Venues - "Sorry we're booked that day"

Those are not the words a Bride and Bridegroom want to hear about the venue they've set their heart on for their Wedding.  There's many a time you'll see a Facebook plea from a bridal couple looking for a venue, because they've either left it too late or have been let down on a previously booked venue.  

So is it a 'chicken & egg' situation? well possibly but only if you don't know which takes priority. Is it the date that's important, for example are you getting married on the anniversary of the marriage of either sets of parents, or are you time pressed if a relative is unwell or has to travel from far afield and can only make certain dates.  Or is it the venue that has the casting vote, and you've had your eye on a particular hotel, country mansion or even a castle since you were old enough to understand what a wedding was?

Whichever of these takes priority then you may find you have to compromise on the other. If you can get both to coincide then you can start to look at the finer points of availability for your venue.  

As you will have a number of suppliers coming in to help 'make your day' you will need to make sure that they can access the venue with enough time beforehand to allow them to complete all the setup that they need.

This will be particularly important for room decorators, florists, cake makers, and entertainers especially if they need somewhere to change before their performance.  If your venue is a hotel, or other type of space that provides a wedding service (rather than a village hall or sports club) they should provide you with a Wedding Coordinator.  

This person is key to the preparation of your wedding, and should be able to answer any questions you might have about your venue, things you might want to know include:

  • Is my date available?
  • How much is the deposit to guarantee my booking?
  • When does the balance need to be paid?
  • Have you got any other Weddings on my date?
  • What happens if I have to cancel my Wedding!!?
  • Will there be free Wifi?
  • Do you have disabled and wheelchair facilities?

These are just a few of the questions you might want to ask.  You'll find a more detailed list of those essential questions here and if you really want to test your venue's credentials try these.

You're probably going to exchange quite a few emails with prospective venues before you settle on one. Be sure to keep ALL of them, even from the venues you don't use and even after your Wedding has happened. Likewise with any quotes, contracts and terms and conditions you get sent, especially if you've signed them.  If something goes wrong or there is a dispute over money, you'll need to know your side of the story.

Good Luck and happy venue hunting!