Location, Location, Location. Do you want to get married ‘at home’ (where you grew up), where you live now, a UK destination that means something to you or abroad. You need to think about all the pros and cons of each option and decide which one is best for you.
Accessibility. How easy is it for you and your guests to travel to the venue. If you are having a church or regestry office ceremony, how far is it to travel to the reception venue. How will your guests travel? Would you need to provide transport for them? Is there parking and accommodation close by? These are questions you need to be asking.
Style. Do you want a church or a civil ceremony? Do you want a country house, a castle or something more modern and contemporary. Think about the style of the day, your venue will set the tone for the wedding dress, centre pieces and everything else.
Research. Make sure you research all venues in your chosen geographical area properly. Keep an open mind as somewhere you may not have considered could turn out to be the one. Make a short list of all venues that are in the running and make appointments to visit them.
Check out photographs of other peoples weddings at your shortlisted venues. Have a look at local photographers sites, most will have wedding venues that you are looking at and you can get the feel for how your photography will look as well as what the venue is like when set up for a wedding. You may end up finding your photographer as well as your venue!
Write a list of questions to ask each venue when you visit them. You need to include costs, what’s included if they offer packages, will any other wedding be taking place on the same date, accommodation costs, additional fees, what do they allow/not allow.
Dine at the venue. If you are using them for catering, book to dine in their restaurant. Order the same sort of food that you would like to serve at your wedding. Make sure you go at a busy time to get an idea of what they serve when under pressure.
Listen to your heart and head. If your heart is saying yes but the purse strings are saying no, remember you need to stick to your budget. If your venue is over your budget, will you happily compromise on your dress or your cake or maybe both and more? You need to assess what your priorities are.