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So you’ve just proposed to your partner, or you’ve just been proposed to. You choose your wedding date, you book all the services for that particular day, you invite all your guests and you have a wonderful wedding. Well, in all probability, events might take on a different sequence, at least in Malta. We tend to take our time. We do not get married after a few months of knowing our partner and we certainly do not get married a few months after the proposal. In Malta, we plan well ahead, years ahead in actual fact. It is not surprising to find couples booking wedding services two, three or even four years ahead. It is also not uncommon to find many service providers fully booked for the date of your choice. Though early booking is recommended in many cases, it is not always advisable to book very early as prices fluctuate; service quality changes and new vendors are constantly entering the market.

Many people would make the choice of wedding date top on their agenda and rightly so. It is important to understand however, that no matter how much you love a particular date, the first step to your wedding preparation is selecting a suitable venue and more importantly checking the availability of such. The two go hand in hand. You want to choose a venue that reflects the style of wedding you have in mind with the right season and weather conditions, possibly even a specific calendar day. You might be lucky in ‘marrying’ them together! One thing is for certain, in most cases the venue seals your wedding day. Lets have a look at issues to consider when shopping for the wedding venue:

On the outset, you need to decide whether you want a morning wedding or an evening wedding, whether you want it outdoors or indoors or both and whether you want a reception or a sit-down do. These criteria will narrow the choice of available venues considerably leaving you with a pool of candidates which need to be seen and examined in greater detail. Another issue to consider that will make you cross off a few more from your list is the standing or seating capacity of the venue. Go for a location with big open spaces only if your wedding party can actually fill each and every corner. Give your guests enough room to roam and mingle but not too much room to wander off. Some venues give you the facility of extending or reducing the space to cater for a specific number of people. Look out for any extra charges though.

When viewing a venue, check what the décor is like to ensure that it fits your style. Make sure to ask whether you’re renting the place as is or whether it will be done up for the wedding. You might have to spend a lot of money on flowers and decorations if the venue lacks that wedding feeling. Some venues hold open days for viewing and answering queries. Some also invite you for a quick look prior to a wedding reception. This would be an ideal time to get a glimpse of a real wedding setup.

Some caterers have exclusivity on a particular venue. Consequently, you can find yourself in a situation of having to decide which caterer to go for before you consider the venue. Choosing a caterer is of critical importance but we’ll cover this in one of our forthcoming articles.

There are other issues you might want to consider such as whether the venue has a kitchen or whether the caterer has to prepare all the food in advance … is there space where the bride and groom can change and relax … is there enough room for the band … is the facility equipped with a generator in case there is an outage … is there an adequate cloak room and bathroom facilities … what will the temperature be like … and finally are there any hidden costs.

In closing, one word of advise… if you are planning to get married in summer next year, keep in mind the football fever which would be prominent in those months. Some might prefer a World Cup celebration as opposed to a wedding one!



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