Things to con­sider


You have cho­sen your venue, it is fi­nally ticked off your ex­ten­sive list. It is the one place you can imag­ine all of your dreams com­ing to­gether un­der one roof (or mar­quee canopy!). How­ever, there are still some im­por­tant de­ci­sions to be made once you have se­lected the des­ti­na­tion:

SET A CO­IN­CID­ING DATE: Be pre­pared that the date that you want and the venue’s avail­abil­ity may not co­in­cide, so you should be will­ing to change your date if your heart is set on the venue. Bear in mind that there is more chance of you se­cur­ing your dream venue if you are flex­i­ble or opt for a mid-week wed­ding – this is al­ways more af­ford­able than a week­end wed­ding, saving you around 20 per cent – and it means that you won’t have to book years in ad­vance.

EXCLUSIVE USE VENUE: Check with your venue if there is an­other wed­ding on the date you have booked. Don’t worry if there is! Wed­dings are big busi­ness, so it’s un­der­stand­able venues stage two at a time. Most venues host two same-day wed­dings at op­po­site ends of the venue, or on sep­a­rate floors, which means you won’t run the risk of bump­ing in to your ri­val bride in the toi­let! If you can’t stand the thought of ‘shar­ing’ you day with an­other bride, then ask the venue about hir­ing for exclusive use, as this will mean it will be yours, and only yours, for the en­tire day. But be warned: it can be a pricey op­tion and not all venues of­fer exclusive use, whereas oth­ers cater solely for ‘exclusive use’ wed­dings. MAR­RIED AT THE VENUE: Check if your venue has a mar­riage cer­e­mony li­cence – if so they are legally al­lowed to hold a civil mar­riage or part­ner­ship, and you can hold your en­tire wed­ding there. This means there is only one lo­ca­tion, which of­ten means a more re­laxed oc­ca­sion for your­self and your guests. If not, don’t worry, you can or­gan­ise to be mar­ried in a church, reg­istry of­fice, or venue else­where which means you have two parts to the best day of your life!

BE­FRIEND THE WED­DING CO­OR­DI­NA­TOR: Your venue’s wed­ding co­or­di­na­tor will be­come your new best friend! It is down to her (or him) to turn your dreams into a re­al­ity and dur­ing the run-up to your wed­ding day you will build a close re­la­tion­ship with them. Make sure this is a pos­i­tive one, as they will be more will­ing to help with your de­mands. Venues are known to have a high turnover of wed­ding co­or­di­na­tors. So, as wed­dings are booked a year or two in ad­vance, your wed­ding co­or­di­na­tor may change dur­ing this time. Don’t panic, make a new friend.

REN­O­VA­TIONS & REFURBS: Given the time-frame be­tween the ini­tial book­ing, and your wed­ding day it­self, many things can hap­pen and that might in­clude re­fur­bish­ment or up­grades at the ho­tel or venue of your choice. It’s worth check­ing with the venue if any ren­o­va­tion work is sched­uled. Make sure it will be com­plete by your wed­ding date, or ask what con­tin­gency plans are in place for guests and photo-tak­ing should work be on­go­ing at that time.

RAINY DAY PLANS: Now that you have cho­sen your venue, you will have al­ready iden­ti­fied some per­fect out­door spots for pho­to­graphs, whether it’s on the beach or at the end of a tree-lined walk­way or next to the wa­ter fea­ture. How­ever, ex­te­rior im­ages rely on dry weather, so be sure to have a back-up plan. Check that your venue has some at­trac­tive fea­tures in­side too, where you, your new hus­band, and your guests can be pho­tographed. Re­mem­ber, in­ter­nal stair­cases and foy­ers are per­fect for group shots.

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