Things to consider
You have chosen your venue, it is finally ticked off your extensive list. It is the one place you can imagine all of your dreams coming together under one roof (or marquee canopy!). However, there are still some important decisions to be made once you have selected the destination:
SET A COINCIDING DATE: Be prepared that the date that you want and the venue’s availability may not coincide, so you should be willing to change your date if your heart is set on the venue. Bear in mind that there is more chance of you securing your dream venue if you are flexible or opt for a mid-week wedding – this is always more affordable than a weekend wedding, saving you around 20 per cent – and it means that you won’t have to book years in advance.
EXCLUSIVE USE VENUE: Check with your venue if there is another wedding on the date you have booked. Don’t worry if there is! Weddings are big business, so it’s understandable venues stage two at a time. Most venues host two same-day weddings at opposite ends of the venue, or on separate floors, which means you won’t run the risk of bumping in to your rival bride in the toilet! If you can’t stand the thought of ‘sharing’ you day with another bride, then ask the venue about hiring for exclusive use, as this will mean it will be yours, and only yours, for the entire day. But be warned: it can be a pricey option and not all venues offer exclusive use, whereas others cater solely for ‘exclusive use’ weddings. MARRIED AT THE VENUE: Check if your venue has a marriage ceremony licence – if so they are legally allowed to hold a civil marriage or partnership, and you can hold your entire wedding there. This means there is only one location, which often means a more relaxed occasion for yourself and your guests. If not, don’t worry, you can organise to be married in a church, registry office, or venue elsewhere which means you have two parts to the best day of your life!
BEFRIEND THE WEDDING COORDINATOR: Your venue’s wedding coordinator will become your new best friend! It is down to her (or him) to turn your dreams into a reality and during the run-up to your wedding day you will build a close relationship with them. Make sure this is a positive one, as they will be more willing to help with your demands. Venues are known to have a high turnover of wedding coordinators. So, as weddings are booked a year or two in advance, your wedding coordinator may change during this time. Don’t panic, make a new friend.
RENOVATIONS & REFURBS: Given the time-frame between the initial booking, and your wedding day itself, many things can happen and that might include refurbishment or upgrades at the hotel or venue of your choice. It’s worth checking with the venue if any renovation work is scheduled. Make sure it will be complete by your wedding date, or ask what contingency plans are in place for guests and photo-taking should work be ongoing at that time.
RAINY DAY PLANS: Now that you have chosen your venue, you will have already identified some perfect outdoor spots for photographs, whether it’s on the beach or at the end of a tree-lined walkway or next to the water feature. However, exterior images rely on dry weather, so be sure to have a back-up plan. Check that your venue has some attractive features inside too, where you, your new husband, and your guests can be photographed. Remember, internal staircases and foyers are perfect for group shots.