1. What is the size of your budget
As you start planning for your wedding, it's important to map out the major spends in your budget. One of the top cuts would go to the venue. Ask yourself the following questions: How much are you willing to spend for the whole wedding? What percentage of this are you willing to spend for the venue? For example, if your overall budget for your wedding is P500,000 and you are willing to allot 20% for the venue, then get ready to book a venue in the amount of P100,000.
Remember that the venue is a major consideration since it sets the anchor for all other elements of your wedding.
2. How many guests are you inviting
This will be asked by most suppliers you meet so it's advisable to decide on this early on. Whether it's an intimate reception of 50 guests or a big one with 500 guests, it is important to get a venue with an appropriate size. Because if you're inviting 50 guests and having it in a huge area usually used for 300, then you would have to deal with the problem of a lot of awkward empty space. On the other hand, a reception with 500 guests should not be squeezed into a tiny area because it will be uncomfortable, it will appear cluttered and is easily prone to accidents.
3. What is your theme
Your theme dictates the kind of venue you choose. If you're thinking of rustic, nature, garden or outdoor, the venue should intrinsically exude these qualities. It does not make sense to choose a closed pavilion and spend thousands to make it look like a garden, when you could've chosen a real garden in the first place. Your venue and your theme should complement well and not appear forced, artificial or inconsistent.
4. Is there ample and secure parking
It's just good sense to make sure that the venue you choose has enough secure parking space. The last thing you want is for your guests' memory of your wedding as that day their car was damaged or worse, stolen.
5. Is there a holding room conveniently located within the venue
A holding room is important because this is where the bride goes for re-touch, where she keeps all her personal belongings, where she changes into her different outfits, or simply rests in between. It should also have a private restroom so the bride doesn't have to go to the same restroom as the guests.
6. Is there accommodation nearby
In choosing your venue, make sure that there are provisions for accommodation within the vicinity. Some guests may be coming from afar and might want to stay nearby for convenience.
There are venues which offer accommodation within the premises and there are those which offer accommodation off-site. Personally, I'd much prefer off-site accommodation for the following reasons: 1) I don't want my guests or myself to witness how they set-up the venue, or to see delivery trucks unloading tables, chairs, dinnerware, and flowers. I want to arrive and see the venue when it is ready; 2) I don't want to stay there after the reception when everything is being packed-up. As much as possible, I would want to prolong the magic of that day.
This whole business of ingress and egress could add unnecessary stress to the couple. It's better to leave your trusted suppliers to do their job and just enjoy the the beautiful outcome.
7. How is the terrain of the venue
When looking for a venue, it is also a thoughtful gesture to think of how your guests will cope with the terrain. If the venue has steep inclines, very long stretch of stairs, or would require long distances walking, then this may not be friendly to elderly guests or those in wheelchairs. Keep in mind also that most of the ladies will be wearing high heels. You don't want to tire them out even before the dancing begins.
8. How are the restrictions of the venue
It is expected for venues to have some restrictions, mainly for the maintenance and upkeep of the place. However, if you feel that the restrictions are 1) unreasonable so as to cause a lot of friction with other suppliers, and 2) would amount to a lot of additional fees afterwards, then maybe it's not worth all the trouble.
9. Make an ocular visit
Choosing the wedding venue could be an emotional decision for many couples. You may have seen all the photos on the website and in social media but nothing beats seeing it with your own eyes. There are so many venues out there, but the right one will call you. And once it does, expect all other sensibilities to be trumped.
10. Lock down the venue
Once you have made your decision, put down a reservation deposit right away. Some venues are exclusive, meaning it holds only one event per day. So, there is always the possibility of losing the slot to someone else. In securing your venue, you are now ready to scout for other suppliers such as caterer, florist, musicians and stylist.