Many people approach the selection of their marriage venue with a great deal of understandable care and attention.
Quite often a lot of the emphasis is placed on whether or not the location ‘feels right’ in emotional terms. So, visual attractiveness, scenery and good basic facilities are usually high on the priority list of most couples checking out wedding venues.
Sometimes though, certain practicalities can get lost in the sense of place that is important when thinking about the emotional side of the service. So, even if it sounds a little cold and calculating, it’s important to make your decision based as much on an evaluation of the head as that of the heart.
So, here are a few basic checklist type points that you might want to think about when considering a venue for your big day.
1. Visibility. During the service itself, your guests will typically want to see the soon-to-be married couple. So, a location which has an elevated platform where the service will be conducted will be advantageous – unless you want some of your guests standing on the chairs to try and see what’s going on. If you have a very large service, consider having some sort of video display for guests at the rear anyway.
2. Space. If you are planning a service inside, make sure that the room is large enough to comfortably handle your number of guests. Jamming people into a room like sardines in a tin simply generates heat and discomfort – not quite the ambiance you might be planning.
3. Audibility. Don’t forget to ensure that there is some sort of voice amplification to the whole room or your guests at the back won’t be able to hear the vows and the key moment of marriage itself.
4. Comfort. This shouldn’t be an issue for most professional venue providers but even so, make sure that the chairs are comfortable and sensibly spaced to avoid fidgeting.
5. Children’s facilities. Let’s be frank, babies and very young children can be a major challenge during a wedding service. You probably won’t want screaming children running around and drowning out the most precious moments of your day. Consider whether your venue has the possibility of offering a separate play area or crèche for younger children, under supervision, just for the duration of the service itself.
6. Music. Make sure that in the room has excellent quality speakers and related facilities. There’s little point spending a lot of time selecting the right music for your service if it comes out sounding tinny and crackly.
7. Visibility during receptions. The same issues relating to visibility and audibility apply here too. Guests on tables towards the rear ideally need to be able to see and hear the ‘top table’ for things such as speeches etc.
8. Staffing levels. This is particularly important during the reception, as it won’t impress your guests at the rear of the room to see the top table dining happily while they’re waiting 30 minutes for each course to arrive. Make sure that there is a waiter allocated to each table and that food will be served more or less simultaneously.
Some of the above things may be obvious, others perhaps less so.
One memory you won’t want to have of your wedding day is when one or more of the above things goes wrong or you hear people quietly moaning to each other behind their hands.
So, check these things are carefully when you are looking at wedding venues.