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Choosing the perfect reception venue...

Choosing your wedding reception venue will be one of the biggest decisions in your wedding planning!

Your reception venue is where you will spend most of your wedding day and so is usually the most expensive part of your day too so it's unsurprising to see why picking the perfect space can be an overwhelming decision for any couple.

Here are the key factors to consider before picking yours;





Ceremony location

Onsite facilities


Are you a foodie?



Discuss what your priorities are for your big day and determine what percentage of your overall budget you want to spend on each item. Once you have figured out your overall reception budget, you may have to divide it by per number of guests as most venues will offer you a price per head package. The average couple spent €61/head last year. For the higher end 5 star venues it's more likely to be in the region of €120/head. For exclusive venues, you may have to rent the venue for a flat fee and then add your price per head for your dining, which can work out quite expensive.


After you have determined your budget, the quickest way to filter your venue choice is capacity. Are you going for intimacy or crowd control? An average size wedding has 150 guests. If it's a very intimate wedding of less than 50 guests, perhaps a restaurant would be a better option.


If your dream venue is slightly out of your budget, perhaps you can compromise by having your nuptials off peak and midweek. By doing this you could reduce your cost/head by 15-20%.


What is your style - modern, vintage, rustic, bohemian etc. Do you want a formal or a relaxed vibe? Is there scope to bring your individual style to the venue by hiring a stylist or props?


Are you having a non religious ceremony - if so does the venue cater for this? If you are planning a church ceremony - don't pick a distant reception, the last thing anyone will want is to spend the afternoon in the car! When you add photo and extra travel time, it will be all of time away from your guests!


There are exclusive venues available for hire, whereby you can bring a caterer onsite. Whilst this may seem like a fun alternative, remember you have to hire everything from linens to catering equipmeny which means a lot of suppliers and more margin for error. Not forgetting much more planning work for you, so its not for the faint hearted!!


Are there enough rooms for everyone? If not, do guests have to vacate at a certain time. Is there a shuttle bus to escort guests to your guests back to their beds. Do you have to pay for unoccupied bedrooms?


If you're a foodie like me-check out the blue book venues-yes they are more costly but worth it for the quality!


Will there be other functions taking place that day-can non wedding guests access your wedding?

There are so many fabulous venues to choose from these days from restaurants to barns to historic castles! Gone are the days of being limited to hotel venues, 2016 trends will show that weddings are moving to more alternative venues and individual style is becoming much more important too! Maximise your venue visit by doing online research and checking out previous wedding images.

Good luck in your search x

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