For some, this is one of the most exciting parts of the planning process. It certainly was for me! But for others, it can be stressful if you can’t find “the one”. Especially as the venue is essentially the important shell for your big day. I’m here to hopefully help!
Everyone has a different view of “perfect” and for me, it was really about gut feeling when I arrived at the venue and also the friendly staff. Yes, I really did get “THAT feeling” as we were driving up to it.
At first, I was quite overwhelmed with the amount of venues that you could view online, and the different ways they calculate the prices, their different offers. So I thought it would be useful to go through the steps that I eventually took to find my perfect venue.
- Set out the criteria of what you’re looking for
I would set less than 10 things that you definitely want the venue to cater for and this can help you sieve out the ones that you won’t need to see in person.
If you’re interested, I will list out our criteria that we had in mind when looking online before choosing a few to see in person.
- Location - it had to be close to all our relatives and friends
- Rough number of guests (150)
- Large Manor House
- Large, bright, open rooms
- Not too large so that the guests get lost on the day!
- Clean guest bedrooms
- Go on wedding venue sites (www.hitched.co.uk) and search venues by filtering by your criteria
So... as you can see from above, we didn’t have THAT much to ask for..!! Everyone will have different criteria but once you set that out, you can begin your search online! I started with www.hitched.co.uk and they allow you to filter venues by location and by type e.g castle, Manor House, barn
- Go on the all the websites of your short listed venues and request brochures to be posted to you
Have a look at their websites and get a feel of the venues and whether or not you can imagine your wedding taking place there. I would go through their photo gallery and look for the most photographic scenes! There’s no harm in ordering a brochure to see more photos and look through their price list.
- Go through the brochures with your fiancé and email the shortlisted ones
Now is the time to decide which venues you would like to see in person.
However, it is a good idea to email them before you visit them (especially if it may be a long drive) to confirm that they can actually cater for your numbers.
Another thing I would suggest would be to give them rough number of guests (as close as you possibly can) and request for a quoted price. That way, if it’s way out of your budget, it may be wise to not even visit it incase you fall in love with it!
- Visiting the venue
Keep in mind your criteria but also be flexible. It’s not impossible, but it’s rare that everything will be to your taste and liking so this is where you’ll have to compromise and evaluate how important it is to you.
I will have to do a separate post on visiting the venue as there is so much to say...
For now, I can tell you which venues I had short listed. We only went to see 4 before we found the one which was a huge relief!
These were all around the Hertfordshire/Essex area where I live.
Let me know if you want me to do pros and cons of each one of the ones I visited and why I chose my venue :-)
Wedding planning can be stressful but try and have as much fun as you can as you’ll only be doing this once!
Stay tuned for my next post where I talk about what questions to ask and what to look for when visiting the venues... obviously I’m no expert but I did learn a few things as I was going along!