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An Insider's Guide To Booking Your Wedding Venue

  |   By Natalie Ho

Getting engaged is a big step in your relationship, but committing to your wedding date and signing on with a venue makes it completely official. So how do you find the venue that will host the most magical night of your life? (No pressure!)

When it comes to finding a venue, I always ask couples, what is the vision you have for the day? Do you see yourself outdoors for the ceremony? Are you surrounded by a lot of natural light, or is it moody, romantic and filled with candles? Venues come in all shapes & sizes, so this is a great way to start to narrow in.

Also, how many guests are you really inviting? (Get all key stakeholders together and create a list) and what is your per person budget for food and beverage? Understanding your capacity needs are key, as you don’t want to fall in love with a space that you can’t fit in or with a price point that isn’t in line with what you are wanting to spend.

When you approach a venue, include as much of the information you’ve now envisioned from these questions. This will allow your venue representative to show you exactly how you can execute your vision in the space, including which wedding suppliers could make your dreams come to life. If you have a Pinterest board, share it around! The more people know your vision, the more likely it will come to life in the exact way you’ve planned.

And if you are curious about what other couples are doing—one of the big trends we’ve seen is restaurants becoming a popular wedding destination for larger groups. Restaurants offer a designed backdrop, which limits the amount couples have to spend on décor. They also offer a more robust bar offering and finer dining experience than some larger facilities. Most restaurants will allow a buyout, so ask your favourite restaurant if they would consider hosting a wedding.

Or, skip the heat and join other couples who are now looking outside of May – October and spending their wedding indoors.  This approach could also lend to great savings as many venues and wedding vendors will provide an off-season discount.

European destination weddings are also increasing in popularity and we completely understand why! Dreamy castle backdrops with rolling hills and local wine? I’d RSVP yes to that!

Natalie Ho has worked in the hospitality industry for 15 years and is currently is the director, event sales for Oliver & Bonacini Hospitality. She has personally planned 350+ weddings and momentous events. Both creative and business-minded, Natalie is dedicated to growing her events business in out-of-the-box ways and she and her team are passionate and always prepared to go above and beyond to bring their clients' vision to fruition.


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