Where to begin When Searching for a Wedding Venue.
So if you are planning a wedding without the aid of a wedding ceremony planner, your first concern should be to discover the wedding venue.
Naturally, the style of venue directly impacts on the type of wedding for it will shape the whole style, theme and décor of the whole day’s proceedings. So right after having set a date and a budget (actual or approximate), you need to decide what style of wedding you are after. No doubt some brides (and grooms! ) will have been dreaming regarding their wedding for months or years before they are engaged and will have an idea about the style of wedding they need.
However , for most newly engaged young couples the task ahead can sometimes seem daunting. For many, the first port of call will be the internet where you can practically drop yourself in a maze of wedding resources. We suggest you spend several hours online together and immerse yourselves in this strange new world of wedding ceremonies. Confetti and Hitched are useful UNITED KINGDOM resources, among many others, whilst Martha Stewart and The Knot are excellent sites that focus on the American wedding marketplace where lots of our trends first originate.
Wedding blogs are another useful online resource and these days, more and more couples are turning to weblogs such as Style Me Pretty, hundred Layer Cake, OnceWed and Rock n Roll Bride for their wedding inspiration. They are well worth investigating.
Right after only a short time online you should have quite a clear idea about your preferred style as well as the avenues you want to explore. Probably the most popular ideas that start to evolve might for instance include classic, vintage, rustic, contemporary, chic, retro, cool or seasonal.
Then, from this position you can start to focus your search on wedding venues that befit the general style or styles(s) you have in mind. For instance traditional or vintage would tend to business lead you toward old historic venues, such as castles or stately houses. Whereas contemporary might lead you toward venues that are more of an empty canvas, such as art galleries. And if you are considering funky or maybe chic, you might concentrate your search on appropriately styled boutique hotels.
There are several websites dedicated exclusively to the promotion of wedding locations. Whilst most feature dozens of venues in a wide range of styles of varying quality, one or two go a step further by assessing the quality of the venues featured.
When it comes to selecting the style of location, your personal and individual personalities, preferences will dictate to a large extent. For example, a flamboyant couple will be drawn to venues that have an immediate ‘Wow Factor’ such as a large and elaborate stately home in the country, whereas a more conservative couple might want to consider guest practicalities and opt for a country house resort close to a city.
There are a wide range of different styles to choose from, from restaurants to rustic barns or boutique hotels to former palaces. Be cautioned that unfortunately, as is so often the case, you tend to get what you pay money for. Furthermore, peak season Saturdays will often be booked up 9 a few months or more in advance, so in order to safe the best venues it is important to either be flexible with the wedding date or begin your venue search a year roughly in advance. Be warned!
However , if you utilize an online resource that assesses the standard of the venues featured and offers an array of criteria in which to focus your search, your venue search should be reasonably simple!
Primary Considerations for a Wedding Place Search
The more flexible you happen to be, the greater your choice of venues. Remember that Saturdays in peak season get booked up quickly so consider Sundays or even Fridays. You will benefit from reduce prices too. Note that Bank holiday Sundays also tend to book up quickly.
Type of ceremony
Typically your options will as follows:
Civil – twenty five minute legal ceremony that will occur in a registry office or within approved premise, such as a country house hotel.
Religious – 50 moment religious ceremony in a House associated with God.
Civil with blessing — civil ceremony followed by a separate religious blessing
Civil with humanist – civil ceremony followed by a separate humanist blessing
Note, if you want a religious wedding ceremony, you should already have good links along with your local church. Alternatively, if you want to get married outside your own parish you might be capable to register with an alternative church if you are prepared to attend mass regularly before your wedding.
Also note, if opting for a religious ceremony, for convenience your reception venue should be fairly close by, ideally 5-10 minutes away, up to a maximum of 20-25 minutes.
Variety of guests
Naturally, if you expect hundred guests you need to identify venues that can accommodate 100 guests and ideally more in order to avoid the possibility of squeezing tables together.
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Total wedding budget
Since indicated, allocate 50% of your complete budget to your venue and catering costs. However this could be from forty percent, or up to 60%.
Preferred physical location(s)
Clearly the wider the geographical area you consider, the greater the selection of venues.
There are a wide range of styles to consider, from boutique hotels to country clubs, or stately homes to livery halls.
Distinctive use of the venue
Decide early on if this is essential to you. Many venues just offer exclusive use as standard but others, such as large stately homes and hotels will have the area to accommodate 2 or more weddings simultaneously. Usually they will be kept separate yet sometimes it is not always the case. In such venues, exclusive use might be an option, to have an additional fee.
Do you require visitor accommodation onsite?
If so, how many visitors and for how many nights? Note sometimes you might be expected to take a minimum variety of rooms on the wedding night.
Could you consider a marquee?
Again, keep your choices open in order to maximise your shortlist of venues especially if you expect over 100 guests. Unfortunately there are many, numerous excellent venues across the UK that can only accommodate up to 100 visitors internally, within the walls of the house and therefore a marquee is the only option for larger weddings. That being said, the look and style of marquees has come on enormously over the past 5 years and there are some super-modern styles available for employ.
Would you consider separate rooms for the ceremony, drinks reception, dinner plus dancing? Or mind having the ceremony and dinner in the same space?
The venue’s room format is definitely an often forgotten consideration when location searching and can lead to huge dissatisfaction, especially if you have travelled to view the home unaware of such considerations. It is sometimes the case a venue requires you to definitely have both the ceremony and the meal in the same room. In such instances the bedroom will be ‘turned around’ whilst the drinks reception takes place in one more room, outside or in an annex, so you won’t be able to see the dining tables laid after the ceremony.
Alternatively, it may be that dancing cannot take place in the same room that the meal is offered in and this can lead to segregated guests.
Or if you have filled the room in order to its dining capacity, it is often the case that in order to make space for a dancing floor, 2 or 3 tables have to be eliminated.
Some Additional Considerations
Fireworks, fanfare, candelabras/naked flames/tea lights, garden/outside area, late licence.
Again, all these components can limit your choice of venues so do try to keep your options open! For example, do you really want to lose out on what might be the perfect venue that happens to calls last orders at 11pm, just because you like the idea of celebrating until night time or 1am?
Or will you really reject what could be your perfect property simply because they don’t permit fireworks?
We have seen that when searching for a wedding venue it is vital that you try to be as flexible as you can with regard to your preconceived requirements. And clearly selecting a venue can be a difficult and time intensive task. However , if you bear the considerations in this article in mind your chances of locating your perfect wedding venue will be greatly enhanced, as will the time it takes to do so!