Choosing the perfect venue was an easy process for me, but I know this isn’t always the case and takes a lot of time and thought. I wanted to share a few things that you should consider before starting to look at venues and a few questions you want to go with. I went in completely blind and had to blag it a little once we went to our first viewing (which ended up being our only veiwing!).
Questions to ask yourself
When? – Go with a date or an idea of what time of year you want so you can discuss availability. Remember peak times will be more expensive! You can always opt for a Friday or Sunday which can bring your price down and give you more options. We are getting married on Easter Sunday so we know our guests will be able to fully enjoy themselves without the worry of work the day after.
Venue style – Barn, hotel, Manor House…there’s a few options so it’s good to have an idea of the kind of thing you want, to give you a starting point! For me I wanted a rustic style barn with some character, where as my fiancé wanted something more modern to reflect our style. The venue we chose has the best of both worlds for us, it’s an boutique 17th century hotel with a modern style wedding venue. The venue features the old style brick work of the hotel which is beautiful!
Number of guests – This is quite important! We had no idea and blagged it and realised we were quite far out numbers wise once we put some thought in. Having a rough number for your daytime guests will allow your venue to give you pricing on food/wine. The evening numbers aren’t so important but a rough number will help with evening food and venue capacity.
The Ceremoney – Will you be holding the ceremony at the same venue as your reception? This will impact your price and possibly the style of venue you want to go for. You need to ensure your venue is eligible to hold a wedding ceremony first off! There are rules and regulations on places you can and can not get married.
Questions for the wedding venue
Food options – We were sure we wanted outside catering and were surprised how many venues do not allow this! Luckily for us our venue is amazing and will cater to exactly what we needed. I was really against having a 3 course sit down meal, so we opted for a BBQ, this will still be a sit down formal style but much more relaxed as guests will go up and choose their own food before sitting down. Most venues tend to have a few options to choose from.
Entertainment – Do you want live music, a big firework display or just small sparkler session outside? These all have regulations and some venues won’t allow them so make sure this is top of your question list! We really wanted fireworks as our first date was on bonfire night! Unfortunately our venue doesn’t allow them, however we are having sparklers in the garden which was a good compromise for us!
Restrictions – If you have big plans for your decor, make sure you are allowed to do what you want to do! You don’t want to book a venue and then not be able to create your vision there.
What do they supply? – Tableware/glassware/tables/chairs – Some venues will include a lot of this for free, others will charge and others will expect you to source all of this yourself. Find out what is included in your package so you know if there are any hidden costs or extras you need to think of yourself.
Corkage – If you’re looking to supply your own alcohol most venues will charge corkage and in some cases the charges are so high it’s not worth it! I work for a wine company so was hoping to supply my own wine but our venue doesn’t allowed it. Not a biggie for us as we don’t drink so will supply a bottle or 2 for the food and that is all.
Pre-wedding prep – Once you choose your date, find out if there is a wedding the day before. If there is will the venue decorate for you on the morning or will you need to sort this out yourself? There’s a wedding the day before our big day and our venue will decorate for us. I know they will do a good job so trust this isn’t going to be a problem for us.
There is a lot to think about! But dont let it stress you out, sit down with a cuppa and have a look online. We found some great sites that listed out venues in our area so we could do some research into each one. We were just super lucky and only viewed one venue that ticked all of our boxes. If you don’t fall in love with the first one you see, keep looking you will get there!
Let me know your experience of finding your venue or if you are now looking I’d love to chat about what your vision is!
Lady Like Laura