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The nightmare of choosing wedding reception venues in your local town

Our wedding venue decision matrix is here. We hope you find it useful because choosing which venue at which to have your wedding reception can start out as exciting, even romantic but then the downward spiral can begin. The perfect venue is too expensive, the nicest is too far away, the cheapest would mean slashing the guest list and so on and so on. When you finally get down to a shortlist you can now be so involved and emotionally tied up in the whole thing that you can’t see the wood for the trees and making a decision is just so hard. And that’s even before your future mother in law has given her opinion!

Take a deep breath, write down the factors that are most important to you (yes, you not mother in law) and use the decision matrix here to help you decide between the wedding venues on your shortlist. We had a go at thinking through the most important factors and here are the ones we think you’ll be thinking about the most…

Cost of the reception: This has to come top because however perfect a wedding venue is, if you can’t afford it, you can’t afford it. You could try haggling but most venues get booked up so far in advance this is unlikely to get you very far. If you’ve been saving since you were a small child or you have very rich parents then, lucky you but you may want to decrease the weighting we gave this factor.

Distance from registry office/church to reception: Of course this only applies if you’re having a ceremony somewhere other than where the reception venue is. If you are then make it within 20 minutes’ drive maximum otherwise it’s a pain for your guests and you might even lose some!

Is the wedding venue recommended? Ask around and find out which places have got a good reputation, ask your friends, the vicar, but don’t believe everything in the brochure!

Facilities: Is there enough room to comfortably seat all your guests? Will everyone be able to see and hear the best man’s speech? Can you fit a band or disco into the dance area? Is there a quiet space for Great Aunt Fanny to have a rest? Are the bedrooms cheap enough/good enough for those staying? Lots to think about huh?

Food: What’s the choice and quality like? You could dine anonymously before making your final decision as there’s nothing worse than poor food at a wedding reception.

If you have any other tips or a nightmare story to tell then please leave them below in the comments before playing with the wedding reception venue decision matrix here.

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