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Advice for going to view a venue

(5 Posts)
MumofthreeXX Fri 26-Jun-20 08:42:41

Hi I am going to view my first wedding venue soon can anyone give me any advice? I am pretty clueless when it comes to weddings! Do you need to accept a venues price or do they come and go a little bit? Thanks

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AnnieMaul Fri 26-Jun-20 10:12:52

My advice:

- Read the contract with a fine-tooth comb.
So many of my clients get stung further down the line when they haven't read the contract properly and then find out that they need to pay VAT on top of the quote, or that the venue will supply candles but they will have to pay them extra to light them, or that you can only use their approved suppliers for some services. Read, read read!

- By all means look at their recommended supplier lists, but take them with a pinch of salt. Some (not all) venues charge suppliers to be on their recommended lists, or charge suppliers a fee for each wedding they book there. As such, they aren't always the best suppliers, sometimes just the ones willing to pay to have their name there, or the ones willing to pay the venue a cut of their profits.

- Venues are often willing to negotiate, but you'll have much more luck if you try to negotiate for "stuff" to be thrown in rather than money off. For example, getting more drinks included, or your centre pieces, or use of the bridal included etc. Also, you'll have more negotiating power (by far) for off peak dates vs a Saturday in summer. If you try negotiating for a Saturday in Summer, you probably wont get too far.

- Anything you discuss, ask for it in writing, or for it to be included as part of your quote. Don't feel silly about taking a pad and pen and writing things down. Again, the amount of times that i've had a client who has been adamant they were promised X at the venue viewings or meeting, only for it to not happen on the wedding day and there to be no mention of it in writing is common.

- Ask whether they charge you extra to host your ceremony there. A lot of venues charge more if you're hosting the ceremony there too. It's usually called something like a "ceremony room hire fee". Keep in mind this charge will NOT include the registrar fee, you'll need to pay that separately yourself (about £500 but varies depending where you live)

- If there's anything you know you definitely want, be sure to ask about it. For example, fireworks, scatter crystals, a chocolate fountain, confetti. There are lots of things people assume they will be able to do or have that many venues don't allow. Confetti trips a lot of people up and so many venues wont even consider allowing a chocolate fountain anymore. If you want to put up pictures/bunting etc are you allowed to use blue tac, drawing pins, string. Sounds silly, but again many venues don't allow such things or if they do, they will only allow it to be done by a professional company which could increase your costs.

- If you plan to get married at the venue and get ready there, ask what time you will be able to access the bridal suite or other room that you can get married in. Often this isn't until 11-12pm unless they have a separate dressing room area, which is too late for many brides to start getting ready. Again, if they give you a time for access, get this in writing too.

- Ask what insurances and certificates they will need from suppliers. You can then make sure you only book suppliers with the correct insurances in place.
For example, a lot of suppliers have £2million public liability insurance, but some venues (especially historic ones) will want £5million coverage. Will they also need PAT certificates etc

- Ask if they have a sound limiter and if so, perhaps ask to preview it and make sure you are happy with the volume.
Some venues have to have them as a condition of being able to host weddings, but in turn this can mean a quieter evening than some had couples had in mind. Some DJs/ Bands wont work at venues with sound limiters- especially bands, so consider this.

- Ask what their provision is in case of rain etc
Many venues will show you the beautiful grounds or big grand rooms but if it rains where do you go then? Make sure you are just as happy with the "plan B" location.

I'm sure there are more, but I have waffled on enough grin

AnnieMaul Fri 26-Jun-20 10:16:43

OH and ask if they iron their table cloths etc

So many venues don't and it looks so so scruffy. Definitely not what many couples have in mind, but you just assume it's something they'd do as standard!?

CharmingB Fri 26-Jun-20 14:37:08

Excellent advice there from @AnnieMaul.

The only things I would add is that if it's possible to go and see it set up for a wedding, do. Pictures can be deceiving, particularly if they're taken with a wide angled lens.

If you're getting married at the venue, will the ceremony be in the same room as the wedding breakfast? If so, what will happen during the turnaround time? Especially if it rains.

If there is a separate room available to use during turnaround or the day as a whole, does this suit you? I know some couples want everyone to be in one room with the band/DJ, playing to keep everyone together, but others like somewhere else for the guests to escape to for a bit of quieter conversation, etc.

Think about the set up of the room - during the wedding breakfast, can everyone see the top table for speeches? If you've got quieter speakers, is there a microphone you can use?

Go to the venue more than once, at different times of year if possible - we went in winter and at the same time of year as our wedding will be - the grounds are massively different throughout the year.

Go with your gut. There was one wedding venue I went to see that on paper looked lovely - beautiful grounds, lovely interiors, but it just felt... wrong, somehow. I really couldn't put my finger on it, but I just had this deep pit of anxiety in my stomach when I was there and I have no idea why! (someone I know reckons it's haunted lol!) i couldn't wait to get out of the place.

We had the sound limiter issue at ours - the wedding co-ordinator said it's never an issue but my DF was concerned about it. She just kept reiterating "it's not an issue" to the point I realised there was some "between the lines" subliminal messaging going on. I had a chat with a band that plays there a lot and he admitted they'd found a plug which wasn't connected to the limiter! wink - there's no neighbours nearby and our guests will be using most of the rooms in the hotel so we'll just help the hotel arrange the rooms such that the people that will be partying latest will be closest to the noise!

Good luck OP - I hope you find the venue of your dreams!

MumofthreeXX Sat 27-Jun-20 20:49:01

Thank you everyone I have wrote these down and will take with me. X

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