How to Choose your Wedding Venue When You Can’t Visit to See it First?

Whether you are trying to choose your destination wedding venue or are restricted by travel restrictions due to the pandemic, there are still lots of ways to make an informed decision about your shortlist of possible venues.

But where do you start and what are the kinds of questions you need to be asking before you commit to a venue? Here is my handy guide.

  1. Do you research online from the comfort of your sofa

Use Google reviews or social media reviews of your preferred venue to make an informed decision. There is nothing like a review to help you see both the pros and cons of your preferred venues. Reviews are a great resource to know what real people are saying about the place you are considering to invest in. Look to see how people describe the service, facilities and importantly – the food. I have heard from brides so many times about how flexible and accommodating their venue and its staff were in helping them plan their day. And I have equally heard how inflexible some can be, especially in the lead up to the day when things might be getting stressful.

Bear in mind the food reviews as well. As one of the main things we all talk about after a wedding is the food. Reviews will give you a great idea of the kitchens reputations for catering for large groups. This point is an important one, especially as it could be several months before you get to try their food yourself.

  1. Ask your other suppliers

When planning a wedding from abroad or during covid times, it is not unusual for a couple to be researching other suppliers along with their wedding venue options. If you think about it, vendors like photographers, florists and hair and makeup teams spend a lot of time at venues during the course of the year. They basically have seen a venue from both sides – how the venue treats their guests and couples and also the behind the scenes stiff from how they run a wedding day and treat their staff. Use your vendors as a sounding board, you will get another perspective to inform your decision.

  1. Ask for a virtual tour of the venue

Virtual tours are becoming a popular option for couples who can’t visit their venue before booking. If you don’t have a family member living close by who can scout out a venue for you, then ask the wedding team if they could schedule a virtual tour for you. Before the tour ask for it to happen during daylight and make sure to view it as a couple so you both have an idea of what you like and dislike about the venue. Be sure and record the video so that you can share it with family members if you would like their opinion also. And ask lots of questions, it is a big decision that you want to make in as an informed way as possible. Watching the videos back will also help you to compare venues and make your decision

  1. Use Google Maps

You find the venue of your dreams but you realise that it is a 2 hour drive from your church or there aren’t enough places to stay close by for all your American cousins!! Be sure to check out Google Maps when you are considering a venue. Make sure it is accessible for those arriving in from the airport, that you aren’t going to spend all afternoon travelling there from your church and that there are plenty of options for people to stay close by. A quick Google Maps search will tell you all of these things.

  1. Go With Your Gut

At the end of the day, if there is something not quite right about your venue, then trust your gut. When you had your virtual tour, did they answer all of your questions? Were they interested in hearing your plans and seem excited about your day? Were they open to hearing your ideas and vision from your day. If the answer to these questions is no, then you probably should continue the search for your dream venue. If it is the venue for you and you are sure that it will meet all of your needs and budget then go ahead and get it booked. If there is one thing I am learning about weddings from now on – it is that couples are being decisive and making decisions quickly to get what they want. 

Congratulations, in this crazy new world we live in, you have just booked your dream venue virtually!

ballycotton church wedding images

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