Congratulations!¬†You’re engaged and now the planning begins!

Before your date is set the first thing to do is to choose and book your venue, and so the venue hunting begins.

You may know the exact area where you want to get married, or the rough region you want to be in and you may even have in mind the style you want but when you are just starting out it soon becomes apparent there are a lot to choose from.

Why Visiting Wedding Venues is Really Important

So how many wedding venues should you view and visit? Well with so many out there you can’t view them all, but there is no limit to how few or how many you do view.

Viewing reception venues is important, even if you have your heart set on one already. Wedding photos can show you the main areas, spaces and feel of a venue, however you cannot get a true feel for it all until your view it with your own eyes.

How large a space really is, how light a room is, the feeling you get when arriving, the outdoor area and accommodation for your guests. The amenities, the views, the parking facilities, the friendliness of the staff, the storage spaces, it’s amazing how the smallest of things can make up your first impression and make the venue stand out from others you are considering.

Also remember recommendations or tips from friends and family are excellent but taking someone else’s opinion over visiting yourself before booking could leave you disappointed. This is your wedding and your initial reaction and feelings on being at the venue is most important.

How many venues do you visit?

First off, there is no magic number for how many you should visit, however it is important to ensure you are viewing the right venues that are likely to be suitable for you.

Some couples will view 2-3, some 4-5 and some may only view the one.

Viewing lots of venues is pointless if they are either out of your budget, not suitable for your number of guests, or perhaps fully booked when you want to get married.

This is why it is important to plan your wedding criteria, a rough guest list, what is your wedding budget and how much is allocated for the venue, food and drink. Do you want to get married next year or the year after? Does the venue have dates available next year, are you willing to consider having your wedding the following year?

What style and type of venue would you like, a beach wedding? Intimate woodland wedding? Country house? Large barn wedding? Accommodation on site? Would you like to have your dogs with you on your wedding day? Is it pet friendly?

Having a criteria and a plan in the back of your mind makes it easier when it comes to searching for your wedding venue, as well as booking a viewing.

Viewings take time, and there are only so many you can see in a day or weekend once you take into account travelling and the time to be shown around, and of course fitting in some food too. You can easily become frustrated and tired with viewing lots of venues, so it is a good idea to really try and narrow down your shortlist and perhaps book viewings for your top 3.

Open days are another great way to view a venue and also see other suppliers there, the venue will be set out and decorated making it easier to visualise how it could look and also the space there is.

Once you start viewing over 10 venues it is very easy for you both to start losing the excitement and magic, at this point it is best to re-evaluate your criteria. Are you having unrealistic expectations? Are you both on the same page? And are you being selective enough on the venues you are viewing?

Should I view another one?

What if you already have your heart set on a venue, it is your dream venue and you have had it in your mind for years that this is where you want to get married.

Should you view more so you can compare? This is up to you, if you love the venue then go with your heart, it is your day, and if it is your dream and vision to get married there, then book it.

If you are nervous and want to ensure it is the right venue for you, then think about why you want to get married there in the first place. What do you love about it, is there anything that would make it better?

You can of course look at other venues online that are similar or in that area, and if you see one that catches your eye then perhaps look to book a viewing.

When viewing a venue remember to take a list of questions to ask, you may already have some answers to these from their website but take it along to write notes, it also makes it easier to compare notes and venues once back home.

Go with your heart

This is your day, there is no right or wrong number of venues to view, in your mind you may know what you want, and then fall in love with something different.

You may have a set criteria and checklist, but the venue you love most doesn’t quite have everything on your list, but you still love it. If you can make it work then go with your heart, if it just isn’t right then go and see another venue that has it all and see how you feel about it then.

Don’t loose track of the reason behind the big day, for you to marry the one you love, your guests will be happy as long as the both of you are happy with your choice.