If your left hand is looking significantly sparklier than it was a few weeks ago – CONGRATULATIONS! I hope you are enjoying every moment of your engagement so far.
I expect you’re looking to get started with planning your day (I don’t blame you!) so over the next few months I’ll be sharing some handy articles that will help guide you through your wedding plans.
Kicking things off, we’re talking all things venue!
Searching for your venue is one of the first tasks that you should tackle on your to do list and one of the most important elements to your special day. So to help, I’ve put together a few tips for finding your perfect wedding venue.
If you’re thinking about hiring a wedding planner, enlist their support before you get too far with your venue search. A wedding planner can save you SO much valuable time and effort when looking for your venue as they will have a far deeper knowledge of locations that match your brief than any google search! What’s more, they’ll be able to make practical suggestions during your site visit to help you visualise your day.
As a wedding planner, I love this part of the planning process. We are spoiled with some really beautiful wedding venues in the UK and, when you find the perfect place to say ‘I Do’ it can really help the rest of the wedding fall into place. If you are looking for support from a UK wedding planner, get in touch with me through the Rachel Dalton Weddings website – I would love to hear from you!
This really can make one of the biggest impacts on where to focus your venue search. Sit down with your fiancé and decide where geographically you would like to host your wedding. Consider things such as how far your guests will be travelling (and whether there are any important family members that aren’t able to travel) as well as whether there is a location you’d like to marry in for sentimental reasons.
Once you have a location narrowed down – for example a Cotswolds Wedding – avoid extending your search further afield (you’ll just confuse yourselves!).
Before you look at any venues, have a draft of your guest list so that you can get an idea of numbers for your wedding. Every venue has a maximum capacity so deciding how many guests to invite will instantly narrow down a shortlist.
If you haven’t already, get that budget spreadsheet going! This is also a good time to sit down together and establish your priorities for the day, as these factors will likely get the biggest allocation of your budget.
Your costings for a lot of your wedding day will fall into place once you have confirmed your venue BUT it is vital that you have an overall budget breakdown before you start your search. You don’t want to blow your whole budget on your venue!
Pinning fingers at the ready! Before you shortlist any venues, envisage the style of your day, and therefore the style of venues you are going to be looking at. If you’ve always dreamt of a traditional affair at a country house, don’t waste your time looking around industrial warehouse venues.
Take some time to look on Pinterest, Instagram and wedding blogs to get some ideas for the style you are drawn to. Keep this in mind and try to visualise your day as a whole whilst you are doing your venue research.
If you can have some flexibility when it comes to your wedding date – wonderful! It’s great to have a few options in mind when you are enquiring with venues.
On saying that, it’s important to consider the year, season and even day of the week that you would like to get married on. All of these factors can come in to play when looking at venue prices and availability.
If you have your heart set on a religious ceremony, you will need to consider this when you are choosing where to host your wedding as you will need a separate venue for your reception. If you are looking to have a civil ceremony, speak to each venue and check which of their rooms have a licence.
Nowadays, there is much more freedom when it comes to wedding ceremonies, blessings, and saying ‘I Do’ in a way that suits you. Be sure to do your research – and enlist the help of a wedding planner if you need any guidance.
These days, it’s almost inevitable that some of your guests will have to travel for your wedding. If this is the case for a large portion of your guests, I’d suggest having a look at the accommodation available at (or nearby) the venues you shortlist.
It’s also worth noting – if you’re making a weekend of your wedding and extending the celebrations over a couple of days, make sure that you have accommodation options available for you and your guests.
Different venues will have different processes when it comes to preferred suppliers. Often, they’ll ask that you choose from an approved approved list for caterers, production teams and sometimes more! If this is the case, check that the recommended suppliers align with the budget and style of your day. I’d also suggest asking each venue about their rules on alcohol, and whether they charge a corkage fee.
If you’re looking for more freedom, it may be best to choose a venue without a preferred suppliers list OR if you’d like to completely take the reins, why not go for a marquee wedding?
If you are looking for guidance and support with the planning of your big day, get in touch to have a chat about how I am able to help!