For those of you just starting the venue search, it might feel a little frustrating! Trying to choose a venue under a lockdown is not ideal… BUT have you thought about having a virtual venue tour to get ahead?
During this period many of our venues are offering virtual viewing appointments via Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts or even good ol’ FaceTime. So if you’re keen to start shortlisting some options for your big day then this might be the perfect solution.
At Upton Barn & Walled Garden, they have been offering virtual tours with their lovely Wedding Co-ordinator Nat. Here are a few tips from Nat on how to make the most of your virtual showround:
Notes from Upton Barn & Walled Garden
At Upton Barn our virtual tours are scheduled for 30 minutes so it’s useful to do a little preparation beforehand to ensure you get the most out of your time. You can do this by:
Downloading the meeting platform in advance and checking it works on whatever device you will be using, we use Zoom for our tours as it’s very quick and simple to sign up to and it allows us to speak to you face to face whilst also showing you the venue.
Thinking ahead… are there any family members or friends who you would like to involve in your virtual viewing. If so check if this is possible with the venue and find out how they can join you. At Upton we simply need their email address so we can send instructions and an invitation to join you on your virtual viewing. Make sure you book a time slot that is suitable for all parties involved.
The majority of your questions would normally be covered during your viewing anyway but it’s always worth jotting down any questions you have before your viewing so you can check they have all been answered, it’s useful to have a pen and paper handy too just incase you want to make a note of anything.
Think about your dream day, are there any aspects that are particularly important to you? For example; you may have your heart set on an outdoor ceremony, in this instance it is also important to ensure that the indoor ceremony space is just as spectacular as the outdoor so that you don’t feel that you are compromising should you need to use the indoor option on the day.
Are there any non-negotiable elements to your big day that affect your venue choice, an example could be a member of the wedding party is a wheelchair user or needs the use of a guide dog. Does the venue have the facilities needed to support these guests? Or have you chosen a church ceremony and want to hire the venue for the reception only, it’s important to make sure that these things are considered when choosing your venue.
Have a think about when you would like to get married, a specific date, month or season, if your co-ordinator knows this they can tailor the viewing to suit this.
Make a rough list of your guests so you have a idea of numbers, as this could affect your choice of venue as well as how the chosen venue is used, it will also affect your budget, if you have a vague idea it will help you work out a more realistic budget and also ensure your venue can accommodate the number of guests you want to invite.
Ensure that you have a name and contact details to follow up with so after your viewing you can go back and ask any little questions that pop into your head. A good venue will also follow up with you and send you further details to browse such as brochures, catering example menus, drinks options.
Virtual viewings are a fantastic way to get to know the staff and get a feel for the venue. Do not underestimate how important the feeling you get about the venue is, if you get excited about your venue on a virtual viewing, imagine how you will feel when you finally get to see it in person!
Don’t delay on booking, there are lots of great offers to be taken advantage of at the moment, calendars will also continue to fill up further as more postponements move into next year so if you want a specific date now is the time to book. Registrars will only get busier too as we expect a flurry of bookings when lockdown is eased and couples can visit venues again.
Emma is the founder & curator of these award-winning pages. Passionate about venues, interiors and a good Whiskey Sour. You'll also find Emma working as a Creative Director consulting for wedding venues around the UK.