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5 wedding venue secrets people don't want you to know

Expert tips on price, etiquette and more

2 minutes ago
Bride and groom kissing in a field outside a wedding venue
Nichola Murphy
Deputy Lifestyle Editor
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Picture this: you walk into your dream wedding venue for the first time and can imagine in detail what the most important day of your life will look like. But how do you bring it to life?

Budgets, weather and special requirements for you and your guests can easily become roadblocks. Luckily, Melanie Wright, Head of Weddings and Events at Pylewell Park, has all the insider knowledge about how to select and secure a wedding venue that both aligns with your aesthetic and accommodates your guests. See the crucial things you need to consider when viewing your venue…

Venue exploration

Newlywed couple being showered with confetti outside their wedding venue© Aga Hosking
Research social media and recent brochures ahead of your visit

Before you venture out to visit potential venues, it’s essential to conduct thorough research. Updated social profiles, recent wedding features, and the latest brochures can provide valuable insights. Melanie advises limiting your in-person visits to no more than 5 venues to avoid feeling overwhelmed. This preliminary step will help you focus on places that genuinely match your vision and expectations.

The manner in which a venue conducts a show round can significantly indicate the level of service to expect on your big day. A venue that takes time to understand your needs, offers detailed recommendations, and makes you feel welcomed is a positive sign. Conversely, a rushed or impersonal experience should raise concerns.

Early access

Wedding tables inside a marquee© Millar Cole Photography
Early access allows time to set up

One aspect often overlooked by couples is access to the venue. The luxury of having access the day before your wedding can be a game-changer as it allows you and your suppliers ample time for setup and ensures everything is picture-perfect. 

Inquire about early access and the possibility of extending your celebration over multiple days, which is becoming increasingly popular.

Negotiating price

Bride and groom in the sun outside their venue© Ben Goode
Brides and grooms should be clear about their budget

When discussing pricing, transparency is paramount. Understand exactly what the quoted price includes and any additional costs that may arise. Melanie emphasises the importance of a venue that advertises a flat fee with clear inclusions to avoid any surprises down the line.

And this is where negotiations come into play. The wedding expert said it’s important to approach discussions with clarity about your budget and requirements.

Open and honest communication is key to understanding what can be adjusted to meet your needs without compromising the quality of your wedding.

Asking the right questions

Rustic wedding ceremony venue© Getty
Ask your venue about bad weather contingencies

Weather is one of the biggest stressors at a wedding, with many choosing their date based on predicated temperatures and rainfall predictions. For example, research from Simply Be found that April and June are the driest months and November has the most rain.

If you've chosen an outdoor venue, do you have a backup if it rains? Or do you have particular outdoor photo backdrops in mind? 

Ask to see photographs of the venue during the season of your planned wedding and ensure there are appealing indoor and outdoor options. Understanding the venue’s flexibility in all weather conditions is crucial for peace of mind.

Aside from inquiring about stormy weather contingencies, Melanie stresses the importance of knowing who will be present on your wedding day. A dedicated event manager and a passionate team are essential for a smooth and memorable celebration.

Wedding venue etiquette

Melanie said it's important to build a positive relationship with your venue team© Flawless Photography
Melanie said it's important to build a positive relationship with your venue team

It's not just knowing who you're working with; building a positive relationship with your venue team throughout negotiations and planning is fundamental. The right venue will go above and beyond to ensure your day is unique and special. 

Plus, positive relationships go hand-in-hand with a stress-free wedding – the last thing you need to worry about on your big day is bumping into people you've clashed with.

Melanie's parting words of wisdom? Your wedding venue is not just a location but a canvas on which the most memorable day of your life will be painted. Choose wisely!

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