Since the amendment to the Civil Registration Act was passed in 2012 (quashing many of the restrictions that previously defined a legal place of marriage), how Irish people think about wedding venue possibilities has changed, dramatically. It used to be that you had to have three walls, a roof and a magic roundabout (sort of), which was all very complicated, meaning most couples just stuck to the path most travelled. But now it can be virtually any space, indoor or out, that’s been approved by the Registrar… and all of a sudden, the possibilities are endless.
So, now, the wedding event is this cohesive entity – the ceremony being as much a part of the dream vibe, as the reception; in fact, the two aren’t even so separately defined, many couples holding the ceremony at their reception space, or offering reception drinks as guests take their seats before the alter. It’s much less that stereotypical situation where guests suffer through the vows, while gasping for a drink, than it is one big festival of love. The trend is for a wedding that pushes the boundaries further than your friend’s… which can be as daunting as it is exciting.
Because for everyone, what defines the perfect space is different. So, before diving straight into venue viewings, ask yourselves a few questions pertaining to what you actually want to achieve from your wedding day. And no, it’s not just to get married – if that was the case, you’d nip off to the registry office on your lunch break. The point is that you want to celebrate that marriage, in a way that makes you both feel comfortable and happy.
Here follows 10 handy questions to ask yourselves on the venue hunt
1. Is this our sort of place?
If it requires that you get so over-dressed, you’ll feel uncomfortable, then it’s not… & vice versa
2. Does is suit our ideal guestlist?
Would 50 feel lost in that grand ballroom – would 200 overwhelm the jacks queue?
3. Is it a natural fit with our aesthetic?
Think about whether your minimalist leanings might fight with that chintz wallpaper
4. Does the amount of work it will require to style, meet what we want to do?
Sourcing 150 Bentwood chairs, because you hate seat-covers, is harder than you think
5. Does it work for our time of year?
Sure, that barn setup is cool, but for a November ceremony… hmm
6. Just how tasty is the food?
One of the most memorable things about a wedding – don’t get dazzled by your eyes and forget about your mouth
7. What’s the beverage situation?
Consider corkage charges, whether a paid bar is allowed and what time the bar will close
8. Is it convenient and affordable for guests to attend?
Either commutable or with sufficient, reasonably-priced accommodation
9. Can we really afford it?
With all the extras it would need, considered… (a field might be cheap, but Portaloos can be pricey)
10. Does it make your heart skip?
Well, that one’s obvious
To really get your venue hunt started, check out the 2015 BASH Annual