Wedding day is a special key moment in the life of any couple, and the choice of the perfect wedding venue for the occasion is one of the most important decisions to be made! Wedding venues are typically specialized locations that offer a charming atmosphere, surrounded by nature, making them ideal for couples seeking a rustic and romantic ambiance. However, choosing the perfect wedding venue can be a challenge. In this article, we will explore the key factors that we consider most important when choosing the right venue for your wedding.

Since 1999, we have photographed over 800 weddings in various locations across the country. We consider ourselves experts in the field, not only familiar with what everyone sees in wedding venues but also knowledgeable about the backstage – what you and your guests won't see. We offer our expertise to help you make informed decisions.

Panoramic view of a wedding venue.

1. Venue Location

The location of the venue is one of the most crucial factors to consider. A venue in a rural area or with stunning natural landscapes can provide the perfect setting for the ceremony and reception, but it may not be the best solution overall. 

Ensure that the location is convenient for you, your guests, and vendors. Consider accessibility, proximity to major transportation routes, and parking availability.

TIP: Avoid significant travel on your wedding day.
Unforeseen events can cause you lot's of stress. If choosing a remote venue, check if accommodation is available for the night before at your venue or explore nearby hotels, inns, or Airbnb options, where you can have a good night of sleep and use for your preparation.

Spacious and flexible area for ceremonies and receptions.

2. Capacity and Infrastructure:

Check if the venue has sufficient capacity for your planned number of guests. Evaluate the available infrastructure, ensuring suitable spaces for the ceremony, reception cocktail, meal, and dance floor. 

Consider facilities such as restrooms, kitchen, and parking.
Make sure the venue has all the necessary amenities for the comfort and convenience of your guests.

Details of personalised decoration for weddings.

3. Budget

Establish a clear budget and set limits for wedding venue expenses.
The venue will likely be the most significant portion of your budget. 

Costs vary depending on location,

season, day of the week, and included services. Ensure the venue price aligns with your budget, considering additional costs like decoration, catering, and entertainment.

TIP: In weddings, "Good, Beautiful, and Cheap" rarely go together in the same sentence.
Always remember, if you're looking for cheap, cheap is what you'll find! ... With all the connotations that the word 'cheap' carries.
Look for good quality, porque vais ter surpresas muito agradáveis 😉

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4. Services and Packages Offered

Carefully review the services and packages offered by the venue. 

Some places provide comprehensive services, including catering, decoration, music, and even a wedding planner. 

Evaluate these services to ensure they meet your needs, preferences, and expectations.

Check for exclusivity clauses and assess whether you can opt out of certain services if desired.

TIP: Especially in the low tier segments of the market, it's common for some venues to offer you a solution that, at first glance, may seem like a turn key solution. Note that, in most cases, the services offered are limited and often of very poor quality.
Some venues choosing this business strategy, aiming to minimise costs, provide low-quality services by hiring vendors with a poor reputation.
For instance, the vast majority claiming to offer wedding planning services often provide more of an advisory service on your wedding day, usually more in line with the venue interests than yours, which is quite far from what a true wedding planner provides.  
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5. Venue Experience and Reputation

Research the internet for the reputation of the venue.
Check its experience in hosting weddings, read reviews from other couples who got married there, and see if there are any recurring complaints or issues. A venue with a good reputation and experience can ensure a well organised wedding without hitches.

Ask for feedback and recommendations from other couples who got married at the same venue. This can help you gain a broader and more reliable perspective on what it's like to get married at the venue. Consider the opinions of other couples, but remember that each wedding is unique, and what works for one couple may not work for another.

Details of personalised decoration for weddings.

6. Flexibility and Customization

Check if the venue allows customization and offers flexibility in choosing services and decoration. Some venues have restrictions on external vendors or space decoration. Make sure you have the freedom to tailor all wedding details according to your preferences.

Professional catering serving delicious food at a wedding

7. Tasting Session

One of the most important aspects of a wedding is the food, especially in our Portuguese culture.
Check if the venue offers a tasting session before the wedding. This allows you to evaluate the quality of the food and make adjustments to the menu if necessary. Ensure that the food is tasty, well-presented, and meets your preferences. It's also nice to check if the catering provides menu options for people with dietary restrictions.

Quinta do Roseiral at a wedding day

8. Outdoor and Indoor Spaces

Consider whether the venue has covered outdoor spaces. This is especially important if you're planning your wedding during a season when the weather can be more unpredictable. Having options for both outdoor and covered spaces will ensure that your wedding can proceed regardless of rain or sunshine.

Also, check for the presence of shaded areas, as they are valuable on hotter summer days. Confirm if the landscaped areas are well-maintained and if there are restrooms near all areas of the venue that you plan to use throughout your celebration.

It's also wise to verify if the space has alternative indoor locations in case of bad weather. 

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9. Outdoor and Indoor Spaces

Check if the venue has adequate parking for your guests.
As a general rule, consider the number of guests and divide by 2.5 to get an idea of the number of vehicles the parking area should accommodate.

Also, consider if there are nearby accommodation options for those who may wish to stay overnight after the celebration. Having convenient parking and accommodation will help ensure the comfort and safety of your guests.

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10. Visit and Negotiation

Schedule a visit with the venue to personally explore the space.
This will allow you to assess and feel the atmosphere, the quality of the facilities, and the suitability of the location for your wedding.
During the visit, ask all necessary questions, clarify any doubts. Don't be afraid to negotiate the price and the services offered.

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11. Contract and Conditions

Before making the final decision, carefully read the contract proposed by the venue. Ensure that all conditions, prices, services, and deadlines are clearly outlined in the contract. It's important to have a legally valid document that protects your rights and ensures that all promises and agreements are fulfilled.

Conclusion

By considering all these factors and conducting thorough research, you will be much better prepared to choose the perfect wedding venue with confidence and the assurance that your wedding celebration will be as you deserve. 

Remember that it's an important decision, and the right choice will contribute to an unforgettable wedding. Enjoy the planning process and be open to new ideas and possibilities. Marriage is a celebration of love and unity, and selecting the right venue will help create lasting memories.