Finding the right venue is key, this will become the foundation for the entire wedding. It shapes the style, dictates the schedule and of course it’s the place that everyone travels to on your behalf. Narrowing down the search can be tricky but here are some initial considerations to get you started…
Seek out your ideal location. This could be based on a trip you’ve taken together, or somewhere that reminds you of a family holiday. No matter what – ensure the location resonates with you both, and consider whether it’s somewhere that you can return to for future holidays and anniversaries.
Create the all-important guest list but make sure that the route for your guests is easily accessible. Be armed with all the information and be prepared to answer lots of questions such as, ‘how do I get there?’. Ensuring this element is well organised and considered from the start can remove a huge amount of stress later down the line.
This is so important as you have to work with what you’ve got so don’t go with somewhere that doesn’t make your heart sing. Consider whether you really love the venue, and it’s interiors too, as this will end up being the backdrop to many of your photographs. Also, get to know what you want from the day in terms of logistics and ask yourself – can this venue facilitate what I want to achieve from a creative point of view?
Accommodation + the Local Area
Don’t get too hung up on how many people the venue itself can accommodate. Most venues are located in villages with over-spill accommodation nearby, which could be perfect for your additional guests. Just make sure you decide how many out of your nearest and dearest you want staying with you on site, and how much accommodation is within an appropriate travelling distance for everyone else.
Dealing with destination venues can sometimes be complicated. We highly recommend allowing plenty of time for venue hunting, especially as you’re not able to visit easily in the current climate. You may have to liaise with owners who are new to the industry, English may not be their first language, or maybe the venue is also a busy family home. Just keep in mind that you’re not communicating with a corporate setup, and as such this should be respected and something that can’t be rushed.
There are two main options to consider when hiring a wedding venue; dry hire or a package wedding. Both are brilliant options and either can work well for you, depending on your requirements. But each can come with their own unique challenges.
This is when you rent the property and put simply, that’s about it! Most of the time this doesn’t include any additions and the fee usually covers just the venue hire and accommodation on site. Most of the time the owners will meet you at the beginning of your stay to hand over the keys and show you around, and then it’s down to you.
When committing to this style of wedding venue you must make sure you are confident in sourcing the suppliers yourself. This is when the addition of a wedding planner becomes invaluable – they can bring in a team to take care of everything from start to finish, on your behalf! The most important thing to gauge with a dry hire option is to establish what is included, and if there are any other restrictions in place. Once you fully understand what you are getting for your money it’s much easier to budget for everything else.
The beauty of this option is that you can get a clear idea of costs from the very beginning. Most of the time a package wedding will also include key elements such as catering and furniture hire, as well as the venue hire and accommodation. Sometimes event staff or a ‘full service’ option is also quoted for. This kind of destination wedding can certainly make your life much easier!
The main thing to be mindful of is that some venues have exclusive arrangements with suppliers such as florists. This is something you will need to ask about because if this is the case and you don’t like their style then you may not be given the option to bring in your own. A good question to ask is, what part of the package is compulsory and which parts are flexible? It may be that your venue works to a minimum spend. If this is the case then you can always ask whether certain elements have the flexibility to suit what want to achieve.
No matter what, one of the most important things is to make sure you get on with the owner or the main point of contact. Ensure there is good, clear communication between you both from the beginning, as this is who you will be dealing with throughout the wedding planning process.
The biggest piece of advice I can give is to not look at too many venues – easier said than done, I know! You can very quickly lose sight of what it is you wanted at the beginning and find yourself lost in the research process.
Good luck hunting for your destination wedding venue, if you need any support then just reach out and we’d be delighted to point you in the right direction.
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