Five Things To Do Before You Book Your Wedding Venue

Five Things To Do Before You Book Your Wedding Venue

As you’ll all know, very recently we made a huge change in our wedding plans. After losing family this year, it made me in particular readdress my thoughts about our wedding. We had previously booked our wedding in Florida, to combine with a honeymoon and our dream of taking the children to Disney. Admittedly there were several factors within this and reasons behind why we wanted to do things that way, but we were so happy with that choice and booked the trip with excitement (with hindsight probably more about the holiday at Disney!) Fast forward several months and losing family and a stressful start to the year changed things. Because what’s more important than having your family there when you get married? Nothing.

So we decided to cancel our Florida wedding and rebook in my home town. I think we knew that we’d made the right decision because we’re actually planning now, whereas we hadn’t before. We’d booked the trip but made no plans or really put any effort in to start. I think on some level that shows that our hearts weren’t in it. So now having booked two weddings (and admittedly cancelling one!) I feel like I’m well equipped to talk about the five things you need to do before you book your wedding venue. Which I hope will help future brides-to-be when their time comes to plan their big day.

Set your budget

Many of my friends have spent a lot of money holding their weddings. I don’t really know anyone who hasn’t spent a fortune. But we aren’t a single, young couple – we have two children and a house to maintain already. Plus we’re both thirty (well my other half is nearly thirty) so it’s harder for us to reasonably justify a huge spend. Don’t get me wrong – if I had £20,000 to spend on a wedding, I would! But ultimately that’s not the sort of money we a.) want to or b.) can reasonably afford to spend on ours. Setting yourself a realistic budget is very important because it’s a cut-off point. Without it, you’ll just throw money at your wedding until the cows come home – which will mean an amazing day with all the trimmings, but what about the stress of saving it in the process? The pressure it puts you under during that time? And what about the period of time afterwards when you may still be paying for it? Sitting down and financially planning what you can afford to save each month prior to a wedding means you know what money you have available. You can work on how tight you need the shoe-strings to be, and what sort of monthly spending situations you need to implement. Setting a budget is imperative – any wedding planner will tell you that. Plus it dictates all your choices from there on out because you’ll know how much you’ve got available for each deposit and booking (flowers, cake, decoration, venue etc.)

Decide on your guest list in advance

Another thing that most people don’t think to do before they book their venue, is write out their guest list. You’ll be surprised at how many distant relatives you and your partner will have between you! And seeing as you’ll pay per-head for your wedding, you need to have an idea of the numbers in more than a loose format. It’s also worth discussing how firm you want to be about who is coming – and who isn’t. If you’re on a tight budget who do you want there the most – close friends, or aunts and uncles you don’t really see? Everyone is different, but have these conversations and make these decisions before you book the venue. Doing it afterwards will likely see your total bill get bigger.

Five Things To Do Before You Book Your Wedding Venue

Visit more than one venue

Us women usually have a wedding Pinterest board long before we even get engaged – don’t we? So we usually have a really firm idea of what we want and where we want it. But there’s so many factors involved in booking a venue. Before you book anything though, make sure you’ve physically visited more than one place. We’ll usually visit the dream venue first and book it based on a heart decision – but if your budget doesn’t match your dream it’s tough. So make sure you go and shop around, visit more than one place and put your feelers out and be open minded. You may find a little hidden gem that ticks all the boxes that you didn’t even know about.

Check what’s allowed

All venues have different rules and regulations, so you’ll want to check these before signing anything. For example checking on things like corkage fees and alcohol rules – can you bring your own, or do you have to buy from the venue? All this affects the total cost of your wedding, you see. You’ll also want to check on things like fireworks – if you want them. We had thought about it but found out our venue didn’t allow them due to a nearby stately home. It didn’t affect our decision, but if there’s something important you want factored into your wedding, then check with the venue rather than assume it’s a given. That way you’ll avoid disappointments.

Book the registrar

Before I got engaged I had no idea how you did things with regards to what you book first. So let me explain – first you find the venue you want and ask them to temporarily hold the date. Most venues will do this for 1-2 weeks without fee (or for a very small fee) while you then go to speak to the registrar and make sure they are available to hold the ceremony, or if you’re marrying in a  church, if the vicar is able to host you that day. Once this is confirmed, you’ll need to book the registrar (or vicar) and then go back to the venue to finalise and book your deposit.

…and that’s it! You’re booked! So although these might sound like little details, they’re the important things that I think would be useful to others who will start booking their big day. My overall statement is this: let your heart lead you – but don’t leave your brain behind! I’m loving planning my wedding and have so many wonderful decoration ideas, but we all need to keep a slightly practical head on our shoulders in order to avoid stress – which could overshadow the whole thing!

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Five Things To Do Before You Book Your Wedding Venue


  1. September 5, 2018 / 10:02 am

    such handy tips! It must be so stressful planning a wedding so it’s great to have someone giving you what’s almost like a step-by-step guide!

  2. September 5, 2018 / 10:49 am

    Great post Chloe! I can’t imagine how stressful it must be planning everything! x

  3. Boxnip
    September 5, 2018 / 1:14 pm

    I’m so glad I didn’t have the stress of a big wedding! This is really something I would have found so useful if I had though! 🙂 x

  4. September 5, 2018 / 1:48 pm

    These are great tips! we had such a limited budget we couldnt shop around much with a venue, thankfully we got a good deal on a school hall as we knew someone who kept it open for us, but i wish i had more time and money to make it how i wanted

  5. September 5, 2018 / 3:29 pm

    I’m not planning on getting married any time soon (maybe not ever) but these are great tips! If I do get married, it’ll be super small and maybe not a proper wedding at all so I’m hoping it won’t take much planning.

  6. Erin
    September 6, 2018 / 12:18 am

    Such good tips! I don’t envy you having to plan it all – it would really stress me I think! So many hidden things to do! :O

  7. September 6, 2018 / 11:05 am

    These are such handy tips Chloe, thanks for sharing! Family is very important, and I think you have made a good decision.

  8. Erin
    September 6, 2018 / 9:12 pm

    I don’t think I will handle the wedding planning process, I will be a nightmare! Fab tips though lovely! 🙂

    Erin || MakeErinOver

  9. Erin
    September 6, 2018 / 9:16 pm

    I love your tips! I think I will be an utter stress head if I ever book a wedding and have to plan it! :O

    Erin || MakeErinOver

  10. shaunaclairegg
    September 7, 2018 / 8:05 pm

    These are amazing tips!

  11. shelley
    September 8, 2018 / 11:06 am

    ah I can’t imagine how stressful this has been for you

  12. September 8, 2018 / 12:59 pm

    really good tips! I know a few people that are engaged so I will deffo pass this on! (and keep this for the future hehe!)
    Alicia Xo

  13. September 9, 2018 / 8:36 am

    I loved planning our wedding – best day ever!
    Em x

  14. September 11, 2018 / 11:27 am

    As a features editor for a bridal magazine, I totally agree with you! xx

  15. katiemiddleton94
    September 11, 2018 / 6:55 pm

    100% agree with all these tips! When we were getting married – we had the guest list sorted before we even settled on a venue! But alas, turns out the venue were absolute bumholes so we cancelled!

    Katie x

  16. September 13, 2018 / 6:33 pm

    These are all such good points I’d never thought of before but definitely will when the bf eventually gets round to proposing!! x

  17. loverosiee1
    September 16, 2018 / 2:42 pm

    such helpful tips i can’t wait to get planning mine!

  18. September 17, 2018 / 11:24 am

    Great tips especially as I’m planning mine and the budget is a huge part of it all x

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