How To Pick Your Destination Wedding Venue!

There are many elements that make your wedding day very special. One of the biggest is your wedding venue. It sets the tone and this is why choosing your venue wisely is imperative.

To navigate this important decision, we have provided some insights, answer some FAQ and provide some questions for you to ask your venue before committing.

What should you look for in a wedding venue?

Next to your wedding planner, choosing your venue is one of the most important decisions you’ll make in the planning process; it can also be one of the most expensive too! Your search may feel daunting, but we advise that you consider locations that have:

– Capacity. There should be more than enough space to accommodate your guests. It may look empty in pictures and huge when you do a site visit BUT, when you add the tent, tables, chairs, dance floor, DJ booth, bar, buffet and allocate free flow space, it fills up!

– Versatility. There should be enough locations within the property that can be used for ceremony, post ceremony photo sessions, cocktail hour and reception. If you’re getting married in the peak season, you run the risk of being stuck in traffic if your ceremony venue is separate from your reception venue.

– Character. Keep in mind that your venue will be the backdrop for the celebrations. You ideally want to book a venue that has a view or architectural details or complements your décor. You’d certainly spend an arm and a leg trying to transform a garden venue into a fairy-tale theme.

– Privacy. Some venues are public and have dedicated event spaces on the property. This may see strangers waving, cheering you on or even cry during your ceremony with you! If this not for you, you definitely want to ensure the venue is booked exclusively for you on the day of. If you’ll have a party group, you’ll want to look for one that will allow you to party until the bar runs out!

– Budget and flexibility. Venues are priced based on location, space, popularity and what is included. You may find a venue that offers tables, chairs and electricity in the rental fee whilst another may only include the use of the space and you source your own suppliers. Some venues may also have their preferred vendors that you are expected to book; should you have your own, you’’ be charged a vendor’s fee that ranges from $500-$1000 per vendor. At the end of the day, all of these costs add up.

How much does a wedding venue cost?

On average, wedding venues range from $600 to $10,000. Some venues offer one flat rate whilst some offer a sliding scale based on the size of your group.

For a group size of 50–100 guests, you may be looking at a rental rate of $1800-$5000 for the venue only. If you’re looking for more inclusions like rentals, food and bar, you maybe looking at a rental rate of $7000-$10,000 for the same group size.

Do you save money by having your ceremony and reception in the same venue?

Yes! Absolutely! When you book one versatile venue, you save hundreds and thousands of dollars. You also cut transportation and rental costs.

What impacts a wedding venue’s prices?

There are many factors that can drive wedding venue prices up or down, including:

· Location: Venues located in major cities typically cost more than those in rural areas. A wedding garden in Montego Bay may run you an average $1500 whilst a garden venue in Trelawny may cost $600.

· Wedding date: Yup! Weekends and peak season (November — February & June — August) will see higher rates while weekdays and low peak (March — May & September — October) will see lower rates at some venues.

· Size: The larger your group size is the more you’ll spend if they offer a sliding scale.

· What’s included: Some venue rental rates only include the use of the space whilst some will include amenities like tables, chairs and electricity. There are also venues like hotels that are all-inclusive and will offer packages that maybe restrictive in one way or the other; they also charge a vendor’s fee should you decide to source your own suppliers.

Are there additional wedding venue costs that a couple should plan for?

Yes, unpublished fees like parking, vendor’s fees, taxes, service charges and gratuities may apply to your rental invoice.

How can you save money on your wedding venue?

You may do so by first weighing venues that you’ll take a liking to. If they have a sliding scale then you may want to cut your guest list; if not a flat rental rate venue should be explored. You can also do a shuttle service to cut parking costs, choose a weekday wedding, have the ceremony and reception at the same venue. Selecting a venue that offers rental only can save a ton as there are plenty great vendors who offer superb service, quality AND won’t break the bank.

What questions should you ask your wedding venue before booking?

Your wedding day

– Is the venue available for my date?

– Will I have the venue exclusively?

– What does the rental fee include?

– Is electricity or generator included?

– How long do I have the venue for?

– What time do you allow the music until?

– What other fees are associated with renting the venue?

– Do I have access to changing rooms and bathrooms for my guests?

– Is there a vendor’s fee? When will my vendors have access to the property to setup?

– Who will be my point contact on the day of?

– Where do guests park and how many spots are available? Is there a cost to park?

– Do you offer overnight accommodations?

– Can the venue accommodate ceremony, cocktail, photos and reception?

– What is the cost to have both the ceremony and reception at the venue?

-What is your cancellation policy?

Have questions or thinking about getting married in Jamaica? Click this link and fill out the contact form, we’d love to connect with you!

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About The Owner

Our Owner and Senior Event Planner, Franciene Foster, is a certified wedding consultant with a decade of experience in the business.