The Dos and Don’ts of Booking Your Wedding Venue

Lucan Spa Hotel

Your wedding venue sets the stage for one of the most important days of your life, so it’s crucial to
get the booking process right. Your venue is in most cases the first “wedding supplier” that you will
book and plays a key role in many decisions to be made during planning. From finding the perfect
space to ensuring a smooth planning experience, there are several dos and don’ts to keep in mind
when booking your wedding venue. In this guide, we’ll explore some key considerations to help you
navigate this important decision with confidence.
The Dos:
1. Do Start Early: Begin your venue search as early as possible. Venues can book up quickly,
especially during peak wedding season, so starting early gives you the best chance of securing your
preferred location. Nearly 50% of enquiries we receive here at Lucan Spa Hotel are for dates that are
unavailable! Early planning reduces this problem drastically.
2. Do Set a Budget: Determine how much you’re willing to spend on your venue before you start
your search. Be realistic about what you can afford and factor in any additional costs such as extra
decoration, accommodation and possible extra charges outside of your standard package price.
Knowing your budget will help you narrow down your options and avoid the dreaded “hidden costs”
dilemma that many couples get caught out with.
3. Do Consider Your Guest List: Before booking a venue, have a rough estimate of your guest count.
Make sure the venue can comfortably accommodate the number of guests you plan to invite, with
ample space for dining, dancing, and socialising. From experience, many venues overestimate their
maximum capacities in an effort to be an option for larger weddings. Also, a good tip is to try picture
how your day will flow as guests more into different areas of the venue (e.g. from ceremony suite, to
drinks reception area and banqueting space). You don’t want your venue to feel cramped or
overcrowded on your big day. Another factor is accommodation – is there overnight rooms available
for your guests and what price are these at?
4. Do Visit Multiple Venues: Don’t settle for the first venue you come across. Take the time to visit
several different venues to get a sense of what’s available and to compare options. Pay attention to
the ambiance, amenities, and overall vibe of each venue to see if it aligns with your vision for your
wedding day. Even if the first venue you visit is your dream setting, visiting multiple venues also will
help you generate ideas or bring up questions and scenarios you may not have already considered.
5. Do Ask Questions: Don’t be afraid to ask plenty of questions during your venue tours. Enquire
about availability, pricing, package options, and any restrictions or requirements the venue may
have. Clarify details such as setup and breakdown times, vendor policies, and what’s included in the
overall price. If possible, try and get questions answered or confirmed in writing – venue
coordinators can change jobs and you will want to ensure everything promised originally stays
consistent irrelevant of the personnel coordinating your wedding day.
6. Do Read the Contract Carefully: Once you’ve found the perfect venue, carefully review the
contract before signing on the dotted line. Pay attention to important details such as payment
schedules, cancellation policies, noise ordinances, and any additional fees or charges. If anything is
unclear, don’t hesitate to ask for clarification or request amendments. Never pay a deposit or
confirm a booking without receiving your signed copy of terms and conditions.

7. Do Consider Your Vision: Choose a venue that complements your wedding vision and style.
Whether you’re dreaming of a rustic wedding, a glamorous ballroom affair, or a scenic outdoor
ceremony, select a venue that reflects your personal taste and aesthetic preferences.
8. Do Factor in Logistics: Consider the logistical aspects of your venue, such as accessibility, parking,
and proximity to accommodations for your guests. Make sure the venue is easy to find and navigate,
with ample amenities to ensure a comfortable experience for you and your guests.
9. Do Communicate with Your Venue Coordinator: Establish open lines of communication with your
venue coordinator or event manager from the outset. They can provide valuable guidance, answer
your questions, and assist with planning and coordination to ensure everything runs smoothly on
your wedding day. Never hesitate to ask questions throughout planning, or arrange an appointment
to recap on your ideas through the planning process.
10. Do Trust Your Instincts: Ultimately, go with your gut instinct when choosing a wedding venue. If
something feels off or doesn’t align with your vision, don’t hesitate to explore other options. Your
wedding venue should feel like the perfect backdrop for your special day, so trust yourself to make
the right decision. Deep down, you will know what venue feels right for you, so try not allow other
irrelevant opinions get in the way of booking your perfect wedding venue.

The Don’ts:
1. Don’t Wait Too Long to Book: Avoid procrastinating or booking with a short lead up time when it
comes to booking your wedding venue. Popular venues can book up months or even years in
advance, so waiting too long could result in disappointment if your desired date is unavailable.
2. Don’t Exceed Your Budget: While it’s tempting to splurge on your dream venue, resist the urge to
overspend. Stay within your budget to avoid financial stress down the line and prioritise what’s most
important to you when allocating your wedding funds.
3. Don’t Overlook Hidden Costs: Be mindful of hidden costs that may not be included in the venue’s
pricing structure, such as service charges, gratuities, possible minimum number requirements and
additional fees for amenities or services. Factor these costs into your overall budget to avoid any
surprises later on.
4. Don’t Ignore Venue Restrictions: Take note of any restrictions or regulations imposed by the
venue, such as noise restrictions, guest capacity limits, or vendor limitations. Failure to comply with
these rules could result in conflict or disagreement, so make sure you understand and adhere to all
guidelines.
5. Don’t Sacrifice Comfort for Aesthetics: While aesthetics are important, prioritise the comfort and
convenience of you and your guests when choosing a venue. Ensure there are adequate facilities,
such as restrooms and air-conditioning, to keep everyone comfortable throughout the event.
6. Don’t Book Without a Site Visit: Never book a venue without visiting it in person first. Photos can
be deceiving, and you’ll want to see the space firsthand to get a true sense of its size, layout, and
overall ambiance. A site visit also allows you to visualise the placement of any additional extras you
may be thinking of adding to your day (e.g. entertainment, photobooth etc).
7. Don’t Forget to Get Everything in Writing: As discussed above, verbal agreements are not enough
when it comes to booking your wedding venue. Make sure all agreements, promises, and details are
documented in writing within the contract to protect yourself and avoid any misunderstandings later
on.

8. Don’t Ignore Parking and Transportation Needs: Consider the parking and transportation needs of
your guests when choosing a venue. Ensure there is ample parking available or explore alternative
transportation options such as shuttles or rideshare services to accommodate guests without cars.
9. Don’t Assume All-Inclusive Means All-Inclusive: If you’re considering an all-inclusive venue
package, carefully review what’s included and what’s not. Don’t assume that everything you need
will be covered – ask for clarification and make sure you fully understand what you’re getting for your
money. If the package contains external suppliers, ask specifically what is included per supplier.
10. Don’t Stress Over Perfection: Finally, don’t get too caught up in finding the “perfect” venue.
Remember that no venue is flawless, and there may be minor imperfections or compromises
involved. Focus on finding a venue that feels right for you and your partner, and trust that everything
will come together beautifully on your wedding day.
Booking your wedding venue is one of the most important decisions you’ll make during the wedding
planning process. By following these dos and don’ts, you can navigate the booking process with
confidence and find the perfect venue to bring your wedding vision to life. Happy venue hunting!