how many guests you are planing to invite. Most venues have restrictions on how many they can comfortably seat.
Picking a great venue to celebrate your wedding is such an important decision and if you want any advice on anything, even before you book your wedding, then please get in touch with me.