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What you need to know about finding a wedding venue

The question has been popped, the engagement party is over, and now the fun starts; planning your perfect wedding. As thrilling as this process is, it can also be extremely daunting. There are many big decisions you need to make, as well as hundreds of smaller ones.

Choosing a venue is one of the more significant decisions, and the considerations will vary from couple to couple. If your wedding reception will be in a location different to the ceremony, for example, proximity will hold more gravitas. Whereas if you are planning on combining your ceremony venue with your reception venue, you may be more interested in finding a place with a hotel either on site or nearby.

Not to worry, though. We are here to help with answers to common questions asked by engaged couples searching for a wedding venue.

How important is the wedding venue?

The ceremony, the food, and the venue are three things that most spring to mind when guests reminisce about a wedding. Not only that, but the wedding venue you choose will also have a direct impact on:

  • The date of your wedding
  • The number of guests invited
  • Your vendors
  • The decor
  • Your wedding budget

If you are hoping to combine your wedding ceremony and reception at the same location, this decision will be even more crucial.

How long before a wedding should you book the venue?

It is highly recommended that you aim to book your wedding venue for nine months to a year in advance. It can take a few weeks to outline everything you want, research a few different locations and visit these; so you really want to start thinking about this a year or 14 months before your wedding day.

What makes a great wedding venue?

Once again, the scale of how ‘great’ a wedding venue is will vary from couple to couple. A great wedding venue will suit:

  • The numb of guests you are inviting
  • The theme of your wedding: you don’t want your barn-themed wedding to be hosted in a manor house
  • The location and accessibility for guests

How long does it take to look at a wedding venue?

When it comes to visiting potential venues, you can expect tours to take approximately 45 minutes to an hour and include a consultation. Tours of larger properties, such as farms and estates, can take an hour or two longer. When booking your appointment, ask how long the entire consultation will last.

Most people pay attention to the property during the tour, envisioning themselves on their special day, with the space dressed to their theme. But we also recommend that you pay close attention to the consultant and staff on-site. Your wedding day should be an enjoyable experience without any stress. This is the perfect opportunity for your consultant to show that they can manage your wedding day so that you won’t have to worry about a thing.

What questions do you ask when visiting a wedding venue?

Take a list of questions to the initial tour to gauge how good a match the property is with what you envision for your big day. You will, no doubt, have some specific questions, but there are also some standard questions you should ask the wedding consultant at every property you visit:

1. Ask the consultant to run through a general wedding day: The flow of a wedding is essential, and that is the responsibility of the venue hosting your wedding. You don’t want any long pauses or delays, especially if this is coming right before the meal!

2. How long will the room transformation take? This is most important if your ceremony and reception are in the same space. However, you will also want to ask how long it will take between guests arriving and food being served, the approximate time between the meal ending and the evening entertainment beginning etc.

3. Request details about the lighting: The last thing you want are dark or shadowed photographs of a day that you will only experience once. What sort of lighting can they provide during the evening? And does this fit with your vision of the day?

4. What is not permitted at the venue? Every wedding venue will have a list of things that are not allowed for one reason or another. Whether that be no candles due to risk of fire, or forbidding confetti because of the wildlife on site. It is crucial to know what you can’t do as well as what you can do.

How much should you spend on a wedding venue?

This is a common question, but a difficult one to answer. That is because weddings differ so drastically. How many guests are invited? Are you hosting the ceremony and reception in the same place? Sit-down meal or buffet? Are you bringing in your own caterers, room dressers etc.? All of these will impact your budget.

Last year, UK couples spent, on average, £6,000 on their venue. But that doesn’t offer insight into whether this is for the same type of wedding that you are planning.

Our advice is to shop around as early as possible to get an idea of how much you will have to budget for your dream venue and then incorporate this into your overall wedding budget.

Nailcote Hall has three wedding suites accommodating a variety of party sizes, with packages starting from £2,900.

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