What are your expectations for food and drink? This is often the most important part of the wedding – some couples can be very particular on the style and quality of the food and drink that they serve their guests. Generally speaking, the higher the quality and service, the higher the price. What kind of food and beverages would you like to serve at your wedding? If you have a certain idea in mind – let's say food stations or family style service, a casual bar-b-que feel or a gourmet five-course meal – you will need to make sure the venue can accommodate your requests. If not, will they allow you to bring in your own caterer? Do they have set menu packages and can they customize a menu for you? Do they provide a menu trial dinner? Will they provide the alcohol or do you need to provide it yourself and apply for your own permit? Will your expectations require extra servers and fees? Consider the out of town guests. Will you have a lot of out of town guests that will need accommodations and transportation? If so you'll want to choose a venue that is close to hotels and where guests can be transported to easily. If the venue you absolutely love is a little out of the way, you may need to look into bus and shuttle services to get guests to and from the wedding site.
Wedding Venue Location – Where you hold the wedding can be determined by a number of things. For example, if most of your guests are coming from interstate, or out of town, it may not be an issue as long as there is somewhere nearby for them to stay. Some couples love the idea of keeping it all close to home, so as to avoid to much driving around on the day. On the other hand, if you have decided on a particular type of wedding venue, such as a beach wedding, then this will reduce the number of possible locations immediately.
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Wedding photos – Your wedding photography will capture the most important day of your life so now is not the time to cut costs. Although a favourite Uncle may be great with a camera, don't take chances, use a professional photographer. Look for a photographer who has many years of experience and look at many examples of his/her work to ensure you are happy with their specific style. Check that you are happy with the locations offered by the venue for photographic opportunities. Outdoor locations are often popular to take good photographs as natural light helps when taking fantastic pictures.
Food and Drink – The Catering is a very important factor of any wedding. You need to select a menu taking into consideration your budget, but also what most of your guests would like to eat rather than chancing anything too spicy or too rare. Check if the venue has in-house catering or if they use recommended caterers and can supply you with a list of companies to contact. Many venues offer combined food and drink packages to suit different budgets, offering the best value for money.
Unless you're planning a wedding in a hurry, then take your time to visit a few different venues, ask them how many guests they can seat for the wedding ceremony, ensure this fits with your plans. There is little point looking at a venue that can only sit 40 people for the ceremony if you are planning on inviting 150 guests to your special day. The other thing to check is whether or not the wedding venue is yours solely for the day, or whether other weddings are planned. You may not want to have your photos rushed because the next bride is arriving any moment. A lot of wedding venues in offer either the entire venue or an area where no other visitors will be able to access – determine what you want on your wedding day and make sure you plan this accordingly.