Your wedding venue is one of the first things you think about – the place you choose sets the tone for lots of other things, so finding the right place is a huge help in organising the rest.
Talk to your partner
Bounce some ideas around – do you want a church and hall, or something different, like a restaurant or an old farm? Is there an area that’s special to you both?
Think about numbers; your venue will influence this strongly. Budget is also a vital consideration; talk about how much you’ve got to spend and whatparents are contributing. Divide your budget by supplier, clothes and transport and see what’s left for the venue.
Set the date
Your venues will ask what date you want – but don’t be too rigid about this. Make sure there are no clashing important local events, as this may make travel and accommodation difficult.
Pick one or two venues you really like, read reviews and blogs, contact people who have used them recently and maybe visit. Then talk to the venues directly.
Ask if the premises is licensed for a wedding ceremony and if you can marry and celebrate at the same place. Will there be public access to your venue on the day? If so, will your area be sectioned off?
How will guests travel from one place to the other. Could you make the travel part of the fun? Can all your guests fit into your venue and get a decent view?
Examine access to the venue for the marquee company and other trucks, as well as guests. How much parking is there? Do you need a generator? Does the venue have its own caterers as part of the package? Check out Heaton House if you’re interested in a rural wedding venue that does pretty much everything for you.
Music and dance
Check that your venue allows for a band or DJ. Ask what the cut-off time is, or whether you need to lower the volume after, say, 11.00pm. Find out what time the bar closes andwhen people need to leave. On the other hand, you also need to find out when you can get into the venue to set things up and decorate.
You fancy candlelight followed by fireworks – is this allowed? Similarly, what else can you bring to personalise the space? It’s best to ask what you’re not allowed and work from there. If you’re planning fireworks, find out how to do it safely.
The nuts and bolts
Does your venue clean up after you or do you arrange this yourself? Most venues will recommend a cleaning team for you.
Will there be a venue representative on-site to help with any problems or enquiries? You also need to ask about security – is it included in the fee or is there an accredited company they recommend?
How do you have to pay? When is the balance due and what happens if there’s a cancellation? You must have the venue contract and conditions, as well as copies the public liability cover.