7 Tips to help you find and choose a wedding venue
1. Set a budget
Your budget will probably shape the style of the wedding venue you’re looking for. Wedding budgets tend to stretch and it’s worth deciding what you’re happy to spend on a wedding venue and trying to stick to it. When choosing a venue, keep in mind what’s included – ask the venue owner or manager exactly what additional items need to be brought to the venue to get a fully informed idea of the actual hire price.
2. Try to define where you want to get married
By narrowing down the region that you want to get married in, you make the venue search much easier on yourself. Consider things like availability of accommodation, how far your guests will be willing to travel and how much it will cost them. Check on the region’s tourism website for major events that might mean there’s a shortage of beds for visitors and try to avoid those dates.
3. Use Google creatively
A tip to dig up hard-to-find wedding venues is to enter a region name plus the word ‘wedding’ into Google (e.g. ‘Taupo + wedding’). Then, click on Google images and scroll through previous weddings that have taken place in the region. Often this will lead you to local wedding photographer’s blogs featuring celebrations held at exciting spaces you may never have found by doing a standard Google search.
4. Get pinning
Get onto Pinterest, make yourself a ‘Wedding Planning’ board and start searching for inspiration. Chances are you’ll stumble upon some cool wedding venues along the way and help to define the type of venue you want. If you find yourself pinning hundreds of pictures of lake ceremonies or garden receptions, listen to your subconscious and search for venues that fit these categories.
5. Get all over Instagram
You’ll be surprised just how many local wedding vendors use Instagram. Use the search function and enter your region name, plus the word ‘wedding’. Again, you will find lots of exciting spaces just by looking at local photographer’s posts.
6. Ask local wedding vendors for their advice
If you know where you want to get married but are struggling to find the right venue, why not ask some of the local wedding vendors? After all, they have first-hand experience working at many local wedding venues and might be able to suggest a few that you haven’t discovered.
7. Be clear on what’s flexible at the venue
If you have your heart set on a caterer for your big day, there’s probably no point in viewing a wedding venue that works with a preferred company only. Find out before you make time for a viewing what’s flexible. Are you allowed to work with your own vendors of choice? Can you DIY-style the venue space? Can you BYO alcohol or does it need to be purchased through the vendor? These are all things to consider when choosing your venue.