Choosing your wedding venue is one of the most important planning decisions you will take. This is dictated by many factors including the number of guests you wish to invite, whether you would like to have an indoor or an outdoor wedding, the time of the year you are getting married in and your budget.
Any venue can make a memorable wedding experience, whether it is a hotel, a restaurant or a club, a private residence or a farm, or even a historic or cultural venue. Wherever you decide to hold your wedding reception, here are some points to consider:
How many guests? Have an idea of how many guests you will be inviting to your wedding & how many of them will attend. The venue should be able to handle an increase or decrease in the number of guests by around 10%. Most venues allow you to guarantee the number of guests up to 48 hours in advance. So make sure you update the hotel, or any other venue or caterer, with your numbers by the allocated time.
Outdoors or indoors? Consider the weather first and foremost. Do not take risks with unpredictable weather, whether it’s cold, heat, wind, rain or humidity. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. If you’re thinking of going outdoors, you may need to consider additional factors such as security, parking, valet service, cleaning, toilet facilities and others.
Dinner. Seated, buffet or live cooking stations? Seated dinners require less space but more staff and could be costlier. And if you’re not going for a seated dinner, split the buffet or the live cooking stations according to the number of guests to avoid long queues. This requires a larger area if you can afford that.
Entertainment. Allow enough space for your wedding entertainment. Are you having a live band or DJ? How big do you want the dance floor to be? Are you having a zaffeh? Some zaffeh performances need changing rooms and a storage place for their props and equipment, so be prepared.
Children. If children are attending the wedding, ask if there is a room or area that can be used to let them have time away from all the noise, a room with TV/DVDs is ideal.
Photos. Where will you take your memorable photos together as a newly married couple? Some venues have special rooms prepared for this purpose. Look around for locations that are suitable for taking your photos and consult your photographer when it comes to light and other technical issues.
Transportation. Consider how your guests will arrive at your wedding and pick a venue that is easily accessible with good directions. Take care of transportation for your out-of-town guests.