How to choose a wedding venue? You’re engaged! There are no doubt plenty of things running through your mind, including your wedding venue! Selecting your wedding venue is often one of the first things couples do once they get engaged. Christchurch has such a range of amazing venues; you really are spoilt for choice! The type of venue you choose can help set the scene for the rest of your planning, so it is important to get a few things straight before you dive in! We’ve put some pointers together to help you choose a wedding venue.

While it can be tempting to jump in boots and all and book in appointments to view as many venues as you can, we recommend having a think about a few things so when it comes time to book in those visits, you know you are on the right track before it gets too daunting.

First kiss at wedding

Photo credit: Martin Setunsky Photography


Sit down with your partner and really think about what tone you want your wedding to have.

  • What do you envisage when you think about your day?
  • Are you and your partner big on tradition?
  • Is a seated meal essential for you?
  • Perhaps a rustic style is your idea of perfect or is a modern, more contemporary feel important to you?
  • Are outdoor spaces essential for your dream day?
  • Do you dream of mountains, lake views, snow, forestry?

It can be helpful for both of you to make a list of what you want and compare to see how they match. Even deciding on 3-4 ‘must have’ features of a wedding venue can keep you on track when choosing a venue and save time and stress when you are faced with some big decisions.

Size of wedding

Having an approximate idea on the number of guests you want to have is also key. While it’s not essential to have your guest numbers set in stone before you start looking at venues, having an indication will make your search a lot easier and means you can rule out places that can’t accommodate the size of wedding you want.

Week day wedding


Let’s face it, for most people having a budget for their wedding is just a reality. Before you start venue hunting, really make sure you and your partner have a good talk about finances and are on the same page. Make sure you have a good understanding of the pricing structure for each venue you visit and that it falls within your budget. It’s never a good idea to put yourself into piles of debt for your wedding, so stick to your budget as much as you can.

What is included

When comparing venues, make sure you know exactly what you are getting for your money. All too often couples will be set on a vendor assuming they know the final price, only to later find out it doesn’t include other charges or even GST. So, ask questions, read the fine print and make sure when you are comparing, you are doing so with all the information.

  • Will your venue supply tables, chairs and linen or is thing something you’ll need to supply?
  • Is it a BYO venue or licensed? Are there corkage fees?
  • Do you need to arrange someone to clean down at the end of the night?
  • Is there additional charges for setting up or moving items like chairs?

Finding out all the information enables you to make an informed comparison, especially if you have it narrowed down to a couple of venues and budget is the determining factor.

Wedding at Waipuna

Photo Credit: Whimsical Wedding Photography

Avoid overwhelm!

Looking at ten different wedding venues can be daunting, not to mention tiring! Do your research first, look at venue’s websites, Facebook and Instagram pages and get an idea of the place first of all. Make a list of 4-5 places to visit initially that you think could be right for you based on your priorities, budget, size of wedding and the style you are looking for. You can always revisit your list and make more appointments, but by only visiting a small number initially, you will hopefully save yourself some angst.

Viewing Venues

When you have narrowed down the venues you want to visit, head along and be prepared. Make a note of any questions you want to ask or anything you want clarified. It’s a great opportunity to chat to the people who own or operate the venue, get a sense of how they work and see if you click. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, make sure you leave satisfied you have all the information and if you happen to think of something halfway home or at a later stage, get in touch with the venue to ask. It’s essential you have everything you need to make an informed decision.

First dance at wedding on the terrace at Waipuna

Photo credit: Kelly Shakespeare Photography

Wet Weather Options

Of course, when you think about your wedding, you want the weather to be perfect! Unfortunately, the weather is one of the few things you have absolutely no control over. Making sure you have an adequate back up plan should the weather not be at it’s finest on your wedding day is essential. Failure to do this has the potential to create a lot of unnecessary stress and worry! A good wet weather option is a must!

The formalities

Most venues will require a deposit and have a contract that you will need to read over and sign in order to confirm your booking. Make sure you both read over the contract carefully and seek clarification for anything you aren’t sure about. Once you’ve paid the deposit and returned the signed contract, you can celebrate finding and securing your wedding venue! A major box in the wedding planning process is ticked!

Download our Waipuna Wedding Information.
Read Ten Reasons for a Waipuna Wedding.