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New Zealand Venues - Comprehensive Directory of NZ Venues for Hire
When to start?
Begin looking early and don't be rushed. Your feelings are likely to be your best friend - you will know the venue is right when it feels right to you.
Your Choice
Traditional or modern, indoor or outdoor wedding? On a charter yacht, in a historic house or large hotel? At a restaurant, a winery, a handy community center or a charming local hall?
By coinciding with public holidays you can often make it easier for people to attend but remember that holiday festivals or sports meetings could mean venues and accommodation might be booked out. If planning a wedding from outside the country, it pays to check your dates on a New Zealand calendar.
What size venue would be best?
Have a reasonable idea of guest numbers. What is the venue's capacity and what is the best fit for you? Is there enough room for everyone to sit comfortably? Traditionally there is a bridal table, a table for parents and close relations, and tables for the guests. But many modern weddings are much less formal, with buffet food on a central table and comfortable sitting-places dotted about the venue. A venue which is too large could lack intimacy, too small and you will be struggling to get everyone in. Don't forget that venues for 'social functions' might also be suitable for weddings, too. Just ask.
Is the venue suitable for dancing?
Are there any noise restrictions? Does the venue have its own sound system? If not, can you set up DJ's equipment or amplifiers for the band? You don't have to hire a ballroom. Some simpler venues have areas suitable for dancing or a portable dancefloor that can be specially set up.
How long?
It takes about two hours to set up for a reception so check that the venue will be free early enough. Similarly, check that you have sufficient time to clear up afterwards.
Practical considerations:
Is getting to the venue likely to be a problem? Is there enough room for parking? Is smoking permitted? Do the toilet facilities allow disabled access? Is there an area for children to play in? Is there any restriction on putting up decorations or throwing confetti?
Some venues have a preferred caterer or caterers and can give you a quote not only for the venue hire, but also for the food and drink per head. Other venues leave the choice of caterer, decorator, etc. to you. If making your own arrangements, do you need a kitchen?
Photos and videos:
If possible, visit the venue with the photographer to look for suitable backgrounds - a staircase that shows off the bridal gown, a lush garden setting.
You usually need to pay a deposit to book a venue in advance. Is the deposit refunded if you cancel the booking? Are any extra fees payable? If there is a written contract covering the hire of the venue, make sure that the points you agree with the managers are covered.
Last Word:
Your Wedding Day is the first time you will be socialising with friends and family as Mr and Mrs ...... so picking a venue is a bit like choosing a home. You can trust your own judgement to know it's for you. One last tip, even if just for your own peace of mind if at all possible, visit the venue in advance!!!
Other Venue Selection tips: | Outdoor Wedding Venues | Conference Venue Checklist | Party Venue - Getting it right |

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