What To Consider Before Booking Your Wedding Venue?

Now that you have a wedding date fixed, it is time to secure a venue. Usually hotel venues are often available for booking one year ahead. Booking a wedding venue is always the biggest headache of all times. It's also potentially the topic to create some tension between yourself and your HTB, your parents and your potential in-laws. Therefore, it's important to pay careful attention when the couple is selecting the venue.

Here are some important areas which you first have to consider about your wedding venue!
  1. Your Potential Guests
    • Ultimately they are the people who will be attending your wedding so it's important to take them into consideration.
    • Have a rough estimate on the number of guests who will most likely be turning up for your wedding. That will help you very much on the search for the venue.
    • Always remember, not all the guests you have in mind will be able to turn up for your wedding. I hear of a friend who invited 380 people to their wedding and only 320 people turned up. Attrition rate is very common for wedding banquets. To avoid high attrition rates, avoid inviting anybody and everybody to your wedding. 
    • So if you have 300 guests in mind, I would advise you to look at venues which offers you a minimum number of 20-25 guaranteed tables.
  2. Accessibility Of the Venue
    • We need to care for guests who drive and guests who doesn't.
    • To take care of drivers, we first need to have an overall sensing of the carpark locations and total number of carpark lots around the area. 
    • I hardly see restaurants providing carpark coupons. Some places provide free parking coupons for about 20%-30% of your guests. However if you have many drivers in your banquet, you may need to purchase more.
    • To take care of your non drivers, choose a venue whereby it's accessible by public transport.
    • If you chose a venue which is more exclusive (aka secluded), I would advise you to consider renting a shuttle bus to ferry your guests in from the nearby MRT station. If not, you can foresee many latecomers or dropouts at your wedding.
  3. Costs of the Venue
    • After going through the list of banquet prices, choose a location that best meet your needs.
    • Bargaining for lower prices of your venue location (in my experience of approaching countless hotels) is probably the last thing you can bargain for. But it's not impossible.
    • If you are not picky about wedding dates, it is always much cheaper to have your wedding on a weekday and on the seventh month of the Lunar Calendar.
    • I also realised that if you were to book  your wedding venue and hold the wedding within 3-6 months of the booking, it's actually possible to negotiate for a lower price or get a better overall discount.
    • Wedding lunch is getting more and more popular nowadays and it's cheaper.
    • If you are patient enough to wait for wedding showcases, you may see yourself securing a good deal and chancing upon great bargains and perks with minimal bargaining. Personally the hassle of bargaining irritates me.
  4. Capacity of the Venue
    • You found your dream venue! But there's just one problem. You have 250 potential guests and the minimum capacity of your dream venue is 300 pax. My advice for you is... FORGET ABOUT IT! Choose another venue! Reason is simple. You can only ADD tables but you cannot reduce your guaranteed tables.
    • Next problem, you have 250 potential guests and the maximum capacity for the venue is 120 pax. My next advice to you.... FORGET ABOUT IT! It's either you will face the dilemma of who to invite or who to eliminate later on.
  5. Vibes from the Venue
    • There's a famous phrase, "Never judge a book by it's cover". It applies to wedding venues as well. Never make your decision based on the photos which is posted on the official websites of the various venues. They are usually.... just great on photos.
    • Never make your decision based on the beautiful set up at hotel or restaurant wedding showcase. They usually present their most expensive set ups at showcase (so it's definitely beautiful and pretty). I remember going to a hotel to have a look a their ballrooms on a weekend and it so happens that the staff are doing the set up for the wedding dinner. I was so pleased with the whole decor and set up. But upon enquiry, all these decoration are actually "additional top ups" by the couple. Ka-ching! More costs!
    • Take time to travel down the venue and have a look at the surroundings, the ballroom and the decor of the area. Mr OOPS and I spent many weekends together, going to various hotels and seeing the venue. Once we stepped into the venue, we already have a sensing whether we want this to be our wedding venue or not.
  6. Wedding Packages which the Vendors Offer
    • This is a true fact: All packages details are negotiable. Do not take the package details at face value. However the perks offered in the package will give you a rough sensing on how much you can bargain too.
    • It's usually tougher to secure more perks from boutique hotels or exclusive restaurants as compared to bigger hotel chains.
With all these factors in mind, you are now ready to select your top 10 wedding venues. Start emailing them and check on availability of your ideal ballrooms based on the number of guests and your potential wedding dates. Also start keeping a look out and bookmark on your calendars the dates of upcoming wedding showcases. Be open about going to all the wedding showcases as much as possible (with all those preparation in mind because you never know if you may chance upon your dream wedding venue at a good price.)

You and your partner can also start talking to your parents and in-laws about your choices and have a sensing about their reactions and feedback. Many parents will usually say "I'm ok with all your choices.", "You two can decide." and "I got no comments." That may be due to courtesy. Thus do make effort to sound them out a few more times. Afterall, we will wish for our parents and in laws to also enjoy on our wedding night! :)

Next up will be the preparation for the bargaining with the sales co-ordinator at your potential wedding venue! Till then!

Happy Planning!
Mrs To-Be OOPS


  1. Yes dear I totally agree that booking a vow renewal location is always the biggest headache in a wedding. I was just looking for some tips on booking good wedding venue. You have provided all the necessary information to book a perfect place for wedding. Thanks a lot for sharing dear!!

    1. I'm so glad this was helpful for you! Do let me know if there are any things I have left out so I can update and pass these good info on! :) cheers!

  2. Always remember, not all the guests you have in mind will be able to turn up for your wedding. I hear of a friend who invited 380 people to their wedding and only 320 people turned up. Attrition rate is very common for wedding banquets. cheap wedding rings


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