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5 things to consider when narrowing down wedding venues

Couples today have an endless number of cool wedding venues to choose from, but the flipside is the sometimes overwhelming task of actually picking one!

But, never fear, help is at hand. Michelle Anderson, who runs Complete the Look , a Sunshine Coast-based boutique wedding and event directing business shares her top five tips for narrowing down wedding venues.

1. Check the venues credentials

First, find out if the venue has “runs on the board”, Anderson says. Ask how many weddings or events the venue holds each week or weekend in the space you want to use. Is it one a day, two a day or more?

This question matters for two reasons, Anderson explains. First, some venues will hold up to two events a day or they may do a lunch service before allowing access.

This can create a very strict timeline for set up and pack down of your wedding function.

“This can cause unnecessary stress for the couple, as they can find they only have one hour prior to the wedding to set up the reception,” she says.

Secondly, a venue being busy is a good indication it’s well-run. It also means brides and grooms can seek out first-hand reviews from other couples via social media.

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2. How many guest does it cater for?

Never assume a venue can hold a particular number of guests. Check, Anderson advises.

Every venue has a minimum and maximum guest number requirement and it’s important to know these limitations, especially when having an intimate wedding or really large guest list.

Find out the minimum guest number, especially if you only want a few people to attend. Some venues may require a minimum spend and number of guests, ie $5000 and 50 guests, to book a space exclusively.

At the opposite end, every venue also has a maximum capacity. This will dictate if you can fit your dream guest list legally and comfortably.

“A couple may fall in love with a space, however it may only have a capacity for 110 guests, and the couple has 170 guests!” Anderson says.

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3. Is the space adaptable?

Knowing what can and can’t be done with the venue is key

It’s important to check whether the venue allows you to make changes to the space such as decor, ceiling installations, backdrops, lighting, custom menus, entertainment and so on.

You also may not be able to remove items from the walls, like plaques and photos. So it’s really important to clarify what can and cannot be achieved in the space.

“Some permanent structure venues have very strict limitations, restrictions and guidelines on what couples can do. A couple can be very disappointed and even distressed if their dream chandelier or floral installation can’t be suspended from the ceiling as planned,” Anderson says.

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4. Which suppliers does the venue use?

Suppliers can make or break a wedding so knowing if a venue allows only certain suppliers is vital.

Check if you can create your dream wedding with the suppliers you want or if you have to use the venues selected suppliers.

It’s always preferable to work with suppliers of the couple’s choice, Anderson says.

“This can affect the overall experience of the wedding, especially if the couple has a specific vision and the suppliers at the venue may not specialise in creating this vision.”

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5. Check the level of access

The ease – or otherwise – of access to a venue can sometimes be overlooked, but is important.

If you select a large venues in a high-density location this can affect how you, guests and suppliers get to the location.

If guests have to walk or use public transport to arrive at the destination this could cause problems for some with mobility issues. Also if a supplier can’t deliver equipment directly to site, this can create additional cost.

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