Are you a newly engaged bride to be wondering what you can actually do at the moment towards planning your wedding?
Well firstly, huge congratulations and how lovely to have something happy, and to look forward to, at this difficult time.
If you’re keen to get on with something, you have an opportunity to do some in depth desk research into the type of venues and suppliers which meet your overall vision for your big day.
Once you’re sure about the type of day you both want, for example an intimate, sophisticated, ‘grown-ups only’ affair, a laid back outdoor event with food trucks and fun fair rides, or whatever it may be, you can start researching places and people which fit the bill.
Where to begin?
I would begin with your venue search as it’s this which forms the backdrop to the whole day.
Once it’s decided, it’s much easier to find suppliers whose work and style fits with your venue.
Although you cannot currently undertake physical viewings, many venues offer a great deal of information online and some include virtual tours.
You can also check which dates are available around the time you plan to marry and create a shortlist of those you want to visit once you can.
Ask for a full set of Terms & Conditions and take time to go through then and email any questions you have.
If you are part of our Bridal Facebook Community you will find a free Timeline, or project plan, under Files to guide you.
If you’re not, please feel free to join us!
Venue Style or Type
Are you planning on a stately home, a barn, a marquee in a meadow, a hotel by the sea or something completely different?
Think about whether your whole day be in one place, for example if you are having a civil ceremony in a licensed venue, or will you be travelling between Church or Civil Ceremony Venue and your Reception? You likely won’t want the two to be very far apart.
To what degree does it matter how many guests your Venue can hold?
Are you planning on a large number of guests, a smaller guest list or something in between?
Think about the maximum number a room or space can hold but also bear in mind, for smaller weddings, that sometimes there’ s a minimum number, below which you will still have to pay for the covers not attending.
Your Wish List of Venue Attributes
It’s important to come up with a list of attributes you’d love your Venue to have.
One of the most important is to establish whether or not exclusivity is key for you. If it is, you may well have to pay a premium, however some Venues will only book, or can only manage, one wedding per day.
Start with your ‘must have’s, then look at the ‘nice to have’s which might be up for negotiation or compromise.
For example, if you’re keen to have everyone stay on site would it be acceptable if the stately home you desire offers 10 bedrooms, but there is a gorgeous hotel at the end of the drive which can sleep everyone else?
Or, if your perfect, really reasonably priced, reception space insists that you use only the caterers on their Preferred Supplier List, is this acceptable?
It may well be that the last thing you want to do is get married at the same Venue as a friend, however recently married friends will also have visited other Venues so it’s definitely worth asking their opinions. This will help you shortlist whilst you can’t actually visit.
If you have already booked other local suppliers, ask their advice too. They will have worked in various Venues and may know of some you haven’t found.
Photographers are particularly good at this. If you have booked your Photographer, or started dialogue with a couple, why not ask their opinions and advice? It is a rare wedding which doesn’t involve a professional photographer and they may well know of hidden gems which possibly aren’t even advertised as Wedding Venues.
Aside from minimum numbers, other main Venue restrictions to look out for include:
o for amplified music
o for guests to be off site
Some Venues have limiters set to a certain decibel, above which a band will cut out.
Most bands can work to this, but do need to know in advance
Free Venue Checklist
If you’d like our free checklist of everything to ask your shortlisted Venues, both before you’re able to visit, and when you finally can, just click and we’ll email it to you.
Happy planning and stay safe at this difficult time.