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The Perfect Wedding Venue

WHAT KIND OF VENUE ARE YOU LOOKING FOR? Traditional venues such as hotels and country houses dominate the wedding market and with their set packages, Most are well rehearsed at holding weddings. There are a host of non-traditional venues out there: from art galleries, museums and theatres to restaurants, pubs, boats, barns and firehouses. There are some real hidden gems that can be worth the extra effort to find, so don’t limit your options to all the usual suspects. Often these quirkier venues offer a lot more flexibility, as they are not so set in their wedding ways. You also have the option having a marquee wedding, which gives you ultimate flexibility in terms of décor and styling but bear in mind it really is a blank canvas so everything from tables and chairs to lighting, flooring and more may need to be hired in.

WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM YOUR WEDDING VENUE?Decide what your priorities are for your venue and then create a spreadsheet that lists all these important points, allowing you to keep track of each venue’s suitability as you do your research. Do an online search and start with a long list of venues you like the look of in your chosen geographical area before contacting them for further information. You’ll be able to start narrowing down your search right away as you go through your list, considering: – How many guests can it hold? – Are there different capacities for different rooms? – Can you have your ceremony and reception there? – Will there be onsite accommodation for your guests? – How does the pricing structure work? – Is it based on room hire, price per head, minimum spend or are there set packages? – Check exactly what is included for the price and what you’re getting for your money. (Ask whether you can upgrade at any point.) – Is the catering in-house or is there an approved caterers list? – Do you have a choice in which suppliers you can use? -Are there any sample menus you can look at and how do their menu tasting sessions work? – Is there plenty of natural light or will dark conditions make it tricky for your photographer? – Will you need to hire in any extra lighting? – Is there plenty of outdoor space? – How easy is it to access by public transport? – Is there plenty of parking? – What chairs and tableware will you use? (If they’re not to your taste, you might want to consider hiring in your own.) – If you’re not choosing exclusive use, check how many other weddings are likely to take place on the same day/weekend as yours. – What are the staff numbers for service on the day? There’s nothing worse than slow service! – What are your bar options and can you see a bar pricelist? – Can you supply your own beverages and will there be a corkage charge? – When can you get in and out of the venue to give access to your suppliers on the day of the wedding? – Are there any particular restrictions such as the use of confetti or candles?

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