Now this is a question only you can answer. What you can research, however, is what type of venue you want.
Do you want a traditional type venue or are you looking for something a little more out of the box?
When it comes to building your own wedding, a great way to keep costs down is if you can hire a marquee that can be built on a piece of land of your choice. This can be land you have managed to hire, it could be extra land at the back of a nice pub or it could be your Great Aunt Maud’s farming land (if she’ll let you host a fabulous wedding there). If you do have access to land it can be a great way to reduce costs and build a wedding from scratch that you’ll love.
Marquees are typically very versatile and can often be dressed up or down to suit your theme accordingly. They come in very different sizes so it’s suitably easy to determine an appropriately sized marquee to fit your wedding party. Do remember though, if you are likely to hire caterers, you would also need to hire extra marquee space and potentially a generator and kitchen equipment to make sure cooking ‘on the ground’ is a viable option. Make sure when hiring caterers you determine what equipment they have so that you know if you need to invest in any extras, to enable them to cater for your needs (Particularly if you are in the middle of a farmers field).
Barns are often another great way to hire out a blank canvas style venue that you can dress to suit your needs. Of course you would need to establish if there are any hidden costs involved on top of the venue hire fee. Corkage is often a cost that can come as a shock and tends to mean that the price of alcohol for example is set fairly high. Corkage is an extra charge that is added onto alcohol you provide yourself for your wedding day. If you choose to go with in house alcohol options corkage usually doesn’t apply.
Preferred caterers are another one to look out for. You might have decided your friend Pete will do your food because he owns his own catering business. Then you discover your venue has a preferred caterer and won’t deal with anybody else. It’s just worth checking with potential venues to see what their terms are before you commit.