Sunday, 15 January 2012

Tips for visiting wedding venues

There are so many great wedding venues in Yorkshire and it is very easy to get carried away with the excitement of it all when you are visiting them.  I like to think of it as similar to buying a house - you do need to fall in love with it, but you also need to look at it objectively.  So here are some tips on things to ask and look at when you are visiting wedding venues:

  1. Try and visit venues when they are actually set up or at least in the process of being set up for a wedding as this makes it much easier to visualise what it will look like.  If this is not possible ask to see photos of what it will look like
  2. Check very carefully what is and isn't included in the price - for example chair covers, dance floor, MC, coffee after the meal, are there any extras thrown in (such as a DJ).  Also check if there are minimum numbers for a day, if applicable is there any supplement / minimum spend for getting married in season / Saturdays and, if the venue is a hotel, must you guarantee a certain number of rooms
  3. If you really want to have candles, fireworks, a live band, Chinese lanterns or anything else a little unusual make sure to ask it this is OK
  4. If the venue is open to the public, check which areas will exclusively be yours
  5. Ensure you walk through your day and see all areas you will use - for example where will the civil service be, your drinks reception, where are photos usually take, the wedding breakfast, your evening reception and any other areas you can use (for example a separate bar)
  6. Ask what contingency there is if the weather is bad - where can you have your drinks reception, is it big enough?  This is particularly important if you have a civil ceremony and wedding breakfast happening in the same room
  7. Is their a separate area away from the the dance floor for people to sit and talk - this is particularly important if you have older guests who may want to come to your evening reception but not be in the same room as the music
  8. Look at the toilets!!  This is something my mother taught me - you can often tell a lot about the place by state of the toilets.  Just think, you're probably going to have to go in there in your beautiful dress, will you want to do that if they are unclean and unloved?!
  9. If you will be staying at your venue ask to see the hotel rooms - both ones you could use and ones your guests will use 
  10. Ask whether there are any major building works going to be done between now and when you are getting married.  If there are, this can be either a positive or a negative.  If they are going to be completed in plenty of time for your wedding then you might be getting a better venue than you were expecting.  However, if there's a risk you might be getting married on a building site or that changes you want won't be ready you'll really want to give it some careful thought.
  11. On a similar note you might also want to ask if any decor will be changed - this is particularly important if you've fallen in love with the particular colour scheme of a room
  12. Check if there will be any other weddings happening on the same day.  This doesn't have to be a problem but if there is more than one wedding it is worth asking how the venue try and keep the weddings separate (do they have to be at different times, are they quite far apart, will areas of the venues not be accessible for you)
  13. If you can, take some photos so you have something to remember your visit by - this will help you compare venues later
  14. If possible it is quite a good idea to visit your venue outside of an arranged visit - for example go for a meal, stay over or just go for drink - this way you see how it really works!!
It really is is the most important decision you will take so if you want some help finding a venue and an objective set of eyes when you visit - a wedding planner could really help and it doesn't have to cost the earth.