Where do you start when you begin your search for the ideal wedding venue? With over six years experience of planning beautiful weddings in Norfolk these are my top seven things to consider.
1. To begin with you need to decide on whether you are having a religious ceremony or a civil service as this will dictate the requirements of your venue. Is you are having a religious service you will need to think about the distance between here and to your venue. If you are having a civil ceremony then you will need to consider whether you want your ceremony at your venue, in which case you will need a licensed venue or if you will say your vows at a registry office, again this would have an impact on the distance your reception venue is from the offices. There is always a third option which is to have a celebrant service which gives you loads of freedom, doesn’t restrict you to a licensed venue but you must remember his is NOT a legal service so you would still need to say your vows in a registry office at some point to make your marriage legal.
2. It is a great idea to draw up a rough guest list at this point, and be realistic! Friends you haven’t been in touch with for eons or that haven’t met your other half may not be the best use of your budget inviting! Also think about if any of your guests have specific mobility requirements so would need a venue with disabled access, if there are many children open water may be a bit stressful!!
3. Next on the list is location. Think about where you would like to get married – outside, in a stately home, somewhere super chic or urban. Also consider if this is likely to be close to home so you won’t need accommodation, or not as the case may be. If you do need accommodation, or have lots of guests travelling from afar then consider if you would prefer your venue to have this facility or if your venue is close to a variety of accommodation options for your guests.
5. What time of year would you like to get married in?? The weather in England is unpredictable so bear in mind what inside and outside options there are for your wedding day. If you desperately want a marquee wedding then it may not be the best idea having your wedding in the autumn, winter or early spring as the ground will be wet and soggy, the temperatures can be cold and the air can be damp. Heating a marquee is entirely possible so explore the options.
6. Some venues have a list of suppliers that is often called a ‘preferred suppliers list’ – this is something that can work in your favour as they are suppliers who know the venue and who the venue have previous experience of (which is hopefully all good otherwise they shouldn’t be on the list!), the flip side of this though is that they may not cater for the exact style or budget of your wedding so bare this in mind and thoroughly research these recommendations. Just be mindful of this though as a preferred supplier is often contracted to pay commission on any bookings at that venue. Preferred supplier lists are different from ‘Recommended suppliers lists,’ where it is not commission based.
7. Lastly on this brief list of considerations in quite possibly one of the most important factors and that is BUDGET!! Get your facts straight – what is included in the venue fees and what isn’t. Check their terms and conditions before you book anything to make sure you really understand what your money is paying for. This will also really help you when you are comparing venues.
I do offer a venue search service locally so if all this sounds a bit daunting and you would like some professional help then do get in touch, I’d love to hear from you firstname.lastname@example.org