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Choosing a wedding venue is one of the first things you must do in your wedding planning process, as many of your other decisions will be affected by the location, style and service of the venue. In order to have the most options, consider making a booking a year or more in advance. Don't forget to look into non-traditional venue options, such as: art galleries, private residences, estates, and vineyards. Your favourite restaurant or cafe may have a banquet room that you weren't aware of, or offer the option of renting the whole restaurant. One of the best things about using your favourite restaurant is that you already know you like the food! If you're willing to think outside of the box, you may find a perfect venue that reflects your personality and style.
Whether you've narrowed the wedding venue search down to a few favourites, or you're still on a city-wide search, here are three important factors to consider:
Size is the most obvious consideration when choosing a wedding venue. It's important to choose a venue that's neither too large nor too small for the size of wedding you are planning. The size of the room affects more than just the number of guests you can invite to your reception. A large venue is appealing when you have a big guest list, but keep in mind that the larger the venue, the more decor you'll need, and the more you'll spend. A full venue creates a much cozier atmosphere, while a venue that is too large can greet guests with an empty look.
The big difference between renting a hall and having your reception in a hotel (aside from the price tag) is how many staff will be present to serve you and your guests on your wedding day. Some halls have a venue supervisor who will be there the whole time. Others will just give you a key and let you fend for yourselves. However, it is rare that a hall will have staff that help with set-up, decorating and cleanup, which can make holding your wedding in a hotel more appealing. The services that hotel staff will provide vary from venue to venue, but generally a hotel wedding takes much of the pressure off the couple's friends and family to spend such a special day working.
Another important factor when it comes to choosing a wedding venue is what the options are for decorating. A room with existing decor that is outdated or plain may require more decor to create your desired atmosphere. Of course, that will require more work, and a bigger budget. Some venues also have restrictions on how decorations are used (such as whether you can use tape or thumbtacks to hang things), so it's important to ask about these things before making a final decision.