The Stress-Free Guide to Choosing the Right Wedding Venue

Planned to Perfection – a monthly column by Bijou Wedding Venues.

Decisions, decisions! Bijou are on hand again to share their wisdom, so that you can choose your wedding venue without a single ounce of stress.

At Bijou Wedding Venues, we show couples around our luxurious venues every weekend, so we know how important it is for couples to find the perfect venue that ticks all the right boxes and pleases everyone who’s involved. Especially as your wedding venue is often one of the larger expenses of your wedding budget, the decision is very important. But fear no more! This month, the team behind Bijou Wedding Venues share some useful advice along with a handy checklists to de-mystify the world of wedding venues.

Choose a Wedding Venue Style

You may have a clear idea of your dream wedding, but if not, now is the time to get thinking – before you visit any venues. This way, you can narrow down those you’ll actually want to visit to a shortlist that suit all of your initial requirements, saving yourself so much time – potentially several weekends – and a lot of petrol! Start by discussing your ideas together as a couple; after all, a perfect blend of both ideas would be the best start to your marriage. Perhaps you’ve always envisaged a grand, extravagant celebration, or maybe you’ve had a Pinterest board of wedding ideas stashed away for several years. Well, now is the time to share.

Spend some time together looking through magazines, blogs, even YouTube, as well as reminiscing about other weddings you’ve been to, in order to nail down what is truly important to both of you. Imagine looking back on your wedding day in 10 years’ time and thinking “that was the best day ever.” What does that day look like to you?

10 Wedding venue styles to consider:

Barn
Country House
Mansion
Hotel
Outdoor Venue
Landmark
Castle
Coastal
Sporting Ground
Blank Canvas

 

 

Top Tip: Find out if your venue has different instalment options, such as quarterly or monthly and work out what is best for your finances. Always check if any of these options incur a surcharge.


Start Enquiring

First impressions count. Browsing through brochures online will help give you an idea of each venue’s best features, but you’ll be able to learn more specifics about how each venue could work for your day by speaking to a real person. Don’t hesitate to pick up the phone or send an email; a quality venue will always be happy to help you. If a venue looks promising, the best way to get a real feel for the place is to book in a visit.

Top tip: Remember to check if venue visits are appointment-only to avoid disappointment.

Visiting Wedding Venues

We love showing couples around our venues, because this is often the stage where your wedding plans start feeling “real.” Always leave yourself plenty of time to travel, and don’t book in too many visits in one day so that you feel rushed and potentially miss crucial details.

Remember to take photos if you are seeing lots of venues, so that you can look back and remind yourselves of what you saw, when you get home. If you’ve got specific ideas for the big day, try to imagine how they would work in each space. Ask if anything similar has been done at the venue before, as they may even have photos they can show you of particular layouts and decorative ideas.

We would also recommend being considerate of who to take with you to each visit. If anyone else if contributing financially, have an open discussion about how much they would like to be involved in the decision making. It may be that you and your partner visit venues first and then create a shortlist to take parents along to.

 

Our Handy Venue Visit Checklist

  1. Does the venue have the capacity for your guest numbers?
  2. What options do you have for food and drinks?
  3. Does the venue have accommodation or a bridal suite?
  4. When time is your hire period from and until?
  5. Are there any restrictions?
  6. Is the venue suitable if the weather is inclement?
  7. Is confetti allowed?
  8. Is their ample parking?
  9. What is their availability?
  10. How much is the deposit, and how do payments work?



Make a Decision

Once you’ve visited a handful of shortlisted wedding venues, it should be easier to know what you like and what you don’t. But how do you choose “the one”? At this point, you may become over-loaded with information, so it’s worth going back to your original vision for the day. Discuss what is most important for each of you, whether that’s a beautiful ceremony room, or exquisite food. Be aware that you may have to compromise with each other on smaller details in order to make a decision, but from our experience, your ideas will change a hundred times before the day, so at this point, just ensure that your choice will fulfill your major requirements. At this point, remember to make sure that everyone involved financially is happy with your decision.

Bear in mind the staff you have encountered at each venue already. You deserve the highest standards of customer service, and, especially as you’ll spend the upcoming months planning alongside them, make sure you choose a venue with knowledgeable, friendly staff who genuinely care about your wedding plans.

…And Book!

Only put down a deposit when you are 100% certain on your choice of venue and wedding date. Always read the contract fully before putting down any money; a wedding is a large expense so treat it in the same way as any equally large decision. Get in touch with the venue if you have any queries at all – remember, they want you to book, so no question is a stupid question.

Some venues will allow you to hold a date, which is a great option, because it gives you a little breathing time to check the registrar or Church’s availability without losing your date to another couple. Of course, your choice of date is a whole other consideration but once again, we’re here to help – head over to our 8 top tips for choosing a wedding date for more words of wisdom.

Who are Bijou Wedding Venues?

Bijou own and manage a collection of luxurious, exclusive use wedding venues located in Surrey, Hampshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire and North Norfolk. All of their wedding venues offer complete exclusivity for 24 hours, along with exquisite grounds, a five-star service, an in-house catering team, use of a proprietary online planner and more. Visit bijouweddingvenues.co.uk to find out more.