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Wedding Venues – Advice For ‘The Search’

So this month on the blog, we’re focusing on wedding venues. I just love beautiful, unusual and downright brilliant wedding venues and, over the years, I’ve picked up quite a lot of hints and tips that are definitely worth keeping in mind when you’re searching for ‘the one’. So, if you’re on the hunt for the perfect venue, here are a few things to think about.

Firstly, let me just say that selecting your wedding venue isn’t something to be rushed. It can be really tempting, especially when you’re told that a venue only has a few dates available, to sign on the dotted line before your head has caught up with your heart. It’s so important to be absolutely sure that the venue is the right one for your before you commit yourself, especially when the venue is likely to be the biggest cost you have. Ask the venue is they can hold the date for 24 or 48 hours, just to give you time to think everything through properly.

Now you’ve got time to take a breath, let’s go back to the beginning…

 

Wedding venue advice. Images of Hedsor House by Amanda Karen Photography

 

Do your research

You can start the process of deciding on a venue before you even visit. Do you receive prompt and friendly replies to your enquiry? Is the venue treating you like an individual rather than just sending you a standard reply? If you’ve asked any questions in your enquiry, have they taken the time to answer them? All these things are worth keeping in mind.

Then, hit social media and check out your prospective venue there too. Have they got a Facebook page that’s full of positive comments? Do the images they share on Instagram have a style that you like? How do they interact with comments on Twitter? In short, do they look like the kind of people that you’d trust?

Prepare a list of questions for your venues before you visit so that you can be sure that you get the information that you need. For example, if you’ve got food allergies or guests with special needs, you’ll want to check how the venue manages these. If you know you want a late party or certain entertainment, check the venue allows this.

 

Wedding Venue Advice - urban wedding venue Drake and Morgan. Images by Amanda Karen Photography

 

Making the most of your showround

Once you’ve decided that a venue looks hopeful, it’s time to book your showround and this is a really important trip. First impressions and gut reactions are always worth paying attention to so don’t ignore these!

On your showround, make sure that you’re shown:

 

  • All the options for your ceremony room (if applicable)
  • All the options for your drinks reception (especially check the inside space that you might have to use in the event of bad weather)
  • All the options for your dinner
  • All the options for your evening reception
  • The bar area/s
  • Guest accommodation
  • The bridal suite
  • Gardens/outside spaces
  • Any other areas that are important to you (perhaps a spa or other facilities/spaces that you might have seen in the venue’s brochure)

 

Now’s also the time to ask all the questions that you thought of before your visit and if anything crops up on the showround that you’re not sure about, ask! Try not to leave the showround with unanswered questions. Confirm the venue’s availability, pricing (make sure their quote includes VAT to avoid a nasty surprise!) and payment terms before you say goodbye.

 

Wedding Venue Advice - That Amazing Place Essex Wedding Venue. Images by Amanda Karen Photography

 

Following up and signing up!

After your showround, definitely follow up with the venue within the agreed timescale, particularly if they’ve ‘held’ a date for you.

If you’ve decided that the venue isn’t the one for you, do let them know. It’s only fair to them and potentially to other couples who might be interested in your date.

However, if you’ve decided that YES, this is the venue for you then it’s time to request booking forms, contracts and terms and conditions. Again, read through these (and then read them again!) before you sign up. The venue’s terms and conditions will contain details about access times, prohibited items, timescales for payment, damage deposits and a whole host of information that you absolutely have to know. Only sign when you’re happy and, if you’re not, speak to your venue.

 

Destination Wedding Venue Advice. Italian castle wedding venue images by Amanda Karen Photography

 

Once your venue is booked, your date is confirmed and everything is in order, it’s time to celebrate – your wedding now has a home! How exciting!

For the rest of the month we will be sharing inspiration, tip and even talking to the lovely Emma from Coco Wedding Venues so don’t forget to stop popping back.

Until next time,

Amanda x

 

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