One of the first and biggest decisions you make after getting engaged is choosing where to have your wedding. From choosing whether to have a church ceremony or civil ceremony and then where to have your reception, the options seem to be endless! Do you want to have a country or city wedding, do you want to have it all at one venue, do you want to have it in the UK or abroad? So many choices for your wedding venue!
Whatever the choices may be, the best thing to do is to sit down together and draw up a shortlist of wants and likes and also any needs you may have. You can then find common ground and go forward from there. Several wedding venue search sites now exist and there is a whole catalogue of venues nationwide and abroad. Wedding magazines and blogs also have a database and advertisements of several venues, which makes them easy to find and explore. Once a shortlist of wants and needs has been drawn up, you can easily search for venues online or through magazines and a shortlist of venues you like can be created.
The process of finding a venue can potentially be a lengthy one and most will want to get to the visiting part, however doing your research is key. It is always advisable to visit venues before choosing and booking them, however I would advise to visit ideally no more than 5. If you are presented with too much choice and you start to see too many venues, confusion happens all too easily and it may prohibit you more than it should. Contact the venue and ask for information and dates available to be sent across to you. Have an idea of numbers and dates and budget before contacting them. Once you have the information from a few, you can then choose your top 5 to visit.
When visiting wedding venues, it’s always best to have a list of questions you want to ask ready to take with you, so you can compare all venues after. Questions like capacities and costs, menu selections, what is their house wine and champagne, do they allow corkage, and do they offer bedroom discounts for friends and family wishing to stay. Think of everything you could possibly want to know and jot them all down! Another tip is to take lots of photos! Sometimes venues and details can merge into one another, so it’s always great to have photos to match the answers so you can remember what has what, what you particularly liked and can start to picture your day there.
If you can, ask if it’s possible to visit when they have a wedding on. You may be able to visit and take a look at the set up before the wedding happens. Perhaps a venue has an open day or wedding showcase – these are great because you can get an idea of how everything is set up and may look on the day. You can always meet some wonderful suppliers (like us!) too!
If the venue you have chosen is going to be a field or garden for a marquee or an outside venue, it’s still worthwhile visiting the location and also marquee company, to look at photos and get an idea of how things will look and work on the day. This may help make your final decision and plan for the style and overall theme.
Hold the Date
Most wedding venues will ask for a deposit upon booking and a contract to be signed. However always ask if you can hold a date free of charge for a couple of weeks, whilst you are sorting out booking your ceremony – church or civil. Once confirmed, you can then book with the venue. Make sure to read all the T&C’s fully as common practice or ask a wedding planner to do so if you have one.
If you’ve already booked your venue (or even if you haven’t!) and are looking for a photographer, then look no further, give us a call on 01494 680811 and we would be delighted to help!