05 Jan 2017
5 Things Every Engaged Couple Need to Know Before Booking a Wedding Venue
Recently engaged and looking to plan the perfect big day? In order to do so you are of course going to need to find the perfect venue, but before beginning your search and in order to locate the perfect venue there are a number of issues you will need to cover – and rather handily, here are all five of them.
- How Much Do You Have to Spend on a Venue?
First and foremost, what is your budget? If you cannot instantly answer that question, doing so should be at the top of yours and your partner’s wedding ‘to do’ list. Fortunately, this isn’t a question you need to face alone; the internet is awash with wedding budget calculators and planning guides, such as the ones freely available to use and listed via the Wedding Ideas Mag website. Hence, there really is no excuse to get this wrong, and no magic quick fix to put it right either if you do get it wrong, it is worth remembering.
Further, and in case the point needs emphasising even more, many wedding venue providers, including award winning Lake District Country Hotels who offer three separate luxury Lake District based venues, also offer wedding clients potentially fantastic deals, meaning that you cannot always rely on a face value price or one quoted via a website to be the actual price you will pay. For this reason, it is imperative you have a firm idea of your budget in case, when speaking with a potential venue, they suddenly spring a deal on you or attempt to haggle. This could, after all, enable you to secure your dream venue(s) at an affordable price. Meanwhile, failure to know your numbers could cost you that dream venue…or decimate your budget.
- How Many Venues are You Splitting Your Budget and Day Between?
One aspect of finding a great wedding venue that can very easily and significantly complicate the process is when you can’t decide what you are looking for or whether you wish to hold a ceremony in one place (for example a church) and then the reception and after party in a separate venue.
Hence, this is the ideal opportunity for you and your partner to sit down and discuss the matter openly and honestly. Is there a church that matters to one or both of you? Do either of you have your heart set on holding your big day in a single location? Ahead of beginning your search it is imperative that you have a firm idea of what you want. This will tailor your search, save you a lot of time and stress and make the experience a far more organised and enjoyable one.
To read more about some of the major pros and cons of opting for an all-in-one venue over two, or more, the Top Wedding Questions article: Ceremony & Reception In the Same Place features a wealth of advice from married couples, readers, bridal experts and planners which you might find helpful.
- Do You Require the Venue to Cover Catering?
Another factor that will affect your budget and the amount you set aside for a venue is whether you intend to hire a venue that provides catering or sort this yourself. Perhaps you have a caterer in mind, a relative has offered to step in and cover this for you or you simply cannot find a venue you like that can provide the cuisine or catering you have your heart set on?
Whatever the case, this is a matter you will need to explore before looking at venues, discuss with your partner ahead of beginning a venue search and which will also go in some length to tailor your search as well.
Meanwhile, and further, for couples already feeling overwhelmed by all that needs organising, planning for, sorting, discussing and dealing with, one great way to instantly solve this issue is to look at venues that offer ceremony, catering, reception and after party packages, as well as potentially offering accommodation for you and your partner and perhaps guests as well.
- Have You Decided Whether to Factor in an Open Bar?
An open bar is not something the majority of Brits opt to go for. Aside from not being able to afford to provide one, it has just never been ‘very British’. Etiquette, not only concerning weddings but more generally, here in the UK wags a stern finger at any behaviour which could possibly be inferred as extravagant or ‘showy’. Hence, it is perfectly acceptable and in many cases far more advisable not to even fork out for an open bar and instead simply provide every guest with a complimentary flute of champagne to raise during the toasts and speeches.
That said, open bars are becoming more popularly opted for as part of UK weddings. Why though does it matter to decide whether to have on before beginning a venue search, after all any venue which features a bar (which is almost always a prerequisite at a British wedding) is surely going to be fine with offering either a cash or open bar, right? This is true, yes. Then, it is not strictly speaking necessary to decide whether to offer an open bar ahead of beginning a venue search. That said, it is advisable.
An open bar is going to eat up a sizable chunk of your budget which will in turn directly affect the amount you have to spend on a venue. For this reason, and only this reason, it is prudent to decide whether you will be offering a cash or open bar. To help you make that decision, ahead of doing so it is worth reading the advice featured in the Heart Love Always wedding planning article: Open Bar vs. Cash Bar.
- Do You or Any of Your Guests Require Special Consideration?
Are any of your guests vegetarian, have food allergies or diagnosed celiac? Are any of your guests disabled or do any experience limited mobility? Do you have blind or deaf guests? Does anyone set to attend have any medical conditions which could be triggered or exacerbated by, for example, strobe lighting?
These are only some of the most obvious and common issues couples must work out and cover ahead of picking a venue, at least if you want your big day to be a perfect one. You might even face a guest who wishes to bring their dog(s) along. Who knows? What is known though is that a wedding day with missing loved ones, loved ones suffering to be there or worse yet that end in potential medical emergencies are never going to described as the best day of anyone’s life.
Therefore, ahead of looking at venues, make sure to ask guests to let you and your partner know of anything that they might need to tell you so you can find the perfect venue. When sending out the announcement and well ahead of sorting invites which will of course need to feature the venue location is the ideal time to ask guests. Some guests might be reluctant to mention potential issues due to feeling they are inconveniencing you both. Consequently, ensure to tell guests that the day won’t be perfect without them there. Not only is this likely to make them more confident about being honest with you, it is also just nice to remind your nearest and dearest how much they mean to you both.