Wedding Planning #1 – Choosing the Venue

How Do You Choose The Right Venue For Your Wedding?

Getting married is one of life’s most stressful experiences, because whilst you’re planning every single little element that makes up your big day, you also need to consider every single person who is attending your wedding and how that decision will affect them. Maybe you have to change your wedding bouquet because your great aunt is allergic to Lilies, maybe there’s a fussy eater who only eats organic, seasonal veg, maybe there’s even a whole host of kids who are threatening to scream through your entire day unless you provide them with a bouncy castle.

And what’s worse, once you’ve accommodated the fusspots you need to deal with the critics, because you might disappoint your ancient great grandmother if you don’t have a white wedding in a church, and you might have to deal with the snobbery of your distant relatives if you don’t pick the right wines.

Sometimes the decisions you make and the opinions and complaints of other people can leave you fighting as a couple, and that is the last thing you want, especially since your wedding is supposed to be the most romantic and happiest day of your life.

It’s all very silly, and to be honest, our recommendation is to do what makes you happy, no matter whom you disappoint. However, if you need to make a day that causes as little conflict as possible so you’re free to enjoy yourself, there are a few ways you can make everything work. In this, the 1st of 3 articles, we’re going to look at some of the areas of your wedding that might cause the most conflict, and give you some advice on how to deal with things! Starting here with the venue, and coming soon, articles on the menu and wedding entertainment.

Choosing the Venue

Choosing the right venue for your wedding day isn’t just about finding somewhere beautiful; there’s a whole range of factors that will need to be considered, so let’s go through a few of the possible problems! –

choosing the best wedding venue

Do you want a religious wedding, a legal wedding, or both?

Of course, a religious wedding will have to take place in a religious building more often than not, whereas a legal wedding can take place pretty much anywhere that is licenced. Some civil ceremony venues also have an on-site church where you can get married or just have your marriage blessed. Problems can occur here when you have religious relatives who want you to have a religious ceremony. Unfortunately there is no room for compromise here; if you are not religious yourself we don’t recommend having a religious ceremony just to please others!

Problems can also arise if you and your spouse have different religious views, or if one of you is an atheist but the other is not. In the case of two religions you can combine the ceremonies, even though some relatives may disagree, two religious ceremonies can be performed in one marriage ceremony. You will have to discuss with your fiancé which elements of the religious ceremony you want to maintain.

If you are religious and your fiancé is atheist, the only solution is to discuss what is important to each of you – disregard family opinions, because even if you please people on your wedding day, you may regret having a religious or non-religious ceremony later.

How do I pick the wedding venue I want but also ensure it’s practical?

There are a lot of venue options; those you choose for beauty, those you choose for practicality. Initially it’s more likely you will be drawn to the venue you dream about; maybe it’s a castle, or a country home, but the bride-to-be has probably known where she wants to get married from the start.

However, if you have a big family, or if you live away from your family, the venue you have chosen may not be practical. People will complain about the distance they have to travel, and many will suggest you compromise on your venue so it is more convenient for others. In this situation, we recommend taking a good look at your guest list, and plotting out where everyone has come from on a map. If most people will need to travel far enough to warrant them booking overnight accommodation, you might be advised to rethink your venue.

However if you’re set on the place you want, then include a local hotel guide with your invites with a range of price options, so people do not feel left out because of the cost of travel. Also reserve rooms at your venue for those who have to travel the furthest first.

You can’t please everyone, but stay friendly – if someone cannot make it and you don’t want to fall out with them make sure to send them some photographs and a favour in the post, and visit them after you are married.

What about the venue capacity?

If you fall in love with a small venue, but you have a big family, you face a variety of problems. Many people now crave a small, intimate wedding with only their closest family and friends, but family can get very easily offended if they are not invited to the wedding. You also might need to invite your parents’ siblings, but not know whether you therefore need to invite their children too, in order to avoid offence. And finally, of course, you may have best friends who you want at the ceremony, but family will expect to be put before your friends. Pleasing everyone in this situation can be incredibly difficult – you don’t mean to hurt anyone, but you also want to make your day special and affordable.

The first possible solution is to only invite your closest guests to the ceremony, and then invite more extended family and friends to the reception. The second solution is to stick to your guns and keep your guest list small. Explain that the cost of your wedding has led to this decision, but assure everyone you will visit them afterwards. The final solution is to compromise and invite everyone but compromise on other costs; for example you may reserve hotel accommodation for close family only, which will save you some money.

How do I plan for the weather?

If you want an outdoor wedding, or some outdoor photography, then you will need to plan for the weather. Having a wedding outdoors, on a beach or in a marquee can be wonderful if the sun shines, leading to a really beautiful day where everyone will be happy, but if it rains, or if it’s cold or windy you could be in trouble. Bad weather can leave people grumpy and irritable, and even the silliest things like the weather effecting guests’ hair and clothing can lead to tempers flaring. If you are determined to have an outdoor wedding, we really recommend having a back-up plan. Hotels and wedding venues will be able to assist you in planning for the worst, but ensure you’re not sharing your wedding day with another couple, or else you might end up with nowhere to go!

At the end of the day, although a wedding is a family event, and you want to make everyone happy and proud, your guests are there to celebrate you as a couple. If you pick the venue you’re happy with, that’s ok, as long as you don’t offend or hurt anyone intentionally. It’s a day you’ll remember for the rest of your lives, and you want your personalities to shine through on the day so people can see how happy you are together. That’s why you’re getting married; to make yourselves happy, not anyone else!

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