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Choosing your Wedding Venue
Choosing your Wedding Venue

13 January 2020

We were lucky with our wedding venue. A year or so before our wedding, my wife and I were invited to a celebration dinner at the Grim’s Dyke, Old Redding. We fell in love with the place, and choosing our wedding venue proved to be ‘no contest’.

There are those who may get a helping hand from other people’s recommendations, but most have to start from a blank slate.

That usually means trawling through websites. Naturally, the pictures are flattering and the descriptions are tantalising, but don’t rely on those alone.

Contact the wedding planner by phone or (less good) e-mail. You’ll have questions, and they should be able to answer them. If the answers don’t meet your needs or wishes, then go elsewhere.

Questions

However, if possible, make an appointment and pay a visit.

That way, you’ll meet the planner and get a feel for them. Obviously, you need to know if the date you want is available.

Are they going to be with you on the day, or will somebody unknown take over? Does the planner seem willing to listen to your vision and plans? Do they seem excited?

What will you get for your money? Does the price seem extortionate? (More on costs later.) What are the payment terms?

Can the planner recommend a celebrant (if that’s what you want)? Can you see the room(s) you’ll be using?

You will probably want to discuss refreshments, catering and service, as well as eventuality-planning (what happens if the weather is bad?).

Decisions

You must follow your head (if you have a strict budget, then you may have to reject the venue), but you must always follow your heart. If you arrive at a venue and both love it (like we did with the Grim’s Dyke), then go for it. Don’t select a place just because you can afford it. This is probably going to be the biggest day of your life, so the venue and atmosphere is very important. You will want to remember the day for the rest of your lives, so the memory will have to be highly positive!

Money

If you feel that you can’t afford the price, there are some strategies you can try. Why not suggest hiring the venue Monday-Thursday? Those can be quieter times, and the planner will be glad to fill the place then.

Equally, if you go for a date that is outside the peak summer (and Xmas and Valentine’s Day), you may also be able to negotiate with the planner. Same reasons. And hiring the place for the afternoon, rather than the evening, may bring down the price.

If you don’t ask, you’ll never find out!

So, see what you can do – you may be able to secure a bargain! At all events, make sure you both absolutely want to marry there.

For further suggestions, feel free to contact me.

Author:

Michael Gordon can help prepare and conduct a tailor-made civil ceremony in or around London or, indeed, in Europe. Telephone me now on +44 (0)7931 538487 or contact me directly by e-mail.

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