Unless your ceremony is taking place at home or in the back garden, you’re going to be looking to hire a venue. That’s something you should take seriously, as the atmosphere and facilities can make all the difference to (probably) the biggest day of your lives.

Starting the Search

You may be lucky, and either know from experience where you want the ceremony to take place or have recommendations from reliable acquaintances.

If not, decide on the area and also on your budget. Then go online and google in local wedding venues. The website will be a good starting point, because if the text and pictures fail to attract you, you’re on to a non-starter straight away! It’s so important that you feel the venue is right and is where you want to be married.

The Spadework

Make a list and arrange to visit the top three or so. Ensure you see the event planner, and be ready to ask questions.

You may want to know any of the following:

  • What availability do they have?
  • What exactly does the booking fee include?
  • Will the event planner be there on the day?
  • Can you bring in outside suppliers of your choice?
  • If outdoors, what arrangements are available if the weather is inclement?
  • Can you have the ceremony in one room and the reception in another?
  • Do they have tie-ins with registrars (ie will these come out to the venue)? [Not happening currently.]
  • Do they supply PA systems?
  • What cancellation processes do they have?
  • How and when do they expect to be paid?
  • What is the state of their Risk Assessment (bearing in mind current social distancing)?

The Decision

Provided that you love the venue and your questions have been answered satisfactorily, then go with it. If it is a little too expensive, you lose nothing by asking for a discount. It may well be cheaper, if you marry out of season, in the afternoon or on a weekday.

I always say, when choosing a celebrant or a venue, book the one you really want, even if it may mean allocating a little less money than you had planned to another service.

To discuss any of this, please contact Michael.