We are in full swing for wedding season 2016, there are many couples out there who have booked or will soon be booking their trip to Italy to see their short list of wedding venues ready for 2017 & 2018.
This has got to be one of the most exciting trips (not including flying out for the wedding of course!) – the buzz of early stage wedding planning, going out as a couple to choose your wedding venue, the place that is going to feature big time on your wedding day. So how do you go about choosing? What will be the deciding factor? Is there one thing that will make you know you have found the perfect location, or do you have a list of criteria?
To help you here are 10 things to consider to nail your perfect wedding venue.
Decide which region of Italy appeal to you the most. City, countryside or coastal. Build your short list of potential venues focus on one geographical area. Most couples fly out for two or three days, planning a well time itinerary allowing enough time to travel between locations, spend time at the venue asking all your important questions and taking time to walk around, if necessary taking lots of photos so you can review at the end of each day. Depending on how much driving is involved we suggest 4 or 5 venues in one day.
2.Type of venue (ie licensed for legal civil ceremony)
Are you looking for a venue that can give you the whole shebang – legal civil ceremony, reception and party on site or do you wish to mix things up for your guests showing off the town you have chosen so you may find yourselves looking at different town halls as well as reception venues.
Work out which is going to suit you best and factor in the location, roads – not as daft as you may think – some of the quaint towns are known for their narrow and twisting streets so not a good fit for large coaches if transporting lots of guests.
3.Size of venue & amenities
You have seen the most charming rustic style country house – its exactly what you are looking for – you have your wedding them worked out and it is just going to look absolutely fabulous against this dream venue. To ensure your guests think the same and will end up loving and not cursing your choice – make sure you check that the venue can accommodate your wedding party. This is more for the larger wedding groups, is there enough parking, are there enough loos ( very important), will the owner/property allow numbers above the accommodation capacity on site – what solution can they offer you if there is no undercover alfresco dining. Before you fall in “venue” love make sure it it is the substance as well as the sex appeal.
How far is the venue from the nearest airport, civil ceremony location or church. The venue may or may not know so it is worth investigating your options and ensure that each option can accommodate the number of guests in your wedding party.
What are the roads (see above) like? Is a full 53-seater coach able to negotiate the acess to the town or venue. Will it be necessary for guests to walk some of the distance? Remember to check if there are steps or stairs, for those members of your wedding party who may struggle with steep or many steps is there a lift?
You may love the idea of a remote castle but will your guests love the journey between your dream castle and their accommodation after several bottles of bubbly and a rich meal. In most cases transport is pre-booked – it is not usually possible to call numerous taxis late at night.
5.Communication & In-house wedding planner
For those brides who wish to do the wedding planning themselves but wish to have someone to direct questions and requests check if the venue has a specialist wedding or event planner who will be able to answer your questions on decor, themeing, make up & hair and any special requests you may have. Not all venues employ a wedding or event planner so it is likey you will be liaising with the manager or owner of a property. This may be fine during the quiet season but when you need or want a prompt response during the peak holiday season you may find your email is not getting the speed of reply you require. If this is something you feel you will not be able to manage it may be that the venue will recommend a wedding planner or suggest you employ a wedding planner.
6.Venue hire costs
Check the venue rental hire fees and costs, what are the service terms, payment terms and cancellation policy. For example at what time does the venue permit access to the property, a venue may only start service at 7pm. If you wish to have an earlier time for aperitivi it may be possible with an additional cost.
7.Menu costs (what is included)
Does the venue have in-house catering and events kitchen or will all the food and equipment be hired through external catering company. Does the venue have a list of preferred suppliers or are you free to make your own selection. What is included – not all menus include aperitivi or wedding cake for example.
8.Indoor & Contingency option
Always ask the venue what is available in case of inclement weather. Not only is this important for your reception if you are intending to host a symbolic at the venue – where will this take place? How will the weather affect set up, decoration and entertainment if you wish to have a live band or disco? If you are not taking a venue for exclusive use ask how the venue will manage your wedding reception and dining for non wedding guests.
9. Exclusive Use policy
Some venues offer exclusive use on a tiered payment structure – the venue hire fee goes up if there a fewer guests and sometimes in can be waivered if you have a high number of guests. Some venues will also impose a minimum stay and will ask for commitment to dine at the venue.
10. It’s LOVE at first sight
Then there is the wow factor that tingling feeling when you just know the moment you set eyes on a venue – this is the one for you and you will be willing to amend, adjust and adapt your dream wedding to fit with your discovery!
In our humble opinion venue visits and location visits are a must – whether you do these on your own or you prefer to have an accompanied venue visit with one of our location specialists (this service is on request) there is no substitue for your own personal experience.
If you would like to find out when is the best time to do a venue visit or you wish us to help you shortlist a selection of venues we would love to hear from you email@example.com
We have some fabulous locations for you to visit!