Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Tips for finding the perfect wedding venue

  • ·        First of all you need to decide what means the most to you and your fiancée. Draw up a shortlist and prioritise them into categories ‘Must have’, ‘needed but can compromise’ and ‘would be nice but not a necessity’  . Be flexible about your choice of wedding venue, you’re more likely to find a better deal if your open minded.
  • ·         Search for wedding venues online, you can cover more distance and most venues have their brochure on the website this will give you something to compare and add to short list.
  • ·         Draw up a shortlist of potential wedding venues, check availability, then make an appointment to visit. Popular wedding venues will be busy at weekends, especially during peak wedding season so make sure you book in advance or make yourselves available week days.
  • ·         Have a few dates in mind just in case your first venue choice is not available. If the venue owner is keen to fill the space, you might be able to negotiate a discount on your wedding venue. Think of dates that are significant to you both as a couple date you meet, first date, first kiss, date or time he proposed.
  • ·         Make a wedding mood-board or scrap book so you can both get a vision of what you want your wedding to look like so you can keep this in mind when visiting venues.
  • ·         Visit different wedding venues and spend time looking around. Have a look at portfolios of other people’s weddings; see how this venue matches your wedding vision, style and feel.
  • ·         Make sure you know how many people will be in attendance including yourselves! It sounds obvious but make sure the room is large enough to accommodate your guest list. The space may look huge when it's empty, but do not underestimate the  amount of  space needed for  the wedding essentials ie  tables, chairs, a buffet, a bar, the band or DJ setup, the dance ample room on floor . Not to mention your guests will need some elbow room. The best way to assess the size of a site? Ask to come and view the venue when another wedding (with an equivalent guest list size) is all set up.
  • ·         Bear in mind you will need logical areas within the space where guests can eat, drink, talk, and dance. When you're standing in the space, try to envision where each activity would happen (especially if your ceremony will be there). You can choose to have these areas in different sections of one large room or in separate adjoining room. Make note of obstacles e.g. columns or large fireplaces – position your areas around this ie dance floor ( for the first dance) or the cake table, very importantly  top table remember your guests are there to see you?
  • ·         Decide how important  privacy is to you-. If you're having a daytime event in a public spot, such as a park, beach or botanic garden, be prepared for strangers to trek past your party. They may even smile, wave, and come by to offer their good wishes. If this is okay with you, go for the park. If not, opt for a lawn on a private estate or golf course. Or, hold the reception at a restaurant or gallery that will allow you to have guest only. Be sure to ask about available security at your site to keep gate-crashers at bay, the minimum service I have found is invitation only with staff manning the entrance / exit.
  • In addition, don't think that just because you're indoors, you're safe from uninvited guests. Banquet halls and hotels often hold more than one affair at a time. If there'll be other events going on simultaneously in rooms close to yours, you may hear karaoke-loving guests singing their hearts out through the walls or fighting for room in the bathroom. If this bothers you, try to schedule your wedding when there won't be another one next door. If this is impossible, visit the site on a dual-party night and see how the sound carries and whether there really are any major people problems - before you make a decision.

  • ·         Light can make or break the mood and the space. If you're marrying during the day, make sure your hall has plenty of natural light. Will you be able to set up candles if necessary? Visit the site at the same time of day that you've chosen for your wedding. Even if the space looks romantic by candlelight, you may be surprised by the sight of the old furniture by day. You'll also miss a chance to see how sunlight streaming through floor-to-ceiling windows completely transforms the room, if you only check it out in the evening
  • ·         Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate as we all know if you don’t ask you don’t get! If they can’t lower the price ask them to add more to the package- free rooms for the wedding party, flowers on the table or free chair covers and sashes.
  • ·         Weddings can be expensive so it’s easy to just ‘accept’ the cost quoted. If you don’t think it’s worth paying what you’re being quoted, try to negotiate or walk away.
  • ·         Before you pay a deposit and sign a contract, read through the contract carefully. Look out for any hidden extras or restrictions and anything that contradicts what the wedding venue has already told you. If in doubt – ask.

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