Morning all and a Happy New Year. Big shout out to all the 2017 brides-to-be, your time is here!
Picking up where we left off, now the fun begins and you can start the year with wedding plans. The problem is you have to decide where in the world you’re getting married before you can even start looking at venues and move on to planning the rest of the wedding.
Where in the world do we want to get married? The possibilities were endless and a fabulous destination wedding was top on the list but maybe not as practical as we thought. It might seem a little ahead of time but our guest list played a big part in choosing a wedding venue and a lot of places will ask your approximate day and evening numbers too, so it’s well worth putting a list together to see just how many people you want to be a part of your special day.
Guest list sorted? Great! You can start the search for your perfect wedding venue. Working in the industry I knew there were some wedding essentials that will help create the perfect day, therefore picking a wedding venue that had it all, or at least most of them, was crucial when making our decision. After all, the venue is probably one of the most expensive and influential parts of your day.
These essential points to choosing a wedding venue makes it easy to narrow down your dream setting and make sure your day runs without a hitch, in the safe hands of the wedding professionals…
- ‘Exclusive Use’ – We wanted to be the only wedding at our venue on the day. I‘ve heard horror stories of brides running into each other in the toilets, or on the way to the ceremony (think bride wars!) and this was a massive turn off. Even the thought of hotel guests milling around on-site was enough to cross some venues off our list; we didn’t want to share our day with any ‘ladies who lunch’ or golfers in the bar.
- ‘Flexibility’ – We found a lot of venues had set menus and packages that just weren’t our style. Although we’re going for a traditional wedding breakfast, we didn’t want to be tied down to a set menu option or not be able to change our mind on food and drink later down the line. A lot of places also included stationary, chair covers and more (great for budgeting), but again this wasn’t what I personally would have chosen. While this was ‘included’ in many of the package price’s it felt like it was forced upon us and the option to remove this didn’t lower the venue price, so would have ended up as wasted budget.
- Speaking of ‘Budget’ – This was one of the hardest parts when finding a venue. We found a lot of venues added on ‘extras’ on top of the quotations we were initial given bringing the cost way over budget. Look out for added VAT and staffing costs and make sure you read the small print because when booking in advance too as many venues won’t have their prices released for 2018-2020 weddings yet! Read more about budget here
- ‘Space’ – Most venues can cater for large wedding parties, but with a growing guest list of 100+, being a wedding coordinator my concerns immediately turned to the flow of the day and how this would work rather than just ‘Will this room seat 100 guests?’ There’s nothing worse than wedding guests being split across different rooms during your evening reception. After being pulled from pillar to post all day this is the perfect time to relax and actually get chance to party with all your guests… that’s no good if the DJ is in one room and bar in another. This just leaves the dance floor looking sparse and can totally ruin the evening’s atmosphere!
- ‘Décor’ – Old fashioned wall paper and gaudy carpets lined the function rooms of many venues we visited. When looking at countryside venues I didn’t want to compromise on the look of the inside for a fantastically grand exterior; we didn’t want to feel like we were signing our registrar in my granny’s living room. It’s also worth asking to see the wedding venue’s chairs and tables, I HATE (strong word to use but I really do) white chair covers because to me they look old fashioned and don’t do the room any justice. If you’re going to spend a considerable amount of money on flowers for your ceremony and wedding breakfast, make sure it’s exactly what you want
It might not apply to everyone, but finding out what is most important to you both when looking for your dream venue can help you take steps in the right direction and you’ll be well on your way to booking the perfect wedding venue.
La Petite Bride