Once you have set the date you may now want to consider where to have the wedding and where to have the party. It is now you need to make some big decisions.

The ceremony will be individual to each couple as you will all have different values surrounding what kind of ceremony you want. If you are religious you may want to get married in the place that is spiritually important to you, if you are not religious you may want to get married in a registry office, the town hall, in a caravan….well, anywhere you want really! So first decide between you what feels right.

It is easy to get stuck with the arrangements of where to get married but there are really only two things to think about. Practicality and style. If the venue for both the wedding and the party are practical and if you have a style you want for your wedding and the venue fits this too then you have a winner. Warning: never forget why you are getting married, try not to get carried away with the packaging.

There are beautiful locations all over the world and there will probably be hundreds of places that would be perfect to have the ceremony and party, but always remember to check if it suits all that you want from the day. You may need to sacrifice some ideas but with that also comes exciting new options.

You will know as soon as you start visiting venues which one is the right one for you. I would recommend searching on the internet for venues first, to see what is on offer in your area (wedding etiquette alert…it is traditional to get married in the town where the bride is from). Also a good idea is to go around looking for buildings and venues that might be appropriate for what you want. Asking locals and local businesses what they can offer is also a good way to get quality produce and help. Catering companies and florists know a lot of venues so it could be worth asking them too.

Depending on where you choose you will find places have their own rules about what you can and can’t do in their venue. It’s best to ask the owners/managers what they will allow you to do, but if you don’t ask you don’t get and some places may surprise you!  Some venues may only want to work through a wedding planner, which is understandable but not to be seen as a problem.

When looking for a venue its always worth checking what you are getting for the price they are offering. Hopefully you would have worked out a budget so you already know your price range, but always try to negotiate with the venue for the best offer you can get. Talk through your idea for the day with the venue management to see how comfortable they are with your plans. They will be investing time in your day as well and I am sure they will want to do as much as they can to make your day perfect. But be careful not to get fooled into adding on things that you don’t consider necessary.

I must say when helping my brother find a venue in Tuscany last year we had the best time going around different places and being treated like royalty as to attract us to their venue. I still dream about the 10 course 6 hour banquet the owners of a beautiful monastery in Marche laid on for us! I don’t feel bad that they didn’t choose that place as the venue they ended up having for the wedding had all that and more!! I’m considering a vocation change and becoming a full time wedding-venue-finder just to sample the food venues offer! yum.