The Lowdown on Choosing your Wedding Venue

I get lots of e-mails from newly engaged brides (and grooms) quite simply freaking out about choosing their wedding venue. Usually they have had a weekend of non-stop viewing driving all over the country and are feeling a tad overwhelmed! I remember that feeling well and I am here to tell you, don't panic! Choosing your venue is sort of like buying a house, you will know when it's the one. Here's a few tips on how to ENJOY your venue search for your Scottish wedding, and remember and check out my post featuring some unique wedding venues here.

1. Pin down your numbers

Don't waste a ton of time viewing places that are most likely too small (and by too small I mean take 20 people off of what they tell you is the maximum capacity, you don't want to be crammed in like sardines!).  So get that guest list done and have a rough idea of numbers for day and evening. If you have over 100 guests for dinner you can discount a lot of places already so that will narrow your search.

2. Don't assume (it makes an ass out of you and me)

You might look at a not too hot website and cross the venue off your list straight away, DON'T. You might be adamant you don't want to hold your wedding in a marquee, or be sure you want to get married on the West Coast. I wasn't feeling a marquee and guess what, our venue was pretty much just a marquee. Also remember there are a ton of creative options now (hiring in tipis etc) so even if you're thinking it doesn't quite tick all the boxes, view it, you might be surprised.

3. Be prepared to compromise (it's really not that bad)

In the grand scheme of things, getting married is the main thing here isn't it? Being husband and wife is the goal. Remember that. Okay, so you can't have a fireworks display in that particular venue, it's twenty minutes further East than you'd like, or it doesn't have accommodation... doesn't matter. Trust me, on the day, all these things you thought you wanted pale into comparison as you marry the love of your life (pass the sick bucket, it's true!). Here is an example, on the day I got married, as I stepped out the wedding car my dress must have brushed against the underside of the car and from the get go I have a 30 inch black oil mark along the skirt of my dress. Okay, so I didn't notice until AFTER the ceremony, but after the initial shock, it was fine, and actually hardly anyone noticed. We actually got married that day... bigger deal. It's slightly different as I didn't really have a choice there, but you get what I'm trying to say.

4. Don't rush

Surely this goes without saying but I have heard of people visiting ten venues in one weekend and then wondering why they can't choose! It'll all be a blur. I'd say max of three in a weekend, if you've followed the above tips, three will be enough and you will get there quickly!

5. Hire a wedding planner (?!)

This is more of a question than a tip, would you hire a wedding planner? I think weddings are becoming so much more creative and logistically can be quite complicated and if that wasn't my forte, I'd be hiring someone to make sure it all ran smoothly! Is that something you would consider? I'd love to know! 

Lastly, check out some of my favourite venues that I think we will see some stunning weddings from this year!

The Byre at Inchyra (check out my visit to The Byre here)

St Andrews on the Square

Jupiter Artland (Check out Joanne & Gareth's wedding here)

Killearn Village Hall

The Cart Shed at Aikwood Tower

WEST Brewery

Dalduff Farm

The Recital Rooms

Kirknewton Stables

Have fun!