Key Factors in Choosing the Right Wedding Venue
When the moment arrive for couples to choose their wedding venue, too often decisions are made based on all the wrong reasons.
This guide highlights what are the key factors in choosing the right wedding venue, making sure those decisions do not come back to haunt you.
Okay, let’s take this in two steps - the Wedding Ceremony venue and the Wedding Reception venue. As the wedding ceremony (this is where the solemniser pronounces you husband and wife) will come first on your big day, let’s look at appropriate venues for the ceremony first.
If you are planning on having both a wedding ceremony and a reception, you should keep in mind that there is nothing in the book that says you have to invite everyone to this event. Most times, only families, immediate relatives and close friends are invited to witness the ceremony. So there is no need to feel apologetic for not inviting everyone to your wedding ceremony. However, there may be exceptions if you intend to jointly hold a church wedding and a lunch reception.
A wedding reception (or wedding banquet) in Singapore is traditionally where couples would expand their guest list to include distant relatives, friends, colleagues, neighbours etc. It’s important to remember that everyone present at the wedding ceremony should also be included in the guest list of your reception.
The Wedding Ceremony
The first thing to do is decide how many people you want to accommodate at your wedding ceremony, and let that serve as the basis of narrowing down your choice of the wedding venue. In the event that you want to hold your ceremony at a particular place that holds sentimental value, then you may have to switch things around, and let the size at that venue dictate how many guests you can invite.
Avoid choosing a venue that is physically awkward or uncomfortable for your guests. For instance, if you want to perform the solemnisation ceremony in the restaurant where you had your first date together, and it’s a small and dimly-lit space, you should probably re-think that decision.
Sightlines and sound are two important requirements that you should also consider. You want to have everyone be able to snap pictures of the proceedings, and be able to hear your vows without straining. Your guests will want to have a clear view of the ceremony because staring at the back of other wedding guests is probably not much of a special event for your guests. And if the space you’re choosing cannot provide that, it’s better to choose an alternate wedding venue with more conducive sightlines.
Make the effort to amplify and ‘mic-up’ the person(s) performing the wedding ceremony, as well as yourself and your betrothed. You don’t want your guests straining to hear what is being said. And, providing microphones and speakers can be done fairly inexpensively and be setup quickly. If you are planning to have an outdoor wedding ceremony, amplification is even more important because planes flying overhead, birds chirping, and nearby traffic can easily drown out the event.
Also, at an outdoor ceremony, make sure the invited guests know about it in advance, as the heat may have some bearing on what your guests wear, and make sure that you have an alternative within short walking (or running) distance in case the weather doesn’t cooperate.
The Wedding Reception
For the wedding reception, your choices are more clear-cut. If your invitation does not have more than 100 guests, mid-sized rooms, restaurants or banquet halls would usually fit the crowd nicely. For larger affairs, outdoor venues, event halls, hotel ball-rooms or large-sized restaurants are the preferred choice.
Having a stage available at the venue will serve you well for speeches, toasts, throwing the bouquet and other traditional wedding reception events that demand good sightlines for guests. Don’t forget to ask and find out from the venue management about available electric power, lighting and audio systems. You want to make sure there are more than enough electrical points to power all the audio and visual equipment without experiencing any power tripping.
You might also want to designate one or more areas close to the main seating area to serve as bar areas. These areas will also need to be well stocked throughout the evening, and so they should be positioned where bar staff can easily stock them with ice, beverage and liquor without disrupting guests.
With food and drinks being served throughout the event, the venue should offer ample restroom facilities. I always cringe whenever a couple pick a venue location based on its scenery or beauty, only to have to bring in porta-potties, in order to provide for the guests needs.
Finally, it’s always good to inquire about noise restrictions before deciding on the venue – especially so for outdoor areas near housing estates. Wedding receptions or banquets are joyous and noisy affairs. The amount of noise generated is considerably deafening, so do find out what is the cut-off time for celebrations because you wouldn’t want to risk being told off in front of your guests.
The idea in venue selection as well as every facet of wedding planning is to minimize any surprises on your big day. You’re supposed to be enjoying your special day, not worrying if everything is going right. By spending time to look around at different options and evaluating them carefully, you have the luxury of making decisions without being under pressure. And, this ability will help the both of you to make that correct choice.