Congratulations! You’re engaged! And so the planning starts… One of the first decisions you will want to make as a newly engaged couple is where to hold you wedding and your reception. Nowadays over 70% of couples choose not to get married in church, reflecting the trends of modern society. When thinking about a wedding venue, most couples decide to hold their wedding ceremony and reception in the same place, reducing the risk of Aunty Maud and Uncle Harry getting lost between the two events, and essentially just keeping it simple.
If you have just started the planning process, here are 6 top tips for choosing the right wedding venue for you:
You might fall in love with a beautiful romantic clifftop hotel in Cornwall but how accessible is it for your guests? When choosing the location for your wedding venue think about where the majority of guests are travelling from. If you have roughly an equal number of guests from the North and South of the country, consider a wedding venue that is fairly central. When looking at location think about accessibility from motorways, airports if necessary and the distance that your guests are prepared to travel. Once you have decided on a location it becomes much easier to search for your dream wedding venue. Hitched.co.uk is a great place to start.
What’s your wedding style? This has a massive impact on your choice of wedding venue – eg English country wedding, grand, quirky, urban, boho? There’s a wedding venue for every couple so think outside the box. If you are having a celebrant-led wedding ceremony remember that you do not have to use a licensed venue. You could hold your wedding ceremony in a lovely pub / garden / field, in fact wherever you wish – there are absolutely no restrictions on your wedding venue for a celebrant-led ceremony.
3. Visit your venue
This is a no-brainer really. Visit your wedding venue, take plenty of photographs, do your research and prepare a list of questions for the wedding co-ordinator. Some of the questions you may want to ask are:
- What experience do they have in organising weddings?
- Do they have a list of preferred suppliers you can have?
- Do they offer a pre-wedding taster menu so that you can try out the food beforehand?
- Can you have a look at the bridal suite?
- What is the capacity of the ceremony room?
Think about the size of the ceremony room, where you will get ready beforehand, outdoor space, overnight accommodation, accessibility for any guests with mobility issues, car parking, catering, areas for photo opportunities, whether you get exclusive access and what the conditions might be for this (Some hotels only give exclusive access if you book out a minimum number of rooms). Think about your most urgent priorities and make sure the wedding venue you choose ticks all your boxes.
5. Ask other people for recommendations
Happy couples are only too please to share their recommendations with others, so join Facebook wedding groups and ask people for their recommendations. Don’t hold back from asking the questions you want the answers to. Many suppliers are also in these groups and they are experts in supplying their services to lots of different venues. As an independent celebrant I am recommended supplier to over 30 hotels and am able to offer suggestions to couples who are searching for their perfect wedding venue.
This might be your number one priority when selecting a wedding venue, so you can narrow your search according to those that fall within your budget. There are lots of ways you can cut costs at your wedding venue so even if the venue offers a package, ask about ways in which you can negotiate a better deal, for example by choosing different wines or styling the room yourself.
If you are looking at a celebrant-led wedding in your ideal wedding venue just get in touch, I’d love to hear from you.