Planning any wedding is a huge undertaking, and choosing the venue is one of the biggest decisions that you’ll have to make.
The venue is the foundation of a great venue and once you’ve got it sorted, you can start to move on to other important things like the guest list, catering and entertainment.
And when it comes to an Asian wedding, everything is that bit bigger too and you want to ensure that you choose somewhere that has specialist experience in dealing with similar weddings in the past.
With that in mind, here’s our practical guide to choosing the venue for your Asian wedding.
The Guest List
The guest list is going to be one of the biggest deciding factors in what kind of venue you go for, so it’s important to decide on this very early on in the planning, especially because Asian weddings are often large affairs with lots of guests.
Once you start making up your guest list, you’ll be surprised and how quickly it can start to grow, so it’s best to go with a larger initial estimate, which you can then cut down later on.
The last thing you want is to book a venue, only to then see your guest list grow and grow and realise you don’t have enough room for everyone.
When considering location, it’s important to think where your guests will be travelling from. If your wedding party are all willing to travel, then you’ve got the option of casting your net a bit wider and trying to find somewhere such as a country house hotel.
It’s important to make sure that the venue is as accessible as possible for all of your guests though.
This is especially important if you’ve got elderly guests attending, or even if you’ve got family travelling from overseas to be there. If so, you want to make sure that their travel time is as little as possible!
If you have a strong idea about what the style and theme of your wedding are going to be like, then you probably want to find a venue that’s as much of a blank canvas as possible, so that you can really make it your own for the big day.
Other venues will have their own unique character, so you’ll have to try to find one that most aligns with your own desire and tastes.
Also, think about whether you’re going to making use of the outdoors using your wedding (weather dependent of course).
A good starting place for some inspiration and to see what’s around your local area is the Asian Venue Guide.
Something that a lot of couples fail to take into account with a venue is the lighting, which is hugely important on a day where there are going to be so many photos being taken.
Think about how many sources of natural light there are, or how the venue will be lit once the sun goes down and the potential impact this could have on your photos.
Also, keep an eye out for what the views and backdrops might be like for photos too. It might seem like we’re making a big fuss over the photos, but they’re memories which you’re going to cherish for the rest of your life, so it’s crucial to capture your best side!
One of the next big decisions that you’re going to have to make is the catering, with food playing a big part in Asian culture, so be sure to have one eye on this while you’re searching for a venue too.
Make sure to see whether a potential venue offering catering as part of a package deal and if they don’t, see if they can offer you a list of trusted local caterers.
If the venue can offer food, be sure to ask what kind of food will be on offer and what the cost per head will be. If you’re looking for an authentic Asian caterer, then unless you find a specialist venue, then chances are that you’re going to have to go with a third party caterer.
Asian weddings often welcome a lot of guests, so it may be the case that you need somewhere to house them all, especially if they’ve travelled a long way to be with you.
And with many Asian ceremonies running over a couple of days, it’s nice to be able to keep everybody together under one roof.
If this is the case, be on the lookout for venues that offer accommodation, as you may be able to get special discounted rates on the rooms if you’re having the ceremony there. If not, be sure to take into account the availability of local hotels.
Traditions are a huge part of Asian weddings, so it’s crucial that your venue appreciates and understands this.
Ideally you’ll be able to find a venue that specialises in Asian weddings, that will really get the significance of every tradition and ritual, but even if it’s not a speciality of the venue, you should definitely try to find somewhere that has some experience of putting on an Asian wedding in the past, so make sure to inquire about their previous experience before making any decisions.
It’s important to ask the venue staff exactly how a normal wedding day ‘flows’ for them. Obviously, every wedding is different but try to get an idea of how they have managed similar ones in the past.
Try to find out things such as the turnaround between the ceremony itself and the reception afterwards and whether there’ll be a dedicated member of staff in hand to help keep everything running as smoothly as possible.
Bear in mind the schedules of your guests (again, especially if they’ve got a long way to travel) and ensure that the venue aren’t going to be rushing you out a certain time.
Purely from a budget point of view, it’s also good to know what sort of set-up time you and your suppliers are going to have in the morning too.
Bringing this all together, it’s time to work out just what is possible on your budget, taking into account any additional costs that you might be able to think of, before making that all-important decision.