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HOW TO FIND YOUR PERFECT VENUE

WEDDING PLANNING HELP SERIES 6


We have created a series of blogs that will help with your planning if you are new to your wedding journey. So do come and delve in….


So far in this series you have discovered

  • How to make a wedding budget

  • How to spend your wedding budget

  • How to create your perfect guest list

  • Choosing your date to marry

  • Understand the type of Venue hire

This blog is about:


FINDING YOUR PERFECT VENUE


Now we are going to tackle the questions that you need to ask when you start your search. We have prepared you for choosing your right wedding venue. It is a huge factor when planning a wedding.

According to what you want, you need to consider:


  • Does the venue accommodate your guest count for both ceremony, wedding breakfast and evening guests? Not all venues have the same headcount for Ceremony and Wedding breakfast, so this is very important to ask what they can accommodate for each element if you are wishing to marry on site.

  • Do they have your date (if only one specific one is on your mind) or what dates do they have around the time you wish to marry

  • Are they an approved premises (ie. Is it legal to marry on site, not applicable if getting married in a church OR having a celebrant led ceremony)

  • Will it be easy for everyone to get too? (Understand the travel required for all of your guests)

  • Is there local accommodation for you and all the guests? (if this is a distance from home)

  • Can you afford the venue? (ask for their brochure and prices first)


You can find out all the above in once simple phone call before you even make plans to go and visit the venue. If they are out of your budget or can’t cater for your headcount, then don’t even go and see the venue. You don’t want to fall in love with a venue that later you can’t afford.

Once you have done the initial review above and you know that the venue works for you, your guest count and your budget, it is time to book in some venues to visit. What we call a show round. This where you can ask all the initial financial questions


THE INITIAL FINANCIALS

  1. Do the fees include vat?

  2. Do they have wedding packages available to suit your numbers?

  3. What are the costs for each additional person over the wedding package?

Do not fall for the “we have a package of 50 and any additional guest is £XXX more as this usually works out more if you have 90 guests. Sometimes it is better to pay a little more to take it up to the next pay bracket to get a cheaper per head option. Even if you give the alcohol to the guests and the food to your suppliers.


Other things you may need to know according to what you want from your wedding day .

  1. Is there an outdoor area to use for welcome drinks? And is this part of our hire fee?

  2. What time does our event have to finish?

  3. Is their an extension available and at what cost?

  4. What is required as a deposit?

  5. What are the payment terms/plans?

  6. What type of payment can you take? Cash, cheque, bank transfer, credit card

  7. What is your cancellation policy?

  8. What did you do for your clients during the pandemic?

  9. If we suffer another or ongoing pandemic at the time of our wedding, how can we expect to be treated? Free postponements to any time of the year? Full Refunds etc?

  10. Is there a minimum headcount that we have to sign up to?

  11. Are there any security costs we have to consider?

  12. is our hire fee for exclusive use of the venue? if not how many other events will take place?

  13. Are our pets welcome? (if relevant)

These initial questions will help you decide if the venue is right for you. Once you have decided that then you want to get down to the nitty gritty of the logistics.. so here are some further questions for you to ask once you have decided that this is on your top list of venues.


  1. What rooms/space included in the hire fee? i.e. bathrooms, bridal rooms, lounge areas, cloakroom etc.

  2. Recheck what dates do you have available around the time you wish to marry

  3. Can you hold my preferred date and for how long?

  4. Will our sales contact that we have been dealing with throughout be working our day?

  5. Will we have a wedding coordinator on the day?

  6. What level of service will they provide?

  7. Who will provide all our formal announcements, Bride & Groom Entrance, Cake Cutting, etc.? And let all our guests know where to be at the right times and right places? (This is where a Toastmaster can be a good choice to hire or if you have a Planner you can ask them to do this)

  8. Is there any sound equipment/mics to use for your speeches before your DJ is in place for the evening?

  9. How often are the toilets checked for cleanliness?

  10. Can you visit the venue to see it set up for another wedding before it starts?

  11. Is crockery, cutlery, linen included in the package?


QUESTIONS FOR YOUR CEREMONY

  1. Are you an approved premises. (Without this you will not be able toget legally married at this venue).

  2. Do you have spaces to get married outside? (thanks to covid, laws have changed around this now so you have much more scope to marry around the venue, but I’ve added this question in case they remove the rules on this according to when you may read this)

  3. Is the ceremony and reception held in the same room or separate?

  4. If the same room, what is the changeover plan to switch over from ceremony to reception?

  5. Where do guests go during welcome drinks whilst the switch over is taking place?

  6. How long will it take?

  7. Do you provide all the seating for the ceremony?

  8. What chairs do you have available? What are our options? Can you send us a picture? Can they be covered? (if needed)

  9. Is there anywhere for us both to get ready in the morning?

  10. Are you able to have a rehearsal and or a rehearsal dinner if needed?

  11. Can we have a confetti shot on site? If so where/location indoors and outside?

  12. What kind of confetti do we have to use? i.e. does it need to be biodegradable confetti?


I have a further 100 questions that can be asked that covers Accommodation, Food, Drinks, Logistics for you and for your Suppliers, Parking, Build up and Breakdown.


If you specifically want any of these areas, then drop me an email asking me for the either those sections or the full venue questions and I’ll email them over to you.


BEST PLACES TO SEARCH FOR YOUR VENUE


Below are a list of places that you can start your search and many of these will allow you to narrow this down to the type of venue that you may like, then by guestcount etc. So this will do much of the searching for you.


If you really want to see more of the venue, then put that into google and then click on images, where you will see others wedding pictures and videos where you can watch videographers trailers of previous weddings and get the feel for the venue.


www.google.co.uk (type wedding venues near me or near to the location you wish to marry)

www.Cocoweddingvenues.co.uk – for more upmarket venue search


This should be a fun time to explore all what the wonderful world of venues have to offer you. Again, have a date night, get the lap top out and start to hunt around. You will soon learn the type of wedding venue that you like.


Here are just some types of wedding venues you can choose from


Barns

Country House

Mansions

Stately Home

Small / Large Hotels

Restaurants/Bars

Town Halls

Village Halls

Castles/Palaces/Historic venues

Sporting or Golf Clubs

Museums

Canvas Wedding (Marquee/tipi/Yurt etc)

Woodland & Festival Venues

Unsual Weddings Venues





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