Nailing your wedding venue is perhaps one of the trickiest and most time consuming jobs of the whole planning process so while you're looking round trying to find something that fits your personal specifications, don't forget to also consider the list below, it could save you time and money and ensure that your dream wedding vision stays intact.
1. How much dressing does the venue need?
Dressing a venue is one of the most fun parts of planning a wedding, its an opportunity for you to put your own stamp on your day and create something amazing. But don't be fooled, those beautifully adorned ceremonies and receptions on Pinterest didn't dress themselves and they didn't come cheap. Even if you DIY a lot of stuff the materials are going to come at a price. Do think about how much dressing a venue needs before you book it and put an allowance in your budget for those items or for a wedding stylist to source and style it for you. Shameless plug, we style as well as plan!
2. Does your venue have preferred suppliers?
The venue is likely to be pretty upfront about this and let you know if they have a list of suppliers that you have to use. In most cases this tends to be caterers and sometimes florists and production companies for lighting and sound. Generally suppliers are on these lists because they're good and they've worked at the venue so they know it well, but if you've got your heart set on someone or something specific that isn't on the list the chances are you'll have to pay a fee to get them in and you'll need to factor that into your budget.
3. What do the chairs look like?
Yes I know this might sound a bit crazy and its probably not your first priority to think about chairs but trust us it makes a difference. You don't have to use the venue's chairs and you don't have to use chair covers. There are loads of great hire companies that offer a wide variety of different chairs that can really make or break the style you're trying to create.
If changing all the chairs is too pricy have a look at swapping out the seat pads. Here's an insider tip, most seat pads are stuck to the chair with velcro so they're easily removable. If you've got a venue with red seat pads that clashes horribly with your carefully thought out colour palette then swap them out for something more neutral like ivory. Obviously check with the venue first, but its a quick job for their staff and they're likely to have somewhere to store both seat pads and unused chairs.
4. Can you have a naked flame?
A lot of the historic buildings don't allow a naked flame, so if your mood board is covered in romantic pictures of candlelit ceremonies and dining you may want to rethink your style or venue. You can of course get battery operated candles which is one way round it if you're in love with the venue and still want to keep the candles.
5. How hot does the room get? Followed by, Can we open windows? And do you have fans?
We know the British summer doesn't have a great reputation but it does have its moments and even when it doesn't if you've got 80+ people in a room all eating, drinking and chatting, it's going to get warm. Be prepared for this and plan accordingly. Check that windows do open and perhaps don't seat people prone to the cold near them so you can have them open throughout. Find out if there are fans available as an additional precaution. They may be too noisy for speeches but they'll keep the air circulating during dinner and in any chill out areas you might have. It might not be something you'd usually have on your venue tick list but its worth considering that weddings can get warm and you might want to have a plan in place.