Having recently been working on venue sourcing for some of my recent clients I thought it would be a good idea to share with you some points for consideration, when trying to find your perfect wedding venue!
Getting off the starting blocks!
- Having established your overall budget, a significant amount of this will be spent on your venue and catering, approximately 50% of your total budget, so budget will be one of the key factors when looking for prospective venues
- Associated with this is the number on your guest list, so you should have an idea of the number of guests for the day and evening, as obviously the size of your guest list will effect your spend
- Most venues have limitations on the number of guests they can accommodate, so they will quote the maximum numbers they can host for a civil ceremony, wedding breakfast and evening reception.
- Consider the day of the week and time of year you wish to get married, as prices vary considerably depending on your choices
- Type of ceremony you’re having ie civil, church, humanist or other. The location and venue’s licensing and capabilities will be key. Consider the distance between the multiple sites , how long will it take, how will you & your guests travel between the them.
- Style of venue. There are many different styles of venues to choose from; country house hotels, castles, vinyards, barns, orangeries, marquees to name but a few, but the style choice will come down to your own preferences.
- Your wish list. This might include heaps of outside space with beautiful gardens, or accommodation on site, total exclusivity of the venue, or limitation of the venue hosting one wedding only per day, license to hold an outdoor ceremony (although always make sure you are happy with the inclement weather option, as we can never rely on the good old British Weather!)
- Having narrowed down your list of possible contenders and checked their availability, then it’s advisable to book an appointment for a show round at each venue, preferably prior to a wedding taking place, as you will be able to see the rooms set up, rather than having to use your imagination as to how it could look
- Use your initial instincts when visiting – how welcome were you made to feel, how organised were they as this will give you an indication of how you will be treated on your special day
- When it comes to food and drink – do they have in house catering or allow outside caterers? Do they provide the drink or do they charge corkage and how much is it? Do they cater for allergens and dietary requirements? Do they offer a choice menu?
- As with all your suppliers check whether Vat is included or excluded and check there are no other hidden charges
The finer details
- Decor – are there any restrictions regarding where and how decorations are placed. Do they allow candles? Do they allow confetti? Which items will the venue supply? ie easel and frame for your seating plan
- Entertainment and Music – are there any licensing requirements, can music be played outside, are there any noise restrictions and what is the cut off time?
- Bar – when does the bar open & close, are there any extensions possible? How does it operate?
- Fireworks – do they allow fireworks and if so can you use your own supplier? Are there any restrictions?
- Confetti – do they allow all types of confetti?
- Accessibility – are there sufficient access and amenities for wheelchair users or guests with walking difficulties
- Booking and payment terms – So you’ve found your dream venue, how do you go about booking it?! Ask about holding your date, paying a deposit and subsequent payment terms.
There are so many stunning venues out there, but when it comes down to finding the perfect venue, it all comes down to personal taste, requirements and somewhere that feels right for you! Hopefully this has given you some helpful tips and advice when trying to find your dream wedding venue!
Of course we are always here to help with any aspects of your wedding planning, so please do call or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo credits: Header and final image ~ Alexandra Jane Photography, Main Image 3 ~ Hannah McClune Photography