You’re probably starting to find that there is a never ending list of venues you could possibly chose! By the time you’ve scrolled through Instagram, signed up to Hitched and Bridebook, had a quick Google and possibly some input from friends and family you’ll probably either have a very long list or feel more confused than excited! According to Bridebooks UK Wedding Report 2022 couples on average look at 15 venues online and visit 3 in person before booking one. So how to get from the 15 to the 3 top contenders? To help narrow your long list down to a short list here’s 5 questions to run through.
Before we dive in I wanted to introduce myself – I’m Jen, and I run the wedding barns at our family farm in North Yorkshire. It’s me who will show you around on your tour of the barns, and I’ll be on hand to help with every question you have along your wedding planning journey, from how long the tables are to picking the cars up the morning after your wedding. So lets get narrowing down!
1. Non Negotiables
Before you book a tour of a wedding venue it’s a great idea to think of anything which is a non negotiable for you, things you absolutely must have at your wedding. This could be a certain street food caterer or that you need to get married in the summer holidays because you’re a teacher. Whatever it is check the venues you like can cater for that so you can focus on only the ones who can.
2. Wedding Ceremony
The reason you’re here! Is it important to you to get legally married at the venue? Have you always wanted to get married in a church? If you’ve strong preferences here check with the venues whether they’re licensed for civil ceremonies or if there’s a local church.
Visiting the venues which fit within your price range is a good way to remove a lot of stress from organising your wedding – that way you won’t fall in love with something which is going to stretch you financially and take some of the joy out of planning your amazing day. As a rough guide a venue generally accounts for around a third of your wedding cost, with catering another third and everything else (photography, flowers, dress) the final third. Check what is included for the price, if there’s any added extras and that the price includes VAT – it can be a nasty surprise if they don’t! Quick tip – if you love a venue but you feel it would stretch your budget too much then make sure to check their prices for different months and days of the week – there is often a big difference depending on the season and if you’re happy to be flexible you may get venue you want and still have some pennies left for a honeymoon!
Try to shortlist venues that match your tastes, align with your vision and matches the aesthetic you have in mind. Everything from the pictures to the communication from the venue will give a feel for what the venue is like in terms of aesthetics and what its going to feel like to get married there. A good tip is to shortlist venues which reflect you as a couple – if you’re relaxed and chilled look at barn venues, if you’re super creative check out venues which allow you to do all the decoration yourself, if you love tradition check out stately homes. If you feel at home at a venue you’ll be more relaxed and able to enjoy your wedding day.
5. Location, location, location
Logistics aren’t the most important part of wedding planning but they can make your day run smoothly. When looking at location consider how easy is it for guests to get there (where is the nearest train station, main roads or airport if guests are coming from abroad) and what accommodation there is on site or locally for them to say in. If you want to get married in a local church then consider how long the travel between the church and venue is – you don’t want the best day of your life taken up sat in the car!