A wedding can often be one of the most important events in your lifetime so it is important to get everything right, or at least to try and have fun on the day. In between organising the dress, handing out invitations, planning the venue and everything else you need to do to get ready for your big day, you’re going to be under a lot of stress and pressure to make sure everything goes as planned and on time. A lot is riding on this!

For many brides the wedding day is one of the days they have been looking forward to all their life. If you are the bride and are in charge of organisations, great, you are the successor of this wedding so it is up to you to make it work. If you are the groom and responsibility has been delegated to you, you’re under a bit more pressure to make sure everything runs smoothly.

While making sure everyone gets the right date, the right dress code and turns up on time for the photographer to mark the start of the event with a big group photo, you also need to make sure that the venue is suitable and that you are not left open for hidden fees or penalties. So, we’ve put together a short and comprehensive checklist of everything you need to know about one aspect of your wedding; the venue.

RSVPs from Guests
One important part of booking a venue is to make sure that your venue can accommodate your guest list! Flexible venues are best as not all guests will be able to attend, but a preliminary RSVP to an invitation is a good way of finding out an approximate number of guests. When you have an approximate attendance list you can start sorting out good venue choices. After all, it may feel like a bit of a waste booking a huge venue hall when you are having a more personal wedding.

Dietary Requirements
Most venues will not permit guests to make their own food and will include a buffet or other kind of meal in the service. Depending on your budget you can go for a banquet or a set meal, it is really up to you. However when booking the venue it is important that you make the chefs aware of any particular dietary requirements of the guests.

When handing out invitations, ask your guests whether or not they have any particular dietary needs, which you can then pass on to the catering crew. The venue will not be held responsible for any dietary incidents throughout the event as they are unlikely to serve food that is suitable for all to eat (gluten free, vegan, dairy free etc.) unless specifically asked.

Travel and Accomodation
If your guests are travelling from afar, or you have a small venue with little to no room for the whole party to stay as guests, it is important that you communicate with the venue. There is no use turning up with 50 – 100 people in need of food and lodging if the venue itself can only accommodate 25. The venue may be able to recommend local hotels or may even have a partnership with nearby B&B’s so make sure to ask.

It is also important to ask about travel arrangements and whether or not any local bus routes run near the venue. Otherwise guests unable to drive or without cars may find themselve4s in need of a taxi once they arrive nearby. Planning all this in advance is extremely beneficial as everyone will be well aware of the travel arrangements needed, instead of being unceremoniously shoved into the back of a taxi van as they leave the train station.

Booking in Advance
Last and by no accounts least, it is important that you book well in advance if you have chosen the ‘perfect’ venue. Wedding venues are in constant high demand, so you may have to wait months or even years before a spot opens up on your chosen venue. This is part of the reason why planning a wedding takes such a long time; some people can be engaged for years before finally tying the knot! If you have a preferred venue, make sure to check it out and book as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

It is important that you make sure to do your homework and try to be well prepared when booking your wedding. While organising a wedding is stressful right down to the day of the event, by securing a decent venue that has been clearly informed of attendees and dietary requirements, you can at least rest safe in the knowledge that one part of the wedding is secure.

Article provided by Mike James, an independent content writer in the events industry – working alongside a selection of companies including Function Fixers, a FREE venue sourcing service based in London, who were consulted over the information in this post.