One of the most common questions we get asked from newly engaged couples is ‘How do we choose our wedding venue?!’
Choosing the perfect wedding venue is the BIGGEST decision you’ll make when planning your wedding. It will impact every other decision you make - from the number of guests you can invite, to your suppliers to your wedding budget - so make sure it’s the right one! Whether you're recently engaged, or you have your dream venue in mind, our tips will be sure to help you secure a venue that you'll both love.
1. Get clear on your vision.
Before you even start browsing for venues and suppliers, get clear on what you’re looking for. It can be easy to get swept up in the wedding planning process, but it can also be overwhelming. Spend some time browsing Pinterest together, and pin items that you feel reflect your taste as a couple.
Try not to be led too much by what’s trendy at the moment - you might find you’re drawn to something completely different to the style you expected! Perhaps you thought you’d prefer a barn-style venue, but when you start browsing you’re drawn to industrial warehouses. Or perhaps you always dreamt of getting married abroad, but actually a cosy winter wedding in the countryside works better for you at the moment.
This should really help you get clear about what you’re drawn to, help you decide on a theme, and make the rest of the process a lot easier.
2. Think practically
Whilst we never advocate settling for somewhere less than perfect, it’s important to think practically too. You may want to get married near to where you live, in which case - GREAT! It will narrow down your venue search exponentially. However, if you’re looking further afield, be clear on the sacrifices you may have to make when doing so; it’ll be harder to get there if you want to go for meetings and menu tastings, and it may mean that certain guests cannot or choose not to attend.
It’s also important to be practical about budget; whilst everyone dreams of the perfect wedding, be realistic about what you can afford and make sure you have plenty of time to save. It’s likely that your final balance will be slightly more than your initial quote, so plan a contingency accordingly.
3. Scour instagram
Social media is GREAT when wedding planning - and it’s a tool that we use regularly to discover new suppliers. Once you’ve decided where you want to get married, search local hashtags, and get following local suppliers. This may be a slow process, but you’ll often find they share local venues that you might not have otherwise heard about, which can be really helpful when trying to discover somewhere you’ll love. Following venues you like on social media before you book is a great idea too - it’ll help you better judge their personality and style, as well as giving you the opportunity to see the venue dressed up in different ways.
4. Narrow it down
Once you’ve found venues online that you love, narrow it down to 3-4 key venues that you want to view in person. Be warned; whilst exciting, viewing venues is overwhelming. Generally wedding planners will do all they can to sell a venue to you, and it’s easy to loose sight of what you actually want. Go prepared with a list of questions and really suss out how the venues feels. Some will be more strict than others with what you can and can’t do, so it’s important to establish early on what limitations are in place before you make any big decisions.
We recommend only viewing one venue per day, and making sure you have a thorough debrief afterwards to discuss what you did and didn’t like.
Our wedding planners are experts in providing guidance and advice, and more importantly asking the right questions. We have a wealth of experience working with venues in London and the South East, so you can relax and be sure that your day will run exactly as planned.
5. Read reviews
We always recommend that you take customer reviews with a pinch of salt, however, if a large number of people are making the same comments, you might need to address your concerns with your wedding planner.
We totally get it if the most important thing to you is finding a venue that will look GREAT in pictures (Hey, no judgement here!). But, if the staff aren’t attentive enough, the food is cold, or your guests can’t get a drink at the bar, it will have a HUGE impact on everyone's enjoyment of the day.
6. Read the contract
We all know that weddings are expensive. Therefore, it’s CRUCIAL that you understand EXACTLY what you’re signing up for. Carefully check cancellation terms, and make sure you’re asking the right questions - before you sign on the dotted line.
Our team are experts when it comes to reading contracts, and will gladly talk you through all of the clauses, so you can relax knowing that we’ll take care of all the important details.
Planning a luxury wedding in London or the South East? Get in touch and our team would love to help make your perfect day a reality!