How To Choose Your Wedding Venue
When it comes to Wiltshire wedding venues, Bishopstrow House has been the backdrop to many happy couples’ special days. In our latest blog, our Wedding Coordinator, Nicola Winslade took some time out to share her invaluable wedding planning advice.
Allocate enough time for choosing your venue
Choosing your wedding venue is one of the most exciting yet important decisions you will make when planning your wedding day. Whether your wedding is a large party or a small intimate affair, every bride or groom wants to feel like royalty and the venue you choose will play a key part in this. I strongly advise that couples should arrange show arounds for all venues that appeal to them for their big day – regardless of cost. This way, you can make sure that all the elements you envisage as part of your dream day will be attainable. If finding time to view venues is difficult, reach out and see if you can arrange one on one viewings, or collect the dates for wedding fairs. Alternatively, if you can’t visit together, take along a friend or family member to help with your decision.
Know your budget
Plan your budget prior to looking at any venue so you know exactly what you can afford. As you start to view properties and venues, you will be able to see if what you want is possible – or it will indicate if you can reallocate money towards your venue from elsewhere for the day. There’s no harm in re-evaluating your budget if your dream venue comes along! If you can get a quotation before your initial visit, this is always a good starting point. Ensure your quote includes all the elements of the day you were expecting so you don’t find any hidden costs.
Try and be flexible
The day of the week and time of year can contribute to the different price of a wedding venue. If you want an August bank holiday weekend then expect the price to reflect this, however if you can be flexible and you want a more reasonable price then try and pick a quieter month. Friday or Sunday weddings are not as popular as Saturdays, so bear this in mind. Flexibility will mean that you get the very best out of your preferred wedding venue – last minute dates are always excellent value, and by being friendly with the venue’s coordinator you can find out about any cancellations or rescheduling before anyone else.
Pick the package that is right for you
If you like Prosecco, don’t worry that Mr and Mrs Smith would prefer Champagne. Your wedding will end up extremely expensive if you try to make all of your guests happy with the right food and drink to suit all their tastes and preferences. Your wedding day is about celebrating your love, so make it all about you! If you want a buffet and not a three-course wedding breakfast, then that is exactly what you have. Speak to your venue’s Coordinator about what can be altered or changed on menus – dietary requirements should always be considered, so don’t feel pressured into going with a menu or dish you know won’t be well received. Chefs love to be creative, so feel free to share your favourite dishes to see if they can be incorporated into your meal.
Maintaining an aesthetic and making your day personal
Whether you make your own table plan, table decorations or simply get photos printed to show your journey as a couple, try adding something personal so you can put your stamp on your special day. Websites like Pinterest are perfect for getting inspiration, as are the new wave of DIY wedding magazines. That being said, too many personal touches can overwhelm the day – less is definitely more! Sometimes one floral centrepiece or large candelabra is enough to decorate your wedding breakfast tables. A mistake I see couples make is buying too many scatter diamantes or crystals; with bubbles, menus, name cards and candles you can end up with so much on the tables you don’t have much room left for the food!
Preparation is everything
Always use a recommended supplier and if they have been to your venue before then this is even better. The wedding industry is huge, so ensure you choose suppliers who have excellent testimonials about the quality of their work and see an example of what they have to offer. An easy way to do this is by attending a wedding fair; all the suppliers will be in one place, and if they have secured a coveted spot in the venue this will attest to their quality. Knowing that a supplier is trusted will put you at ease whilst you are getting ready knowing that they will be on time and no disturbance. I am sure you will have talked at lengths about your vision for the day – don’t be shy when it comes to making certain that they are able to create this vision for you.
Your Wedding Coordinator is your best friend
For most people you will only experience this day once in your life so make it a day to remember. Your Wedding Coordinator has the experience and knowledge to guide and help you along this journey, so always ask for help if you require it. No matter how silly your questions may be, or how late at night you may think of them, that is exactly what your Coordinator is there for. I don’t think negatively of couples who ask me lots of questions – it shows they’re keen to make sure everything is right! My only frustration would be when a bride or groom doesn’t communicate a wish or concern to me – my job is to help you, and if I don’t know about it, I can’t assist.
It is very easy to get wrapped up in worrying about everyone else when planning your wedding. It is your big day, so you should be choosing what you want instead of what you think your guests will be happy with. If you’re looking for places to get married in Wiltshire, then you need only look at the testimonials from happy couples who have hosted their special day at Bishopstrow House. You can reach me via phone or email – I would be happy to talk through our packages or a more bespoke option for you and arrange a show around.