How Big Is Too Big?

The Headaches of Giant Venues


If you thought that when it came to wedding venues bigger was better, you’d be wrong. If you thought having lots of space for kids to play and guests to wander off was the way to go, we’d sound a note of caution there too.

So how do you know when the venue you have your heart set on might just be too big? All of this is relative of course, depending on the number of guests. So the advice that follows should be viewed accordingly. 

Here are the six factors to bear in mind:

1. Does the venue have a lot of echo? The best way to work this out is to clap your hands and time how long it takes for the echo to end, remembering you have to listen for the very tiniest amount of echo to finish. Anything over 1 second means that music won’t sound the best and guests, particularly older guests, will have trouble hearing each other when the room is full of lots of people speaking.

2. When you think about the table layout, it seems like excessive space. It’s hard to put your finger on why this feels wrong, but it has something to do with the feeling in your subconscious that you don’t have the guest numbers to justify the space. In contrast, a smaller venue will feel more intimate and 

3. There’s too far to walk. Women in high-heels, in particular, will not appreciate having to traipse miles across a big open space to get from the car park to the ceremony area, and then on to the reception. They’ll be wishing they brought their running shoes. In some enormous venues people can even get lost and miss the ceremony.

4. It’s hard to get the guests together for crucial moments. If the venue has extensive grounds, it’s easy for guests to go off somewhere and not know what they’re missing. That doesn’t sound so bad, except there are many important moments when you want everyone in attendance, including the ceremony, the return of the married couple from having photos taken, the cutting of the cake, speeches and toasts.

5. Children can go missing. Any parent knows how terrible it is if their young children become lost. In a big venue with extensive outdoor areas, maybe with ponds or a stream, the danger can be serious. Yet often with such venues the open spaces are seen as great for children to play. They can be, but be ready to have to spend time minding your young ones, or for others to do so.

6. Look at the bill. It isn’t always so, but as a general rule of thumb bigger venues will cost more. Consider whether you need to spend that money. 

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