Choosing your wedding venue can be an overwhelming process. There are so many different places to choose from, and all of them have their own unique features. You’ll need to make sure that this decision is the right one for you by answering these 4 key questions before you finalize anything!
1. What is your budget when choosing your wedding venue?
Getting married in Sydney often comes with a significant price tag. Ask any of 24,000 Sydney couples that get married each year and they will all tell you that weddings are a major financial commitment. According to MoneySmart.gov.au the average Australian wedding costs $36,000, with many Sydney-based weddings exceeding $50K.
Of course, the average Sydney wedding budget for a day is probably going to depend on what you think a Sydney wedding needs to include. If you’re aiming for a really extravagant, expensive wedding, you’re going to spend much more money. Remember that your Sydney wedding venue will likely be the single most costly element of the day, so knowing your budget is paramount to finding the right spot.
If your financial priorities lie elsewhere (Is anybody else saving for house at the moment?), there are plenty of other options like having a micro-wedding or elopement with a few close friends and family. These options usually mean there’s less pressure on you financially and it’s easier deciding how much money will need to be spent on your Sydney wedding overall.
Be aware that a lot of Sydney venues have hidden costs or extra fees, such as mandatory food and beverage minimums per person which can really add up if you’re not careful!
2. How many people are attending your wedding?
Once you’ve clarified your budget, the next thing to do is come up with a rough number for your guest list. Crafting a guest list can be hard, which is why I’ve written an entire step-by-step guide here.
Having a loose bracket, perhaps 100-120 guests, you can now start hunting around Sydney for wedding venues that can accommodate your desired number. Trust me, it’s much easier to set your guest list BEFORE finding your venue because you don’t want to find yourself falling in love with a venue that seats 50 people less than what you were planning to invite.
You may end up with a different set of numbers for who is invited to your ceremony and your reception. This can be a nice way of including more people in your day without blowing the budget out of proportion.
3. What features am I looking for in a wedding venue?
If your priority is to find a have a beach wedding, it’s probably not worth choosing a wedding venue out in the bush. Similarly, if you or your guests have any physical disability, you might need to prioritise finding a venue that is easily accessible.
Wedding venues across Sydney offer a range of different unique selling propositions, and it is incumbent on you and your fiancé to know what you’re looking for. Here’s a brief list of features you may want to class as either a MUST-HAVE or a NICE-TO-HAVE:
- accessible entrance
- 5-star food and catering
- wet-weather alternatives
- size and layout
- close to public transport
- accommodation on-site
- BYO food and beverages option
- picturesque views
- wedding/event planner included
- environmental standards
4. How do I find and choose my wedding venue?
Sydney is big city, and there are wedding venues of all shapes and sizes in the region. I can’t imagine how hard it would have been 30 years ago to sort through the endless list of options to find the right venue, but these days we have an incredible tool at our disposal called the Internet.
Despite its imperfections, the Internet has definitely made our lives easier. If you’ve ever tried navigating your way through Sydney’s CBD in the middle of peak hour you’ll understand how something like Google Maps is a lifesaver.
Wedding venue hunting has also become easier thanks to some incredible resources. If you don’t know where to begin, I suggest spending some time on a directory like WedShed, browsing hashtags such as #sydneyweddingvenue, and reading all the 1-star Google reviews you can find.
If you’re looking for some more eco-ethical wedding venues in Sydney, be sure to also check out Less Stuff More Meaning, of which I am an ambassador. The venues listed on their website have expressly prioritised making their wedding venues better for the environment.
The most important questions you and your partner need to ask before choosing your wedding venue:
- What is your budget?
- How many wedding guests do you want?
- What features are you looking for?
- Where are you going to find your venue?
Using the answers to these questions, you may now go and begin the grand hunt to choose your wedding venue. Don’t forget, there is no rush and it’s more important to make the right choice than a fast one.
I hope this article has helped provide some clarity for making that all-important decision about which wedding venue you are going to lock in, as well as give you plenty of food for thought on what features will be important to you when considering your venue.