Hello there my lovely brides to be!
I’m guessing if you’re reading this post you have finally set the date for your big day *pops virtual champagne*, but if your struggling, take a look at my blog post about setting that right date here
Now then, if you have set your date for the wedding then you know the next big milestone is the venue. How exciting!
I recently booked my wedding venue therefore I feel your pain in choosing one. But after going through this process I am here to help and provide you with some hints and tips of what you need to be thinking about when choosing your venue.
1. Firstly decide your budget. I can hear you sigh when I talk about the dreaded “B” word however its really important that you know your budget. Are you prepared to spend £20k on the venue or are you happy with spending just £5K? Have this clear in your mind and choose your venues accordingly.
2. Once the budget is decided then narrow down your venues. I would recommend that you look in your area first. If your having a Gurdwara wedding like me in the morning , I knew that the venue needs to be near to the Gurdwara. I think people these days are prepared to travel up to an hour to get to the reception but anything over that then you may need to consider your options. Perhaps you could have the reception the day after? So make a list of all the venues that you like the look of online or you attended a recent wedding and make a shortlist.
3. Then look online to see if they can hold the capacity of your guests. For example for my wedding I knew that the guest list would exceed 500 people on the day therefore if I saw a venue online I liked but couldn’t hold that many guests then it didn’t make it to the final cut. If you do it this way then you won’t be wasting your time ringing the venue or even worse going to view it and then being disappointed.
4. Once you have made your shortlist call the venue and ask if your wedding date is free, if so the arrange a viewing of the venue. However its important to ask the below questions so you get a clear idea of what you are getting for your budget and if there are any hidden charges.
If your venue exceeds the capacity of your guests (only by a little) what is their policy? Would their be an extra charge and how is this worked out. This is vital for an Asian wedding as a lot of us don’t ask for RSVP’s therefore its important to have a back up plan to accommodate extra guests.
Are outside caterers allowed? This was a biggie for me. I wanted my chosen caterers for the wedding and I didn’t want the venue caters. However this will be different for say bigger venues in London where they will have their list of preferred caterers and these will be good quality reputable caterers. However in my case in would have been their in house chef which was a total no go for me
Corkage fee – this is another hidden charge which gets overlooked. Some venues will charge a corkage fee for each alcoholic bottle that will be placed on the table. Now if you imagine that at a Sikh wedding like mine there will lots of alcoholic (Sikh traits), therefore if that’s an additional £15 per table say times 30 tables that’s a whopping £450 just for the privilege. Therefore make sure you ask the question. And also take into consideration that not everyone at the wedding will drink alcohol. For example at my wedding there is 30/70 split as I know the older guests and women wont drink, so make sure you take this into consideration. Also enquire if you can supply your own alcohol or if the caterer can provide this as this will normally be more cost effective rather than the venue supplying it.
You need to also ask what’s included in the price – is it just room hire or does it include linen, crockery and event staff? What about toilet attendants? Make sure you also ask if they have a onsite kitchen as this will be really important for your caterers.
Also ask about the timings. Will it be available from early morning allowing your suppliers to set up and also ask what time does it end.
- Who will actually be here on the day? Is there an in-house wedding coordinator? If there is a coordinator, will they be there for the duration of the reception?
- Do you have a policy of only one wedding per day?
I hope this post helped you with your venue selection and I would love to hear what you think! Simply comment below.
Until next time…