Weddings are made up of different moving parts – the bride, the groom, the outfits, the food, the guests, the bridesmaids, and all that good stuff. But there’s just one thing that brings all these different parts together, and that’s THE VENUE.
Even if you decide to wear ankara (instead of the usual white wedding gown) and your future husband wears agbada; if you decide not to have bridesmaids or a wedding cake, there will still be a wedding. Not so with venues – there’s no wedding without a physical venue space. It’s part of what makes weddings fun. How you choose where to get married defines the tone and mood of your big day; it literally affects everything. Let’s show you how to find the perfect wedding reception venue.
The wedding venue is the place where the ‘I do’ and after-party/ reception will go down, and the right venue sets the tone and ambience of the entire wedding. So, a wedding venue is super-important and therefore requires the utmost attention to details when searching.
In this post, I’m going to share with you everything you need to know on how to find potential event venues and how to choose the perfect wedding reception venue. I’ll also tell you what factors or criteria to use when comparing different venues to find the best one. Swipe/ scroll down to read on.
It is a fact that some well-planned weddings in Nigeria (and abroad) have been ruined by not-okay reception venues that made guests uncomfortable, made the wedding pictures ugly and made the celebrants feel they wasted their money and time. So, the question here is how do you find and choose the perfect event venue that fits all or nearly all your needs and expectations? How do you avoid making mistakes of picking a wrong venue when planning a wedding in Nigeria or any type of event or party? I’ll tell you – swipe or scroll down to read on.
What Is the best time to book a wedding venue?
Before going into the process of finding and picking an event venue, let’s talk about when you should start looking for a venue, and the best time to book it. Generally, the best time to book a wedding venue is between 6 months and a year in advance. How far in advance you need to book a wedding venue depends on how busy and in-demand that venue is.
Very popular, busy event venues are usually booked full as far as a year or more in advance to ensure its availability on your preferred date. For an in-demand venue, you should book between a year and a year and a half in advance, especially for weekends. For not-so-in-demand event venues, you can still find available spaces within a few months to your wedding date. Ensure to schedule your venue search timing inside your overall wedding planning checklist.
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Now that we have that out of the way, let’s dive right into the 18-step process involved with finding the best wedding venue in Nigeria. These steps are in the order they should be done and the tips also highlight what makes a perfect wedding venue. Read on.
The 19-Step Process for Finding and Choosing the Right Wedding Reception or Event Venue
1. Location: Decide on the country, state/ city, and exact area you want to get married
2. Date: Decide on the date (the year, month and day). You can follow our 4-step process for choosing the best wedding date.
3. Budget: Decide on a budget for the wedding venue. How much are you willing to spend on the venue (write down a price range)? If you don’t know, you can use our wedding budget allocation percentage in our Nigerian wedding budget calculator to get an idea of how much to allocate as a wedding venue budget.
4. Guest Count/ Number of Guests: Decide on a number of guests to invite. Every venue has a maximum seating capacity, and you want to find a venue that will contain/ seat all your guests. If you have not yet set this number, you can use our tips in a previous post on how to narrow down wedding guest list based on your budget.
5. Venue Type: Decide on preferred type of venue (beachfront, hotel venue, garden/ park/ open-field venue, church/ worship house venue/ event center venue/ restaurant venue/ school outdoor and indoor event venue (universities, primary and secondary school venues);
6. Research names of wedding/ event venues of that type in your desired area. If the event is a wedding, find venues near the worship house/ church venue/ court registry where the joining ceremony would be taking place. Ask people you know, search the internet (google it). Ask wedding vendors in that part of town for names of good venues within your budget.
Ask other wedding service providers – your planner (if you have one), ask your photographer/ caterer/ venue decorator. These people have worked on so many weddings in different venues in that locality, and they know the pros and cons of most event venues. So, ask them!
You can also read some real Nigerian wedding stories and if you find pictures you like of the venues, check for the list of vendors the couples used and note the name of the wedding venue if it’s in your desired location. Find out more ways to find and choose good wedding venues and vendors.
7. Make a list of wedding reception venues near you/ your ceremony venue: Write down a list of up to 10 or fewer venues you’ve found;
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