10 Questions to ask yourself when choosing a wedding venue

Wondering how to choose a wedding venue that reflects your personality, accommodates your guests, and aligns with your budget? This concrete guide cuts straight to the chase, delivering essential insights on selecting a venue that harmonizes with every aspect of your wedding vision.

You’ll discover how to evaluate capacity, navigate pricing, and understand contracts—crucial steps to finding the ideal backdrop for your special day.

Prepare to gain clarity on making a choice that feels as right as saying ‘yes’ did, and embark on an exciting phase of your wedding planning.

Key Takeaways

  • Selecting the ideal wedding venue involves balancing aesthetics with practical considerations like location accessibility, guest accommodation, and travel time for evening guests.
  • The budget for a wedding venue should include potential hidden costs and vary based on whether you opt for a venue-only or an all-inclusive deal, with the latter potentially offering better value for smaller weddings.
  • When booking a wedding venue, consider peak and off-peak seasons for cost and availability, ensure it can accommodate your anticipated guest size comfortably, and confirm if the venue aligns with your preferences for catering and entertainment options.

1. What are some tips for picking a wedding location?

Wedding Venues That Are Good.
When planning your dream wedding, it’s crucial to remember that a wedding venue is more than just a place where you’ll exchange vows during the wedding ceremony. It’s the stage on which your love story will unfold. Each venue type offers a unique character and ambience, from hotels and stately homes to gardens and beaches.

Choosing a venue goes beyond aesthetics; it involves considering the logistics. Is the venue accessible? Does it offer adequate accommodation? How long would it take your evening-only guests to travel there? These factors are as important as the venue’s beauty when deciding.

The aesthetics of a wedding venue play a crucial role in setting the desired atmosphere for your wedding. Stunning grounds and the perfect backdrop can transform your wedding into an enchanting celebration. Whether it’s an elegant country house, the best beach wedding venue, or a unique venue nestled in the heart of the Mendips, Somerset, your chosen setting will significantly impact your wedding’s aesthetic and feel.

Related guide: Wedding Photographer Somerset

2. How do I find a wedding venue location?

There are various ways to find a wedding venue. Here are some options to consider:

  • Online platforms
  • Wedding magazines
  • Wedding fairs
  • Hiring a wedding planner who has a vast knowledge of wedding venues

Remember, your wedding venue should align with your vision, guest size, and budget.

Different locations offer different types of wedding venues. If you dream of a beach wedding, consider the best beach wedding venues with stunning ocean views. A country house might be the perfect choice for a rustic wedding, while an outdoor ceremony in the Southwest could be ideal for nature-loving couples. Always consider the venue’s unique features and suitability for your wedding theme.

Consider your budget and venue prices when choosing a location. Wedding venues with prices that fit your budget can be found across the South and South West of England. Sometimes, beautiful venues come with a hefty price tag, but remember, there are always affordable wedding venues that don’t compromise on quality and guest experience. There are numerous fantastic wedding venues in the UK to choose from, catering to various budgets and preferences.

3. What capacity should a venue offer?

Capacity of a Wedding Venue.

The size of the venue is a critical factor to consider when planning intimate weddings. Small wedding venues may be the perfect choice if you’re planning an intimate ceremony with only your closest family and friends. On the other hand, large weddings may require a grand ballroom that can comfortably accommodate all your guests.

When viewing potential venues, seeing them ‘wedding ready’ is important. This will give you a clear idea of how your wedding will look and feel. It also allows you to assess whether there is enough room in the reception rooms to accommodate all your guests and arrange the various elements of your wedding, such as the ceremony reception and dance floor.

The venue’s capacity will also affect the flow of your wedding. A venue that is too small could make your wedding feel cramped, while a venue that is too large could make it feel empty and less intimate. Therefore, making a detailed guest list via RSVP can help you estimate your desired venue size.

4. What budget will I need?

Your budget is the significant factor influencing your choice of a wedding venue. It’s crucial to understand the difference between venue-only and all-inclusive deals. Venue-only prices typically cover just the space, leaving you to handle suppliers like caterers, decorators, and entertainment. In contrast, all-inclusive packages include venue hire and other services, potentially offering better value for money.

Budgeting for a wedding venue involves more than just the venue hire cost. Be aware of any hidden costs, such as corkage fees, overtime charges, or additional costs for using outside suppliers. It’s also worth considering wedding packages under £2,000, which can provide excellent value for money, especially for smaller weddings.

See this guide for the Average Cost of a Wedding Photographer.

Finding affordable venues without compromising the wedding’s quality or guest experience is key. Even cheap wedding venues can provide a memorable setting for your big day. Remember, the best wedding venue isn’t always the most expensive one but the one that fits your vision and budget perfectly.

5. What time of year should I book a wedding?

The time of year you choose to get married can significantly impact your wedding venue selection. Each season offers unique possibilities for your wedding day. Spring and summer are perfect for garden weddings, outdoor ceremonies, and festival-style wedding celebrations. Meanwhile, autumn and winter can offer a cosy atmosphere with indoor ceremonies and receptions. Planning a wedding weekend can also be a great option to extend the festivities and make the most of your chosen season.

The time of year also affects the availability and cost of wedding venues. Peak wedding seasons, typically summer and early fall, often see higher venue prices due to increased demand. By contrast, choosing to wed in the off-peak seasons can lead to considerable savings and more venue options.

Always book your venue well in advance, regardless of your chosen season. This ensures that you secure your desired date and gives you ample time to plan the rest of your wedding. However, if you’re flexible with your date, you can take advantage of last-minute cancellations or off-peak discounts.

