Firstly, congratulations! If you’re reading this there’s a good chance that you are looking for a civil ceremony and reception venue for you and your partner. We know that searching for the perfect place to tie the knot can be an overwhelming task so we’ve put together some tips to help take the hassle out of picking your ideal space.
One thing to note is that you don’t need to live in the area where you want to get married. For lots of people, this is a huge bonus as they are free to choose from a wider range of options. For other people, it can be a huge task to narrow down the venues and can be very daunting to even start researching places.
There are some key things to keep in mind when researching or visiting venues, including knowing how many guests you’ll be having and knowing what your budget is. Once you know these two things it will help you to rule out the venues that can’t accommodate your wedding party and the venues that are a mismatch with your budget. We’ll take you through some of the most important things to consider over the course of this post.
How Your Guests May Impact Your Choice of Civil Ceremony Venue
It’s really important to know your numbers before you start looking at venues. You may think you want a small wedding but guest lists have a knack of creeping up and often end up being larger than originally anticipated. If you’ve looked at venues which can only cater to small groups of people and your guest list grows, you’re inviting a lot of unwelcome stress to your planning. Likewise, if you always dreamt of a big wedding but actually end up to inviting a smaller group of people you’re more likely to end up over your budget or possibly feeling like the venue hasn’t filled up enough.
Consider Your Guests’ Needs
Try to get an estimate that’s as close to your actual wedding party as possible before you start looking at venues so you have a clear idea of how many guests will you need to accommodate. Once you’ve done that consider the following, do your guests have mobility issues and can the venue adapt to those needs? If someone in your party has mobility issues is the venue accessible for them? If you have lots of younger children attending is there somewhere for them to play? These are all things to consider before you start to look at venues as the answers to some of them may automatically rule them out for you.
Visiting Your Top Venue Choices
It’s easy to fall in love with a venue but we don’t recommend booking the first place you see, visit at least three places and weigh up your options. Visit each of the venues with an open mind as you may find something unexpected that you fall in love with. Alternatively, you may see something that wasn’t obvious from your research that turns out to be a deal breaker and rules a venue out completely.
Remember this key question to ask – Is the venue available on the date that you want? If there’s a date that’s important to you, be it for sentimental or practical reasons, it’s best to find out straight away if the venue is free on that date.
Another point to consider is this, is your celebrant available on that date? Are they familiar with the venue and have they officiated at the venue before? If they are free then there’s no problem at all, if they’ve been at the venue before that’s even better. They’ll know the set-up of the venue and how to get there, leaving you with fewer things to organise or worry about.
How Your Budget Impacts on Your Civil Ceremony
When it comes to throwing any large party, your budget is one of the most important things to consider. Some couples will have been saving for a long time and some couples will be spontaneous but each type of couple will have some form of budget to stick to. It’s important to know your budget and only look at venues in your price range as it could save you some potential heartbreak on the way to booking your venue.
All Inclusive or DIY
Be savvy – look at what’s included in a civil ceremony package versus how much it would cost to do everything yourself. A venues costs may seem high at first but when you break down everything that they include versus organising everything yourself there’s often very little difference in the end result.
Venues are used to planning and running big ceremonies and can do so easily as they’ve had a lot of practice. If you haven’t organised a big party or wedding celebration before it may be a bigger task than you anticipated, sometimes it’s less stressful to let someone else take the reins and do the organising for you.
If you choose No. 25 Fitzwilliam Place as the venue for your reception and civil ceremony you’ll have a team of professionals on hand to make sure your day goes off without a hitch.
Most venues have preferred suppliers that they recommend, we certainly do and you can take a look at them here. When you are talking to your shortlist of venues, see if they are flexible and are happy to work with your suppliers or if you have to use their suppliers. While we have companies that we trust and recommend you are not obliged to use them when you book No. 25, we’re always open to each couple’s individual preferences.
Choosing Your Civil Ceremony Venue
Remember to ask if you’ll have exclusive use of the venue, some people have no problem sharing a venue but on your special day, it’s nice to have the focus on just you and your celebration. One thing to note when booking No. 25 is that your civil ceremony and reception come as a package and we have a one wedding per day policy. You and your wedding party will have exclusive use of the venue and definitely won’t be sharing the space with another couple.
Consider choosing your wedding colours and theme after you book your venue so that you can be sure they complement each other. We’ve had some couples tie in their theme to match the navy and cream colour palette in our Gandon Rooms. You can take inspiration from this cake, or this programme featuring our Georgian door from a wedding we hosted last year. If your venue is striking enough you may not even need to do much in the way of décor, some venues work really well as a standalone spot and need very little to dress them.
If you have a set idea of how you want your ceremony to look, talk to the venues wedding planner as they’ll know down to a tee if your idea for their space is feasible. They may have already hosted a celebration with a similar theme that they can show you, allowing you to see how your idea would look in practice.
If you have your heart set on a certain theme find venues that compliment it. For instance, a beach wedding in a country barn is going to be a much bigger challenge than a beach wedding at a beach. As we noted earlier you aren’t restricted by where in the country you can hold your civil ceremony so you really do have a world of options to choose from.
Non-Traditional Civil Ceremony Venues
The recent increase in popularity of civil ceremonies has lead to lots of non-traditional venues being licensed that are perfect for civil ceremonies. One final tip is to visit the venue at the time of day you’ll be holding your ceremony. Lots of venues weren’t designed as ceremony spaces so try to get to see the light in the space and get a feel for how the venue will look on your big day. It might just be the thing that seals the deal and makes you fall in love with a space.
From knowing your guest numbers to knowing your budget, we hope that we’ve been able to offer you some guidance on what to look for when booking a venue. We hope that you’ve found our tips useful and that they help you in your search for the perfect ceremony venue.