Top tips for choosing a wedding venue

You’ve found an idyllic country house for your big day – but will it allow you the wedding you want? From location to corkage charges, there’s more than just looks to think about. Here are some ideas and questions that might just save you some pennies.

Pick a wedding venue

Venue to church distance

Is the venue located near a church/registry office of a suitable size to make the transfer journey an easy one - think walking in high heels! Maybe a coach will be needed to make sure the wedding guests all arrive safely in time.

Freebies

When selecting a venue, ask the manager what is kept in storage that can be incorporated in the decor on a complimentary or reduced cost basis – this might include impressive candelabra, table silverware, place-seating card holders, table linen, chair covers and wedding cake stand.

Flower arrangements

As flowers can prove such a costly element of the budget, review with the venue management ideas for room and table decoration that minimises the need for extravagant displays – often if the venue is inherently opulent, elaborate centre-pieces can prove counter-productive to the overall effect.

Cloakroom

Is there a suitable cloakroom at the venue and does this need to be manned at all times – eliminating the need for a full-time attendant can save £££.

Toastmaster

Does the venue offer the services of an experienced Toastmaster for free – this can save up to £400 and is considered an essential service for larger weddings (over 150).

Events manager

Does the cost of the venue include the services of an in-house events manager on the day (or just the facilities) and/or provide a list of preferred wedding planners to assist new brides with pre-planning details and ensure the smooth running of the event on the day?

Printing and design

Does the venue offer presentation menu covers/place seating cards and/or a printing/design office so that menu inserts and place cards can be produced in-house at reduced costs.

Corkage

Check with the venue whether they will charge corkage (do not ask this of the catering company). Most venues, do not charge corkage (but might exert a minimal charge for use of the kitchen if a preferred caterer is not contracted).

Catering

Discuss with the venue manager the selection of a caterer – most prominent venues will have a list of preferred caterers for the simple reason that they are reliable, professional and, most important of all, know intimately the venue’s kitchen and facilities lay-out. This often proves an effective cost-saving decision and ensures peace of mind.

Music

Check with the venue manager whether loud (dance) music will be a problem for local residents for evening events and what is their procedure to alert neighbours.

Photography

Is there an obvious area – or areas – both out and inside for official photography freely available for use.