6. How far in advance should I book the venue?

Booking a wedding venue is often the first step in wedding planning. The rule of thumb is to book your venue as soon as possible, ideally at least a year in advance. This is particularly important if you have your heart set on a popular venue or plan to get married during peak wedding season.

The timing of your venue booking also depends on the climate of your chosen location. For instance, consider the local weather patterns if you’re planning an outdoor wedding. Booking well in advance gives you the best chance of securing your preferred date and allows for any necessary changes in case of adverse weather conditions.

Read about Garden Wedding Venues.

However, don’t panic if you’re late in the game. While popular venues can book quickly, many beautiful locations are still available with shorter lead times. The key is to remain flexible and open to different dates and venues.

7. What catering options are included when hiring?

Wedding Venues That Are All-Inclusive.

The food, reception drinks, and wedding cake you serve can leave a lasting impression on your guests, making the catering options at your venue an important consideration. Some venues offer in-house catering services, while others allow you to bring in your caterers. When choosing a venue, enquire about their catering policies and dietary accommodations.

The menus offered by the venue or caterer should align with your vision for the wedding. Whether you envision a formal sit-down dinner, a casual buffet, or a unique food truck experience, the right venue should be able to accommodate your catering needs. Remember to confirm your orders well in advance to avoid any last-minute surprises.

Lastly, if you or any of your guests have dietary restrictions, ensure your venue or caterer can accommodate these. Whether you need vegan options, gluten-free meals, or halal food, a good caterer should be able to provide a delicious meal for every guest.

8. What are wedding venue supplier rules?

Most wedding venues have rules regarding the use of outside suppliers, such as wedding photographers, entertainers, decorators, and wedding planners, which can affect not only your wedding planning process but also the experience of your wedding guests. Understanding these rules is crucial as they can significantly impact the overall vibe of your wedding day. Some venues might even have a “walled garden” approach, limiting your options for external suppliers.

Some venues may insist on using their preferred suppliers, who are familiar with the venue’s specifications and regulations. While this can simplify the planning process, it may limit your choices. If you have specific suppliers in mind, check with your venue about their policies before booking.

Negotiating with your venue regarding supplier rules can be beneficial. If a venue initially says ‘no’ to outside suppliers, don’t be afraid to ask for exceptions. Remember, it’s your big day, and your venue should be willing to accommodate your needs to make your wedding as special and personalized as possible.

Read about the Types of Wedding Photographer you can hire for your big day.

9. Do wedding venues include entertainment?

Entertainment is vital to any wedding, keeping your guests entertained and creating a lively atmosphere. Many wedding venues offer entertainment options, but it’s crucial to verify if the venue can accommodate specific types of entertainment, such as a live band, DJ, or outdoor music.

It’s also important to inquire about any restrictions on entertainment. Some venues may have noise limiters or space restrictions that could affect your entertainment plans. For example, if you’re dreaming of a grand fireworks display, you’ll need to check if the venue allows this and if professional pyrotechnic services are available.

Book your entertainment well in advance, particularly if you’re interested in sought-after professionals like experienced wedding DJs or popular live bands. Some venues also provide interactive entertainment, such as photo booths, which can be a fun addition to your wedding reception.

10. Do wedding venues have all-inclusive packages?

All-inclusive wedding packages can simplify planning by providing everything you need in one comprehensive deal. These packages often include:

  • Venue hire
  • Catering
  • Entertainment
  • Decor
  • Wedding coordination services

While all-inclusive packages can offer excellent value for money and reduced stress, it’s important to scrutinize what is included. Sometimes, the ‘all-inclusive’ label can be misleading, with some services or features carrying additional costs. Be sure to carefully review the package details and ask about any potential hidden costs.

Choosing an all-inclusive package doesn’t mean you can’t personalize your wedding. Many venues will work with you to tailor their package to your needs, whether that means adjusting the menu, changing the decor, or accommodating special requests. The key is communicating your vision clearly and working closely with your venue to ensure your day is exactly as you imagined.


In essence, choosing a wedding venue involves much more than just selecting a beautiful location. It’s about finding a place that aligns with your vision, accommodates your guests, fits within your budget, and provides the necessary services to make your day truly special. Remember, the best venue for your wedding is one where you can picture yourself saying, “I do”. Let the journey of finding that perfect venue be exciting, enjoyable, and the start of many wonderful memories.

Related article > Documentary Style Wedding Photography.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you decide on a venue?

When deciding on a venue, it’s important to consider factors such as capacity, location, budget, season, theme, catering options, supplier rules, and entertainment options. These elements will help you narrow your choices and find the perfect venue for your event.


What should I consider at a wedding venue?

When choosing a wedding venue, consider your priorities, budget, guest list, and desired atmosphere. Ask the right questions and trust your instincts to make the best decision.


How far in advance should I book?

You should book your wedding venue at least a year in advance, especially for peak wedding seasons or popular venues. Scheduling well in advance ensures availability and peace of mind.


What is included in an all-inclusive wedding package?

All-inclusive wedding packages usually cover venue hire, catering, and entertainment and may include decor and coordination services. It’s important to carefully review the package to ensure transparency and avoid unexpected expenses.


What kind of entertainment can I have at my wedding venue?

Your wedding venue can offer various entertainment options, including live bands, DJs, and speciality acts like magicians. However, make sure to check with the venue for any restrictions on space or noise levels.