It is fair to say that weddings cost a lot of money. Starting with your venue and catering being your highest costs, you will need to carefully plan the remaining of your wedding to make sure you are within budget. If you are wanting a late licence however, do you know what additional costs this will come with?
I have been planning weddings for a decade now and you think you have heard it all with additional charges, but even I'm often left speechless with a charge I have never factored in and so I thought I would share some of the cost implications that you may experience if you decided that you wanted to party till the early hours.
I think it’s worth mentioning that whilst you may be a big party-goers, having a wedding day is just not the same as going clubbing until 4 am. It is a highly emotionally fuelled day and you will have been up since some god unearthly hour to start your preparations and on top of that you barely sit down all day.
The adrenaline that will move around your body on your wedding day is more than you have likely ever experienced over a long period and it is not until you finally stop you will feel the after-effects. On top of that, you then want your wedding day to keep going till 1 am or even 2 am. Well I just hope you are young and strong and full of energy is all I can say. Even wedding planners get a wedding day hangover from the adrenaline we feel on your day (at of our all ages) and we don’t even drink, then try being a Bride or Groom!
HOW LATE CAN YOU GO?
Most venues close their doors between 11 pm and midnight and many of them will not budge from this OR they may have restrictions due to their neighbourhood and rules in place, but for those that do offer late licences you will usually find you can get a late licence till 1 am. On the odd occasion maybe 2 am, and a very rare occasion 4 am.
Now normally the reason you want a late licence is that you want to party BUT before you sign on that dotted line make sure that there is no small print in the contract that says the music has not got to be turned down to a silly decbell that a band can't perform with, or it may say it has to be off entirely from Xpm . It’s all very well going till 2 am as long as you can party till 2 am. A silent disco is not on everyone’s bucket list of things to do at a wedding when you were expecting to have music with your extension.
WHAT ARE THE COSTS YOU NEED TO CONSIDER?
You do need to look at the cost implications. Something many do not realise all the additional costs that come with a late licence, it can be quite costly to have the privilege of a bigger hangover.
Firstly the late licence itself costs money! You can expect to see fees from as little as £6 per person per hour to £2,000 per hour. ALthough every venue will have its own pricing structure, so you just need to ask this question straight away as £2k per hour is not a small amount to add to your venue costs.
Also you may need to consider a midnight snack to keep your guests fuelled with energy to last the duration. Another potential additional cost.
Many bands will charge you for a certain amount of 1, 2 or 3 sets and unless you want them breakding down right in the middle of your wedding, you will have to pay them to stay to the end, even if they are not playing.
A DJ's standard fee may charge you till midnight, but if you want them to stay until 1 or 2 am, they are going to charge you extra by the hour after midnight.
Extra hours can be anything between £75 per hour to even £200 per hour after might night.
If you have hired chairs or decorative items that need to be taken away at your finishing time of 1 or 2 am you have to understand that your supplier has got to send out their people at that time. ou may find yourself paying anything from £200-£400 for a late collection. It is always better to ask if your venue will allow early morning collection to avoid higher collection costs as it may be more cost-effective.
One of my biggest bugbears in this industry that so many suppliers are unable to provide quality ironed linen for your wedding day, that's a whole other blog.
However, the reason for me even writing this blog was because one (local to venue) caterer suggested that if we did not ask them to do the evening catering that they would want £200 for someone to collect the linen after the event at 1 am. Another cost to consider if you don't have evening food!
SET UP AND BREAKDOWN
Finally, find out what time your decorators/suppliers can get into your venue to set up. If you have a set up that will take 5 hours, and you are only given 2 hours to set up, this means your suppliers will have to hire a much bigger team to get it done in time (you will have to make sure they have the team to consider your event on that basis). They will also need that same big team to breakdown your items at 1 or 2am in the morning and usually you get 1 hour to breakdown.
So as you can see, late licence costs are now starting to build up nicely.
DO YOUR RESEARCH
It is important for your budget that you research the price of everything that will come with your desire to have a late licence and I have written this to help you as much as I can as any ordinary couple that does not work in the world of events will just not understand or know the additional costs.
More often than not a venue will be in the budget, but once you add all the extra costs you have to consider to get the party that you want, then there is a potential it will be out of budget. This can be a huge blow once you have already booked your venue and find yourselves having to find all these extra costs you didn’t factor in or having to cut your day shorter than you had anticpated.
TAXI FOR ONE
Please make sure that you consider that your guests can actually get home from your venue at that time of the morning. Some taxis in remote areas just don't provide the service and therefore you may need to consider hiring a minibus for your guests to their hotel. Yet another cost that you may have to consider.
I have seen many times, freezing cold guests waiting around for taxis that are few and far between for a venue that finishes late and is the middle of nowhere. So just add this to your list of questions to ask the venue.
I just have one last thing to say. Having spent most of my youth Clubbing, and much of my mature years too I have learned that you are better to have a party finish at midnight when everyone is leaving on a high and buzzing than let a party go on till 2 am when guests will inevitably drift off, risk of losing the party atmosphere and the party feel has then gone. Anyone else experienced that kind of party?
Your hardened clubbing friends usually will start getting ready at home, likely go out at 10pm (if it's in London) get home at 2-4am. That's 4-6 hours of partying. A wedding starts around 1pm, so you are looking at a 12-13 hour event.
VENUES WITH LATE LICENCES IN LONDON
I know too well how difficult it is to find venues in London that offer a late Licence, so here are just a small selection I have found having done a recent wedding that required a late finish.
Winchester House winchesterhouse.com 1 am @ £450
BMA House bmahouse.org.uk 1 am
h club london hclub.com/index 2 am
Two Temple Place twotempleplace.org 4 am on request (£1k per hour) plus £250 fee
Fulham Palace www.fulhampalace.org 1am (£1-2k per hour)
Bingham Riverhouse www.binghamriverhouse.com 1 am
Gunnersbury Park www.ealingvenues.co.uk/venues/gunnersbury-park/ 1 am
Brunswick House www.lassco.co.uk/venues/brunswick-house / 1 am
Barrington House www.100barringtonroad.com 2 am
The Hurlingham Club www.hurlinghamclub.co.uk 2am (no extra cost, but a very late suppliers access at 4pm from September)
St Pancrease Brasserie https://stpancrasbysearcys.co.uk/ 3 am
Ham Polo Club www.hampoloclub.com 2 am (£6pp per hour)
Morden Hall www.mordenhall.com 1am
If you want a wedding planner that will ensure that you get the absoute best from your budget, whilst giving you the ultimate perfet wedding day that ticks every single box, then get in touch with us today on firstname.lastname@example.org
Want something that allows you dancing all night long, then take a look at my no curfew blog on all night venues here.