Picking your venue
We are extremely lucky in the UK that we have so many different and interesting places that we can get married in. Castles, religious sites, lakes, forests, meadows and mountain tops.
Arley Hall, Northwich
Let me pose you some questions:
- Do you want a religious ceremony? If so, you will have to pick two – a place for the ceremony and then somewhere for the reception.
- Where in the world do you want to get married? Eg do you want to be close to your home? Does your family live on the South Coast and you want to be close to them?
- How many people do you want there and do they have any special needs?
- What budget do you have?
- Where do you want your pictures taken?
Quarry Bank Mill, Wilmslow
OK next steps...
Now that you have a vague location and some criteria it’s time to get some ideas on paper. So compose a list of the venues you think might meet your criteria. Some really useful resources for finding venues are:
At this stage it’s also useful to collate some rough estimates of costs and potential points that you like for each location.
Deansgate Locks, Manchester
Dig a little deeper...
It’s time to cut your long, vague list down to a handful. Look at each venues’ website and get a feel for things you like, the bits that suit your needs, the costs and the potential pitfalls. See if you can find some reviews on the likes of Trustpilot and Tripadviser.
Email the venues to see if they have any availability around when you want to get married.
Now you have a shortlist, make an appointment to go see their wedding planner and the venue. Wedding planners should be well organised and knowledgeable about how the venue adapts for a wedding. Find out what they “usually do” and see if it meets with what you want.
Go have dinner at the venue, taste the food, take in the atmosphere – is it all you hoped?
Go to their wedding fayres, have a walk round, chat with the suppliers, they may be able to provide answers to some of your questions or little insights you might not have thought about.
Hilltop Country House, Prestbury
Before you actually sign a contract or hand over any money, get yourself some decent wedding insurance. Read the policy and understand what you are covered for, specifically check if you are covered if the venue or a supplier goes into administration or that the wedding can’t proceed due to a family illness.
Quarry Bank Mill, Wilmslow
Understand what you are signing up for and the dates payments need to be made
All the venues will take a deposit on booking and the final payment will be due a certain number of days ahead of the wedding. If this overall booking fee is a large sum, they may require down payments as you get closer to the date.
Read the contract and understand the cancellation terms.
Don’t be scared of asking a question! There is no such thing as a stupid question. Also, this is likely to be one of the largest costs of your day and you don’t want any question marks hanging over you.