How to Get the Most From Your Wedding Venue with Hostology

Written by Caitlin Hoare
You’ve booked your dream wedding venue – CONGRATS! How nice is it to get that one in the bag? Phew! But what happens now?

Even if you’re feeling properly in the wedding planning groove, please don’t assume that once the venue is secured you have to go back to planning one of the biggest events of your life all on your own. Venue event staff are wedding planning pros! They have likely hosted hundreds of weddings before yours so if you’re not in a position to hire a wedding planner then we would highly recommend building a strong relationship with your wedding venue and taking their expert knowledge on board. This results in transparency, productivity, and ultimately your dream wedding day… and you never know, you might end up making some good friends along the way too!

With the venue relationship in mind, we’re delighted to welcome Anselm Guise (Elmore Court), Samantha Vaughan (Dewsall Court), Josh Dugdale (Wasing Park), Phil Godsal (Iscoyd Park), and Harry Dearden (Pennard House) to the blog. Already successful wedding venue owners, they are also the founders of Hostology, a brilliant wedding planning tech platform that will turn your wedding planning journey into a collaborative, streamlined success!

You may come across Hostology when you book one of the venues in our collection, but even if your venue doesn’t use Hostology (yet!), our featured venues have a wealth of knowledge behind them and you’re sure to pick out a nugget or two of wisdom from our chat with them. So, let’s talk to the experts and find out how you can get the most out of your wedding venue…

Planning Advice

How can couples work most efficiently with their venue during their wedding planning journey?

Samantha Vaughan (Dewsall Court): Communication is everything! We ensure that we work closely with our couples throughout the wedding planning process, having both in person and Zoom meetings which are scheduled at the point of booking. We also send an agenda and expected outcomes email ahead of the meeting in order to make sure everyone gets what they need to aid further planning within that valuable face to face time. The messages board on Hostology is an invaluable tool for the quick questions, reminders and chase ups that we need to action along the way. With communication about what is needed when, and regular reminders about deadlines for information, we find that we can work calmly and productively with our couples in order to enjoy a positive fulfilling relationship with them.

Which planning milestones are the venue most involved with?

Harry Dearden (Pennard House): From the moment couples book at Pennard House they are allocated one of our wonderful wedding directors who are on hand throughout the whole planning process to offer help and advice. We have a detailed help book giving lots of tips to guide our couples through each milestone involved in planning a wedding.

We also set them up with a Hostology account where we are able to create a detailed itinerary accessible by both the venue and the couple, and where couples can also book accommodation and find local suppliers. Planning a wedding can be a stressful process so we give as much support as possible along the way to elevate that stress and make the whole experience great fun!

What does the venue need to know from the couple?

Joshua Dugdale (Wasing Park): There is such a lot to think about when getting married from the get go, therefore there is quite a lot to cover. From final guest numbers, to catering choices, to who’s staying where on site. It’s so important we work collaboratively with our couples, sharing information, and those all important final details. Through Hostology we can also create and store table plans, and build multi-day wedding itineraries which is great if it’s a jam-packed event with a lot of elements to juggle.

We also find having flexibility on food ordering is critical. Together we can create bespoke menus, couples can request dietaries from their guests, and keep a track of the RSVPs which we as the venue can have access to too. These features make planning your wedding seamless and easy, and really helps our team continually deliver the very high standards our couples expect.

Why is it important to build a relationship with the venue team as a couple?

Anselm Guise (Elmore Court): It makes such a difference if you have a great relationship with our team. We have a wonderful, professional and fun bunch who are vital in the build-up and on the day. Your interactions with them, whether face to face, on the phone or via our digital planning platform, are a massive part of all of this. You’re ultimately trusting us to look after one of the biggest days of your life which is a responsibility we don’t take lightly. We like to get to know our couples and nurture the relationship from when you send your initial enquiry to when you say ‘I do’. We aim to do the very best for each and every couple so it’s important to keep communicating and don’t forget to have some fun along the way!

Once a couple arrives on site for their wedding, what happens next?

Phil Godsal (Iscoyd Park): As we all know the first impression is everything, when couples and their guests arrive at Iscoyd they get a fantastic welcome. The team are briefed as to which rooms the guests are in, luggage is carried for them, and they are shown to their rooms without the need for an official time-consuming check in. Often either the couple or the guests themselves order special items for their bedrooms, this may be anything from an extra bed or cot for children or a bottle of champagne. All the notes and details are captured on our Hostology software as we receive them through the planning process. Sometimes we get snippets of information about the guests which are also noted and then this information is shared with the team. It may be that the guest is coming from London, or Scotland, if the team member knows this and mentions it as they are showing the guest to their room it makes them feel important, special and looked after. These little details matter.

Every wedding is a completely bespoke event, some weddings follow a traditional structure, others don’t. There are so many moving parts, and they are always different. Many couples prefer this approach to planning their wedding rather than too many packages or standard offerings, they want their wedding to be unique. This does mean a venue needs to be more organised and have a greater attention to detail, they need all the information to hand in one place, contact details of suppliers, numbers of key members of the wedding party, the ability to communicate last minute details to the chef. With all the preparation in the world the team must be able to deal with the unexpected, problem solve and remedy issues without bothering the couple or their guests. Having all the information about the wedding in one place and easily accessible is not only very useful in making sure everything is prepared properly before the event, but also a vital tool in delivering a smooth service when things go wrong or the unexpected happens.

How does Hostology help couples get the most out of their venue?

Emma Hardcastle (Hostology): It takes a great team to create your dream day! Hostology pulls it all together for you and your venue, facilitating slick communication and detailed collaborative planning. Hostology also handles your guest management; tracking guest accommodation needs and their dietary requirements – offering you and your venue more time to discuss the finer points and to unleash your creative spirit!

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