Our 5 Top Tips to the Perfect Venue
Where do you start? Have you had a childhood dream of getting married in a particular venue that brings back memories. Are you following a family tradition? Are you wanting a certain style of wedding which will restrict what you book? Is your budget demanding that you book a Village Hall when you really want a Castle?
Here at The Wedding Affair, we’ve got some answers, not all the answers but some top tips on how to choose your perfect wedding venue…
1. Set your Budget
There is absolutely no point starting anywhere else, you could be going round in circles. You could also get very stressed and even depressed if you’re heart chooses one venue and your pocket and bank balance says another. You must set the venue budget and stick to it… even come under budget so you have a little bit left over for extras or if you know you can compromise on the extras to get the right venue, then set the entire wedding budget accordingly. Have a budget that covers the must haves, might be able to have and the luxuries, if the budget allows. Remember to take in everyone’s advice but in the long wrong, its your Wedding!
There are many ways to start the venue searching process… google for starters, social media platforms like Pinterest and Facebook, networking chat rooms like #weddinghour on Twitter, directory websites, wedding fairs, magazines and blogs in the main. Most are free to search and most can be done in the comfort of your own home. If you’re travelling to wedding fairs they can be a resourceful day out with a fabulous opportunity of getting the inspiration juices flowing. It’s also a great time to spend with your prospective other halves, friends and family, getting their input and ideas down on paper. However, remember, budget is key, so don’t be a bull in a china shop and book everything straight away, check prices, check your budget and fire away if it feels right! Why not visit our wedding fairs here in #Yorkshire and #Lancashire, they’ll get your creative juices flowing, if nothing else!
3. Theme your Wedding
Bit of a chicken and egg scenario, do you set a theme, style or colour for the wedding before finding a venue? Or, do you find your venue and then follow what suits? I think that will depend on how strongly you feel, how passionate you are on a certain element of the wedding. If you’re a traditional Bride you may want to focus on the individuality of the venue and match colours to suit. However, if you’re wanting a bohemian or festival wedding, it might be best to choose the essential styling requirements and then choose the venue to suit them. Again, research will help you make your mind up. Pinterest and Instagram are fabulous…
Why not think outside the box; what are your bridesmaids like for example, their personalities, what style of dress or outfit would they suit? Do they each have different skin tones… will one look pale and ill in a pastel colour while a deep or dark colour maybe too overpowering? Is your other half qwerky and original and needs an element of their personality injected into the wedding? Should you’re Parents or Grandparents feature heavily in the celebrations? Are you getting married in the heat of the summer or the cool of the winter? How much will you have to decorate the venue? Is it a blank canvas that will take hundreds of pounds or do you only require the odd few centrepieces as the walls and ceilings are already ornate? The mind boggles as to how much you have to think about, however, if you’ve already got some thoughts in mind, most women do, then everything will fit into place… trust me!
Do you want to inject some fun, colour and life into your wedding or be minimalistic and very simple? There are so many options available to you now, we totally understand when you become overwhelmed with choices, its so easy to do when there is so much inspiration out there. Write a Do and Don’t list and one by one tick off the styles you don’t want. A quick easy way of coming up with a perfect palette is to create several mood boards to help you decide. Get your friends involved, pour some wine and play at Blue Peter… its amazing what you can do with some old magazines, a pair of scissors, a few boards and some glue. Happy times with lots of memories to savour along the way!
Once you’ve decided the type of venue you like in the area suitable for you, it will be time to make an appointment to see the Wedding Co-ordinator. However, firstly have a look to see if they are having an Open Evening or Day, Wedding Fair or Showcase. That might be a great way for you to see the venue in a more informal way, allowing you to take friends and family to help you make the decision. If there isn’t one available, contact the venue and ask what options they have available to you for viewing. Take a list of questions with you, pre-prepared. If you don’t, you might forget and there is nothing worse than having to pick the phone up time and time again, asking minor questions that could all be asked in one session, saving time and worry. For example:-
a. How many guests can they take for a ceremony and reception? If you’re inviting evening guests too, is there a limit?
b. Will you need a marquee and can you have an outdoor ceremony if the weather holds?
c. Are there any restrictions with regard to music, noise levels and the type of suppliers allowed at the venue?
d. Does the venue have bedrooms and facilities for guests to stay over. Do you have to exclusively book the whole venue or is there accommodation close by?
e. What type of packages are available, do they do offers for mid week weddings or for weddings out of season?
f. Will you need to book their preferred suppliers or can you bring in your own?
g. Are there any insurance implications?
h. What type of food do they serve or can you bring in your own caterers or alternative options? If you have guests with dietary requirements, can they be looked after?
There really are many, many questions you can ask… try and think of every scenario, just be prepared!
5. Setting the Date
There are several things you need to think about:-
a. What time of year do you want to get married and where do you want to go on honeymoon? Some destinations are best in the UK winter months!
b. Are you and your families free on certain weekends. Don’t pick one date, you may be disappointed if an important family member can’t join you.
c. Call the local Vicar or Registry Office and find out whether you have the option of getting married on your chosen days.
d. Call your selected Venues and find out if they too have available dates on the days you’ve chosen.
e. Are the dates suitable for anniversaries (picking New Year’s Eve or an important Birthday Date may clash with future plans).
f. Narrow down the date to the one that suits all the above.
g. Now set the date and don’t let anyone deter you from having to go through the whole process again! If one friend can’t make it, unless they have to be there, you really should work round close friends and family only!
There are lots of pieces of advice we could give you… don’t hesitate to give us a call or email us on [email protected] or simply write your questions in the comments box below, we are here to help and if we can’t, we’ll find you someone that can.
Here’s a list of our favourite venues… do give them a chance, we’ve had some amazing feedback from all of them! Do join us at our luxury Autumn Wedding Fairs, you’ll take home VIP Bridal Gift Bags packed full of information, ideas and inspiration! To BOOK your TICKETS, click HERE!
See you soon and good luck finding your perfect venue… tell us which one you’ve chosen and why?