Some of you may have only just got engaged but are keen to crack on! We hear you! Whichever camp you fall into, this feature is for you because ultimately finding a wedding venue is the first thing you need to do… so here are 12 quick tips to get you started.
CONSIDER YOUR STYLE
Understand your vision – it’s important you think about who you are as a couple and what you love doing. So many things can influence your wedding day – where you like to eat, what films you love, your perfect date, how you’ve decorated your home. All of this will have an impact on what kind of venue and celebration you will be drawn to, so dig deep in those first conversations.
Know your Budget
A wedding can cost whatever you want it to cost and my only real advice here is to always feel comfortable with how much you’re spending. Start by making a list of your incomings and outgoings and work out how much you can (and want to) save. If anyone has offered to contribute to your wedding, now is the time to nail down the details! Calculate your total projected savings plus any gifts from family, and you have your big day budget.
As a rough guide, your venue, accommodation and catering usually comes in at around 50% of your overall budget.
Have a draft GUEST LIST
Before you start trawling the internet for venues it’s probably a good idea to have a draft list of who you will be inviting. It doesn’t have to be exact, but this initial guest list will certainly help when whittling down the possible locations.
Think About Location
Location can be key if you have guests coming from all over the UK/the world! Consider location and proximity to the nearest airport and mainline stations if this is important to you. You might also want to consider accommodation in the local area, and access to the venue or disabled facilities onsite.
time of year
We’ve seen couples moving their spring weddings to autumn and their summer weddings to Christmas over the last 18 months but each and every one has said how it was still the best day ever and they can’t imagine having done it any differently. Consider the daffodils and bluebells in spring, the lushness of summer, the gorgeous glow of autumn and the magic of winter. Each season can provide so much and deliver an utterly beautiful wedding celebration regardless.
It’s no secret that venue’s and supplier’s diaries are filling up pretty fast at the moment, they’re starting to receive 2023 / 24 enquiries and many are already full for 2022. If you have your heart set on a particular venue or team of suppliers – consider getting married during the week. Often it’s cheaper, there’s more flexibility on timings and you’ll still have a whole weekend afterwards to wind down.
Reading reviews and testimonials will give you a really good idea about the venue, the team, the service provided and what other couple’s and guests fell in love with. Read testimonials on platforms like this, their own websites, as well as Facebook and Google.
Do you want a blank canvas venue (DIY/Dry Hire) or one that comes styled? And are you happy to plan, set up and style your wedding by yourself or are you hoping for help from the venue staff? While some venues are fully staffed, others are venue hire only, which means you’ll need to make all of your own arrangements and have people on site to set up on the day.
Understanding this and how it will affect the run-up/on-the-day is super important. A dry hire venue could have a further impact on the budget as you might need to hire additional furniture and/or a stylist to help coordinate on the day. The pros of having a blank canvas venue is that you can create something completely bespoke to you! Tables, chairs, linens and crockery hire are all big news right now and you can find some fabulous suppliers here.
Be Open Minded
We know lots of couples will start their venue search with a super long list of requirements – and if I’m completely honest here, you might be searching for a unicorn. Remove some of those filters on your venue search and see what comes up, you might be pleasantly surprised and suddenly those must-haves don’t seem to matter anymore.
THE MICRO WEDDING
2020 was the year of the ‘micro’ wedding and whilst this type of wedding isn’t anything new, it was certainly embraced in a year where guest lists were dramatically reduced.
Pre-COVID-19, small elopements or intimate weddings were growing in popularity and I believe post-pandemic there will still be a place for these romantic and intimate weddings – so if this is something you’re considering, take a look at The Best Small Wedding Venues.
A tip for right now – be patient. In a normal world, you would expect a venue to get back to your enquiry within a few hours/a day. But this year is a year like no other, so I urge everyone reading this to have a little patience with venues and suppliers right now.
Social media inboxes are messy things, so don’t be tempted to message venues or suppliers there – it’s super hard for them to a) respond or b) keep track of their couples and enquiries. Instead, head to their website and really explore – do they have their pricing and brochure available to you to view first? If you can’t find what you’re looking for, or you love what you see and what to know if they’re available then message them through their desired comms – this could be an online form or an email.
Some venues are currently unable to host in-person showrounds at weekends, purely because of the number of weddings taking place! So look out for open days, showcases, or get that first viewing booked in for later this autumn.
GET OUT THERE!
The best way to know if a venue is right for you is to actually get out and start visiting – whether you’re booking for 1-2-1 show rounds or popping into an Open Day (you can find all the best ones in our Event Diary!) it will make all the difference actually seeing a venue IRL.
If you found this useful and you’ve booked in a few viewings, then why not have a little read of our recent feature all about getting the most from your wedding venue show round.
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