I received my ring last November and it took me until March this year for the news to finally sink in and to begin the hunt for the perfect venue. I wish some one had written me a simple guide to the venue hunt. We found that by the time we had looked at the first few, there were snippets of information that we were now wise too that we had no idea to ask about in our earlier viewings! So here it is, my guide on how to find the perfect wedding venue:
TOP TIP – Narrow it down! There are over 3,000 licensed premises in Essex alone and you physically cannot view them all! Use a venue directory where you can find a list of all your local venues in one place and choose a maximum of 10 to view. I found www.hitched.co.uk among the best or for something more local I liked www.celebrateinessex.co.uk.
TIP TWO – Don’t just go on the photos! Videographers, couples and venues alike, all like to share wedding videos on www.youtube.co.uk or www.vimeo.com. You can tell a lot more about a venue and really get a feel for it from a video so kick back with some popcorn and let the tears roll!
AT THREE – Go to your viewings prepared. Ideally I would say try not to view more than two or three in one day. It is easy to let the details blur after a visit so you don’t want to cram them in too much! Take a camera and photograph everything to remind yourself later. Have a list of questions to ask and write down the answers. Make sure you have discussed what you really want from your day before you arrive so that you can ask about the important stuff early doors! Finally, agree a couple of code words. It is not easy to say to your partner in front of a tour guide exactly how you are feeling so have a code where you can communicate your initial thoughts subtly! We found to narrow it down to one ‘winner’ per outing helped with the process and then you just have to pick between the ‘winners’ as you go!
FOUR – Don’t forget to enjoy it! This is your one special day and it is very easy for this process to become a bit of a mission and even a bit down heartening if you don’t like what you see consistently. Keep happy – your dream venue is there somewhere – you just have to find ‘the one’!
FIVE – Fall in love with your venue in the same way that you fell in love with your partner! If it doesn’t make your heart sing, it’s not the right venue for you.
SIX – I cannot tell you what you need to ask as you will have your own agenda for the day but a few key questions for us were:
“How many guests can attend the ceremony and wedding breakfast?”
“How many guests can join us in the evening?”
“Are there options for the ceremony (indoors and out) or is it just the one licensed room available?”
“Do I have to provide my own catering?”
“Where is the bar in relation to the dance floor?”
“Can we have fireworks?”
“Do we have to use your suppliers or can we source our own?”
So after much deliberation, I can now reveal that our winner was…….
The beautiful and amazing Gosfield Hall of course!
So venue booked – next stop ‘Save the Dates’!
Laura at Country House Weddings