Recently engaged? You're likely wondering where on earth to start with your wedding planning and the simple answer is - with your venue!
Finding the right wedding venue in the UK can feel like a daunting task, deciding between country and city spaces, style and importantly, budget means couples can often miss some other key areas to explore when venue hunting. So, with over 4 years experience in working within a multitude of different wedding venues across the UK, we've rounded up our top tips for visiting venues and the essential questions to ask when you do.
Step 1: Choosing the right space for your wedding.
Before you begin your search, it's really important to take a moment to decide what's most important for you with your venue requirements, some key areas to consider include:
Exclusivity - Are you planning on a wedding weekend or a short and sweet event? City venues will often have much shorter hire times (including setup and breakdown times - more on this later...) whereas more rural locations, such as barns and marquees in private gardens, will give you more time and greater flexibility.
Access + Accommodation - In a similar vein, looking at your guest list and their requirements could influence your decision; if you have friends and family travelling from overseas then it's worth taking into consideration how accessible transport and accommodation is. City locations will have more in the way of hotels and public transport links, whilst countryside venues may be more restricted (although it's worth checking out any camping/ glamping offerings!)
Budget - Essentially, your wedding venue will likely take up the biggest part of your budget. Whilst city weddings can sometimes appear to come at a premium, there can be a misconception around how cost-effective marquee weddings actually are. Bringing in the infrastructure for catering, heating, light and décor can quickly add up, so if you are feeling a little more restricted by your budget then it could be worth exploring existing venues and the packages they offer.
Step 2: Questions to ask when you visit a wedding venue.
On the subject of venue offerings, it's valuable to explore what is actually included in each venue's packages when looking around, here are some of the best questions to take with you when viewing a venue for the first time:
What's included? Staffing, light and sound equipment, parking, heaters, cooking facilities (if dry-hire) and even certain decorations such as furniture and plants could already by included as part of the hire.
What's the rental period? When can you and your suppliers get in to setup and how long have you got to break-down/ collect the next day? Take in to consideration that a venue that requires a late-night get out could mean additional staffing costs for you.
Is there a recommended/ exclusive use supplier list? Many venues will offer a curated list of recommended suppliers, however some will require you to use their own bar or catering companies; explore those quotes as much as you can as well as checking that the style and offerings of those suppliers is what you're looking for.
Are there restrictions to consider? Capacity, fireworks, confetti, candles and noise are some of the essential restrictions to nail down before you book.
Searching for your dream wedding venue should be one of the most exciting parts of your planning, so hopefully these tips will mean you can make a decision that's perfect for you. If you're still feeling wedding-venue overwhelm then why not get in touch with us at Foil, so we can help you find and create the ultimate wedding experience.
Happy venue hunting!