(Old Alresford House, Hampshire)
When you are newly engaged you want to get out and visit some venues as soon as possible, but there are a few ground rules you should try and stick to so that your trips are not wasted or disappointing ones.
Before you step into the lobby of any gorgeous building offering to make your day perfect, have a think about the type of wedding you would like, the type if venue you see it being held in and how many people you wish to invite. Of course you must also try and think of a budget before making those viewing appointments too. After all, if you are looking at a low cost, small celebration then that wonderful stately home offering a grand ballroom housing 250 guests may not be suitable (even if it is fairytale worthy!).
So the trick is, do your research. Once you have decided on your budget allocation then try to aim for those venues offering packages within your price range. Think also about style and the feel for your day, do you want to have an afternoon tea or a modern jazz buffet, the style of venue can really set your theme for you so always have this in mind when you look around the venues you have chosen to view.
You may not have an ideal venue however, nor are you decided on a theme, in that case why not visit a few different areas and places so that you can begin to see what ticks your boxes for your day. Ask friends and family if they love a particular hotel or restaurant, maybe they know a good marquee company or caterer which may sway you toward a marquee venue.
(Cowdary ruins with a marquee by Alresford Marquees)
Of course when you fall in love with a venue (and you will!) take time to chat through your requirements with the event organiser. Can you see a wedding set up to help you visualise how your day will look, what suggestions do they have for your theme and style. We quite often visit venues with couples to help them ask all the questions they need to in order to go home with a clear understanding of what they can expect of their venue on their big day. An example of some suitable topics to cover might be:
* Food & Drink
* Room capacity and minimum numbers
* Minimum spend and requirements for any packages
* Booking terms and cancellation policy
* Bedrooms and if you are obliged to book any
* Event planner input, when can you see them to discuss and who runs the day of your wedding
* Can they breakdown the costs and what else do you need to pay for or provide
* What do they include in their packages and how flexible are they
(Hampton Court Palace with one of our gorgeous couples from 2010)
There are so many questions and we quite often supply a list of potential questions to ask you venue to ensure nothing is forgotten, however as you move through the months of planning, don't be afraid to ask those questions that pop up or write them down so that you are prepared when you next visit the venue.
So if you are thinking of a garden party in a marquee, a stately home for a country retreat, a hotel for that 'all-in-one' feel or something totally different, enjoy the search and if it gets too much then call someone to help get you on the right road.
Isabella Weddings offer a venue search from just £99 and we can stay with you until you find that perfect setting for your day. We can also spend a few hours with you helping you to find out what you really want for your day.
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