Deciding on a Venue
Picking the perfect venue for your wedding day can really be as easy as you choose to make it. The most important thing is that it represents the two of you as a couple, as well as the relationship that you share. Is getting married in a church important to you, or would you prefer the intimate feel of a registry office? The other option to consider for a ceremony is of course having it at the same venue as your wedding breakfast and evening reception - just make sure that they have a licenced space for the ceremony to take place. If you are an outdoors-y couple you may want a classic barn style venue, or perhaps you want to feel like royalty for the day and would prefer a castle or manor house.
With the average cost of a wedding in the UK now being over £30,000, your budget will obviously have an impact on your venue decision. A popular choice is a DIY style where you can hire a hall or marquee for a lower cost and then provide all drinks and catering in addition. However, if you would like to know that there is a function manager expertly looking after you, then you may want to book a venue with an inclusive package. You will probably be looking around £100-£150 per person for a package that includes food and drink throughout the wedding day - although of course some venues will be a higher cost, but they will likely have more included within the package, such as flowers or a DJ. So work out what you can afford and try to only look at venues within that budget.
You will want to consider the location of the venue, most likely before you begin your search. How far away from home are you willing to travel? Do you need to consider where a lot of your guests will be travelling from? If you each have family in different parts of the country then you may want to opt for somewhere in the middle. If your chosen venue does leave quite a few guests with a long journey, then it may be worth ensuring your venue has accommodation.
It’s important to so some research into a few venues that you think would be of interest. Websites like Hitched are great for checking for recent reviews from real wedding couples. You can also check their Facebook reviews and if the venue is a hotel you can check Tripadvisor too. Submit enquiries to a few of your favourites and remember that first impressions count! Do they simply send you a brochure via email or do they also give you a call to discuss your plans - do they invite you to view the venue? If they show a lot of care and attention towards you at this point, it is likely that this good customer service will continue until even after your wedding with them.
Make a short list of no more than five venues to visit and go to see each of them. Try to avoid just visiting one as you may later find yourself asking ‘what if’ a few months down the line. Equally however, don’t visit too many as they will all merge into one and it will likely get confusing.
During your visits to potential venues, make sure that you ask questions. How much experience do they have in providing weddings to a high standard? Can they offer exclusivity or will there be other events or weddings taking place on the day? Are there any additional costs that aren’t within the package that you need to take into consideration? Ensure that you are also fully aware of any terms and conditions as well as the payment schedule. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to find the perfect place for you!
Ultimately though, you will get that all important feeling when you find the one. If it ticked all the boxes during the research phase, all of your questions have been answered and you felt relaxed and happy at the visit - you’ve found the one! Get it booked!