Where to Start When Searching for a Wedding Venue.
So if you are planning a wedding without the aid of a wedding planner, your first concern should be to find the wedding venue.
Naturally, the type of venue directly impacts on the type of wedding for it will shape the whole style, theme and décor from the whole day’s proceedings. So right after having set a date and a budget (actual or approximate), you need to decide what style of wedding you are after. No doubt some brides (and grooms! ) will have been dreaming regarding their wedding for months or yrs before they are engaged and will come with an idea about the style of wedding they desire.
However , for most newly engaged couples the task ahead can sometimes seem daunting. For many, the first port of contact will be the internet where you can practically shed yourself in a maze of wedding resources. We suggest you spend several hours online together and immerse her in this strange new world of weddings. Confetti and Hitched are useful UK resources, among many others, whilst Martha Stewart and The Knot are excellent sites that will focus on the American wedding marketplace where lots of our trends first originate.
Wedding blogs are an additional useful online resource and nowadays, more and more couples are turning to blogs such as Style Me Pretty, one hundred Layer Cake, OnceWed and Rock and roll n Roll Bride for their wedding ceremony inspiration. They are well worth investigating.
Right after only a short time online you should have quite a clear idea about your preferred style as well as the avenues you want to explore. Probably the most popular ideas that start to evolve might for instance include classic, vintage, rustic, contemporary, chic, retro, cool or seasonal.
Then, from this position you can start to focus your search on wedding venues that befit the general style or styles(s) you have in mind. For instance traditional or vintage would tend to direct you toward old historic locations, such as castles or stately houses. Whereas contemporary might lead a person toward venues that are more of an empty canvas, such as art galleries. And if you are considering funky or maybe chic, you might concentrate your search on appropriately styled boutique hotels.
There are several websites dedicated solely to the promotion of wedding venues. Whilst most feature dozens of venues in a wide range of styles of varying quality, one or two go a step further by assessing the quality of the venues showcased.
When it comes to selecting the style of location, your personal and individual personalities, likes and dislikes will dictate to a large extent. For example, a flamboyant couple will be drawn to venues that have an immediate ‘Wow Factor’ such as a large and elaborate stately home in the country, whereas a more traditional couple might want to consider guest practicalities and opt for a country house resort close to a city.
There are a broad variety of different styles to choose from, from restaurants in order to rustic barns or boutique hotels to former palaces. Be warned that unfortunately, as is so often the situation, you tend to get what you buy. Furthermore, peak season Saturdays will usually be booked up 9 a few months or more in advance, so in order to protected the best venues it is important to either end up being flexible with the wedding date or begin your venue search a year roughly in advance. Be warned!
However , if you are using an online resource that assesses the standard of the venues featured and offers an array of criteria in which to focus your search, your venue search should be reasonably simple!
Primary Considerations for a Wedding Place Search
The more flexible you might be, the greater your choice of venues. Remember that Saturdays in peak season get reserved up quickly so consider Sundays or even Fridays. You will benefit from cheaper prices too. Note that Bank holiday Sundays also tend to book upward quickly.
Type of ceremony
Typically your options will as follows:
Civil – twenty five minute legal ceremony that will take place in a registry office or within approved premise, such as a country home hotel.
Religious – 50 moment religious ceremony in a House of God.
Civil with blessing — civil ceremony followed by a separate spiritual blessing
Civil with humanist : civil ceremony followed by a separate humanist blessing
Note, if you want a religious wedding ceremony, you should already have good links together with your local church. Alternatively, if you want to marry outside your own parish you might be capable to register with an alternative church if you are prepared to attend mass regularly before your wedding.
Also note, if choosing a religious ceremony, for comfort your reception venue should be reasonably close by, ideally 5-10 minutes aside, up to a maximum of 20-25 minutes.
Amount of guests
Naturally, if you expect a hundred guests you need to identify venues that can accommodate 100 guests and ideally more in order to avoid the possibility of squeezing desks together.
Total wedding budget
Because indicated, allocate 50% of your overall budget to your venue and providing costs. However this could be from 40%, or up to 60%.
Preferred geographical location(s)
Clearly the wider the particular geographical area you consider, the greater your choice of venues.
There are a wide range of styles to consider, from boutique resorts to country clubs, or stately homes to livery halls.
Exclusive use of the venue
Decide early on issue is essential to you. Many venues just offer exclusive use as regular but others, such as large stately homes and hotels will have the area to accommodate 2 or more weddings simultaneously. Usually they will be kept separate but sometimes it is not always the case. In such locations, exclusive use might be an option, to have an additional fee.
Do you require visitor accommodation onsite?
If so, how many visitors and for how many nights? Note occasionally you might be expected to take a minimum quantity of rooms on the wedding night.
Can you consider a marquee?
Again, keep your options open in order to maximise your shortlist of venues especially if you expect greater than 100 guests. Unfortunately there are many, several excellent venues across the UK that can only accommodate up to 100 guests internally, within the walls of the property and therefore a marquee is the only option for larger weddings. That being said, the design and style of marquees has come upon enormously over the past 5 years and there are some super-modern styles available for hire.
Would you consider separate rooms for your ceremony, drinks reception, dinner plus dancing? Or mind having the ceremony and dinner in the same room?
The venue’s room format is an often forgotten consideration when location searching and can lead to huge dissatisfaction, especially if you have travelled to view the house unaware of such considerations. It is sometimes the case a venue requires you to definitely have both the ceremony and the food in the same room. In such instances the room will be ‘turned around’ whilst the drinks reception takes place in one more room, outside or in an annex, so you won’t be able to see the desks laid after the ceremony.
Alternatively, it may be that dancing cannot take place in exactly the same room that the meal is served in and this can lead to segregated guests.
Or if you have filled the room to its dining capacity, it is often the case that in order to make space for a dancing floor, 2 or 3 tables have to be removed.
Some Additional Considerations
Fireworks, confetti, candelabras/naked flames/tea lights, garden/outside area, late licence.
Again, all these elements can limit your choice of venues techniques try to keep your options open! For instance, do you really want to lose out on what may be the perfect venue that happens to phone calls last orders at 11pm, simply because you like the idea of celebrating until night time or 1am?
Or will you actually reject what could be your ideal property simply because they don’t permit fireworks?
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We have seen that when searching for a wedding venue it is vital that you try to be as flexible as you can with regard to your preconceived requirements. And clearly selecting a venue can be a difficult and time intensive task. However , if you bear the considerations in this article in mind your chances of getting your perfect wedding venue will be greatly enhanced, as will the time it takes to do so!