10 Tips for Choosing Your Venue

Revealed! Top ten tips for choosing your venue to start your wedding planning off with a breeze.  Selecting a wedding venue is going to be the first and the biggest decision you’ll make as your start the wedding planning process.  It will have an influence on how your big day is going to pan out from a theme to how many guests you will invite.  We’ve given you an easy start by revealing ten tips for choosing your venue and creating the wedding of your dreams.


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One – Budget

You will both need to sit down and do some homework and find out what the going rate is for wedding venues in your wedding location.  Weddings in Sussex, as an online directory, will allow you to search Wedding Venues in Sussex by location and venue type to help narrow down your list.  Working out what you can reasonably afford, rather than what your heart desires, will help you to avoid a massive disappointment if you fall in love with a venue out of your price range.  50% of your wedding budget should be allocated to your venue and reception costs.  Download our wedding budget planner which will help you keep your spending on track.

Two – Choose the Date

Often couples will choose a significant date to them, whether its an anniverary of their first date, parent marriage date or religious reasons.  Other couples are adamant that they want a ‘White winter wedding’ or ‘Summer wedding’ over a weekend.  What is clear is that if you can be as flexible as possible with your date, you will be able to find a venue with offers for off-peak seasons or days.  For example, you will pay less for a Wednesday wedding in November than a Saturday on August bank holiday.  Venues have late availability offers so if you think you can plan a wedding in three months go for it.  What is clear is that the day of the week, time of day, time of year and the lead time will impact your costs higher or lower.  Lastly, don’t book your wedding date that clashes with big family or sporting events.  Once you have your date, or a selection, check with your local Registry Office or Church for their availability before paying any deposits to suppliers and venues.

Three – The Guest List

Work out how many people you would ike to invite to your big day.  This will include bride’s guests, groom’s guests, and there may be a few friends that parents (if applicable) will want to invite to.  Not all venues can accommodate a wide variety of guests, and nearly every venue has a minimum and maximum.  Are you having guests from start to finish, or day and evening guests?  Not everyone will be able to attend so its a good idea to split your guest invites into:

List A – Everyone that you absolutely must invite

List B – Will send an invite after a List A refusal

List C – Evening guests if applicable

Four  – Check out Venues and Photographers Blog

Search on the internet for venues and see what you can find on real weddings that have taken place.  They are less staged than photoshoots and will give a realistic idea of what they look like.  Very helpful if its a different season to when you are getting married.


12291851 - wedding marquee in black and gold theme

Five – The Venue Shortlist

Make a shortlist and check out that they have availability for your chosen date.  Then make an appointment to view.

Six – Make an Appointment to View

Check out whether any venues have a wedding open day where they will have their function room set up for a wedding breakfast.  This will enable you to assess the size of the reception area, and take into account space for entertainment etc once the tables are set up. Take our list of Questions to Ask your Venue to be sure you don’t forget anything, and you can compare like with like as you view your venues.  It’s also best not to take too many people with you, as feedback can be conflicting.  Select your favourites and then get the family and friends involved.

Seven – Don’t Book the First Venue

You may well fall in love withthe first venue you see but don’t book it until you have seen a selection.  Getting quotes from 3 -4 venues will help you ensure that you are getting like for like and value for your budget.

Eight – Check out What Space you Need

If you are holding your ceremony and reception at your venue, you will need to work out how much space you will need.  Does the venue offer you more than one room for the day or exclusive use?  If not, are they able to transform your ceremony room into your themed reception room, with the additional touches you wish for in a suitable timeframe.

Nine – Other Wedding Suppliers

Most venues will have a list of preferred suppliers who have been vetted by the venue, work there a lot and know the venues well.  Some venues will have a policy that you may not be allowed to use your own vendors – this can be a problem if you have already booked a photographer, or florist.  Other venues use this list to suggest vendors but wll allow you to bring in other.  They usually need proof of Third Party Liability Insurance, so using your Auntie to provide the cake may not work, and you need to check this out, if you are planning on booking all of your own suppliers or wish to use a wedding planner.

Ten – Venue Packages & Restrictions

A lot of venues will bundle an entire wedding package into a per guest cost.  This usually includes venue hire, meal and drink costs, and flowers for tables.  This is a great way of keeping a rein on your budget, as it is simply a multiplication of your head count.  The packages will have a minimum head count, – anything from 50 – 100 guests.

If you are planning a candlelit meal, followed by a live band until 1am, do check with the venue on noise restriction, bar licencing and fire hazard restrictions.