Hever Castle – Kent www.hevercastle.co.uk/venue-hire/weddings/
You’re now entering one of the most magical times of your life; engagement, excitement and lots of planning.
One of the earliest decisions you’ll make around your wedding is choosing the wedding venue. Once you have the wedding venue booked; everything else can flow in your own time – from picking your bridesmaids to deciding colour themes and choosing your song playlist.
It may be that you’ve always had in mind a particular venue; one that’s special to you, your partner or family, an obvious choice due to location or simply somewhere you’ve always loved.
But for many bride and grooms to be; the venue search is the most important and initially daunting, decision that must be made.
As wedding events and entertainment specialists, we are privileged to have worked across Surrey, London and the Home Counties in virtually every single fantastic wedding venue there is; from the most prestigious and grand, to contemporary and chic and small, intimate and traditional. It’s true to say, that when it comes to venue finding; we’re actually pretty well placed to offer advice. We know the facilities; the technical challenges; the wedding teams; the layouts and the assets of all these venues. But even more than that, we’ve worked with scores of brides and grooms and have something of a sixth sense and instinct in understanding the kind of venue that will suit them, their budget, their aspirations, their families and their personalities.
But what factors do you need to consider when selecting a venue?
Here’s our ten top tips
1. Are you getting married in a religious setting or registry office before moving your guests onto your party venue for the reception? If so, then proximity may play a part. It really depends on how you intend people to travel between the two, and how far you are comfortable to have in terms of distance.
2. Are looking to get married at the venue in a Civil Ceremony as well as hold the reception there? If so, you’ll need to pick a venue with a licence and ensure you are happy with the room or outside area as this is the most important part of the day. A surprising number of interesting venues now hold marriage licences, so you’ll find you have lots of options.
3. How many guests are you likely to be inviting? Many venues have a threshold and this can really catch people out. You may initially assume you’ll have a certain number. But when you sit down and work it out you discover that you both want to invite work colleagues, and mysterious relatives suddenly come out the woodwork as essential guests of your parents, and your guest list becomes significantly longer than you think.
4. What time of year do you want to get married? Summer – obviously there are many stunning venues where the grounds are the biggest asset. Winter wedding? You may prefer a boutique/chic style venue that’s all about the inside not the outside, so that you don’t even have to think about the weather.
5. What kind of wedding did you and your partner have in mind? Small, intimate, romantic? In which case a beautiful cosy barn in a lovely village may suit you. A big bash to give your friends the party of their lives? Then consider a large function room where you can furnish it with decorative touches; photobooths; funky dance floors; live performers – the works.
6. Budget. Be realistic but also be flexible and create a list that incorporates an estimate of everything you may need. If your heart is set on a venue but it’s beyond the budget; you may want to consider a different day of the week to a Saturday, or a less popular time of year. You may also be surprised at the number of ‘hidden gem’ wedding venues that offer an equally awesome wedding experience and setting; but at a lesser price than some of the very oversubscribed and well-known venues.
7. Do you want guests and indeed you, to be able to stay over at the wedding; to save the money and hassle of finding alternative accommodation and organising transport home? If so; you’ll need to look at hotels; but this may also rule out some superb venues that have everything you’re looking for but will require a short journey elsewhere at the end of the night.
8. Will you be inviting children; or having a more grown up style party? This may influence the choice of venue.
9. Do you wish to get married within a certain time frame? Many wedding venues are booked up to two years ahead. You may need to manage your expectations if you have your sights set on a highly popular venue; and if you must get married within a certain timeframe; think outside the box and look at less oversubscribed options.
10. Generally speaking; what’s most important to you and your partner? The setting and scenery? The prestigious nature/reputation of the venue? The quality of the food? The ability to have a blank canvas and personalise the wedding as much as possible? Ease for you and guests in having everything in one place? A wow factor/something different and unusual? Deciding on your priorities will help narrow down your search.
For many brides and grooms we work with, venue finding is a huge challenge at the beginning of their wedding planning process.
But help is at hand!
As DJs and events specialists, we can help with venue finding. Armed with information about you, your requirements, preferences, vision and dreams; we have the contacts and the knowledge to advise you on the venues we believe will suit you perfectly.
Want to find out more?
Contact us for help and look out for our County Wedding Venue Guides where we’ll reveal some of the best venues around.
From the DJ2K team – congratulations and good luck!