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5 points to choose the location of your wedding

Some say, "Picking a venue is harder than picking a spouse." Although this might sound extreme, with the thousand and some things that must be done when organizing a wedding, choosing your location is the fundamental first step when planning a wedding.

How long in advance do you book the location? The advice is to start the search early, about a year before the big day. This way, you will avoid the sad event that another couple has already booked your favorite place.

On the other hand, don't get anxious, and don't make a hasty choice: there are so many things to consider! Therefore, even after a possible love at first sight, wait a couple of days before giving the final confirmation to let the enthusiasm boil down and make room for rationality, your main ally during the wedding preparations! It would help to consider the specific characteristics of the venue and the options and benefits you will get when choosing it.

1. Personal taste & wedding style: The starting point

One thing we will always repeat: the personal taste of the spouses is always in the first place. It is your day, so you have to be satisfied with it. If you already have a location of your heart, that's good for you.

The first thing you must do before contacting the various owners or managers is to think about the wedding style. The reception place must correspond to your personality and be appropriate for the theme/wedding style of reception you want to organize. For example, are you a couple who loves nature and wants to opt for a country style? Avoid contacting castles or noble villas, which will instead be at the top of the list in the event of an elegant and princely wedding.

2. Cost

Ask yourself how much you can spend for the entire organization and calculate that the expenditure to be allocated to the reception place is 10-15% of your budget.

If you already have a location of your heart, that's good for you. But It would be a waste of time to visit venues that are out of your league. In the preliminary stages, you can make a first skimming considering these two decisive aspects - style and budget - to already have more precise ideas from the beginning.

Organize a list of places that meet your wishes and are within your budget, then contact the locations to understand the costs better. In this way, you will further shorten the list of suitable sites. And remember that some places have different quotes depending on the number of people attending, which takes us to the next crucial point.

3. Capacity

When looking for the location of your dreams, you will need to consider if it will be large enough to host the number of guests you will have. It is easy to deduce that- before starting the site visits, you must have already drawn up the guest list.

Needless to fall in love with a location if it does not have the necessary spaces to hold your guests. The space-guest relationship is not a factor to be underestimated, both for optimal management of the seating plan and to guarantee the dining room staff moves freely and efficiently.

Another essential aspect that makes a suitable location is if they have a good plan B. For example, if you want to celebrate outdoors by arranging the banquet in a garden, ensure indoor rooms can accommodate all guests in case of bad weather. In addition to studying the climate and any weather instability, consider that each season has its colors and style; this is why it is essential to try to understand first which season best meets your stylistic needs.

Keep in mind that the spaces necessary for a traditional wedding are three:

  • - The area dedicated to the welcome drink
  • - The banquet hall
  • - The after-dinner area with a possible open bar and dance floor

But fear not, because these spaces can also be mixed: the aperitif area can be rearranged for cutting the cake or post-banquet celebrations.

4. Location and access transportation

A key factor when it comes to how to choose a wedding location: Ideally, the place of the reception should not be too far from that of the ceremony and must be accessible to everyone: children, the elderly, strollers, prams, etc. Calculate the travel times well for both you, your guests, and any suppliers.

The path the guests will take to reach the location is of fundamental importance regarding the distance from your city or the ceremony place. So consider if it would be appropriate to evaluate the rental of a means of transport.

Ceremony and reception in the same location? Even better, because in this case, you will reserve your guests the peace of mind to enjoy the day without too many trips, especially if you have numerous guests from different geographical areas.

So naturally, more and more spouses are opting for this alternative. Still, the real puzzle is: can you celebrate the civil ceremony on-site, or will only the symbolic ceremony be possible? Of course, it all depends on whether the location has been declared a municipal house.

If you decide to get married with a religious rite, some locations, especially villas or historic homes, have small consecrated chapels, perfect for an intimate celebration.

5. Is the catering internal, or can you bring your own?

After evaluating the aesthetic and logistical aspects, it is time to honor the palate. If the location offers restaurant service, you must ensure that the culinary proposals meet your needs. In addition, find out if the internal service can provide a cocktail and a wedding cake.

Suppose they do not have internal catering; ask if they have exclusive partnerships or if you can choose who to contact. If you are good with letting the catering of your choice take over, make sure they have worked in this location before or ask them to go and check the venue to evaluate all the practical details.

We never say it enough: good cuisine always remains impressive and represents a decisive element for the most refined palates. The meal is a moment of sharing, and it takes on even more depth during the wedding. So invest part of your time selecting and tasting the dishes to leave nothing to chance. Give importance not only to the quality of the cuisine but also to the excellent presentation and combinations.

Last but not least

Now that you know the standard threads on choosing wedding venues, we thought we would provide you with a checklist of things to ask owners to make sure you make the best decision. In the same way, it is essential to know if the venue has restrictions on decoration, sound, photography, and video equipment.

Here is a list of helpful questions:

  • - Will we have exclusivity, or can the location be rented for multiple events simultaneously?
  • - Is there a cancellation policy? A mishap can still occur, and we might be able to see the need to delay the wedding or even cancel
  • - How late can we stay? Is there an overtime fee if we stay longer? Is there a set time to turn off the music and leave the location?
  • - Do you have your own suppliers, or can we choose them?
  • - How many bathrooms are there? Are there enough for my number of guests? Is there any person assigned to the restrooms during your event? Or do we need to provide someone ourselves?
  • - Even if we do not sleep on site, can we count on a support room for any changes of clothes and various needs? It is essential to know if they have a space dedicated to you since you will need a private room to get ready before the ceremony or touch up during the celebration
  • - How early can our vendors come for the setting up? Depending on the complexity, the decorations' installation may take more than a day to complete. This point is crucial when the reception is going to take place in spaces not ready for weddings, such as beaches, botanical gardens, or historical villas or castles open for day visits
  • - Is parking available on-site? Will there be a parking assistant? If yes, are his services included in the price?
  • - Do we need to supply a generator?
  • - What are the Music & Fireworks restrictions?
  • - Is there a space for children to play and rest?
  • - Is the lighting suitable for the type of wedding planned? Or do we need additional lighting?
  • - Is there the possibility of projecting videos?

If you are hesitant between two valid options, tip the scale towards the location that provides extra services free of charge- such as the suite for your first night, the babysitter service, or the tableau printing…

With these tips, we assure you that you will know how to choose the ideal location so you can make your dream wedding. Do not hesitate to discuss your wedding location ideas with us. Our experience with destination and themed weddings guarantees you will have the perfect setting to enjoy your special day to the fullest.