One of the very first steps to creating your dream wedding is finding your ideal wedding venue. If you’re newly engaged (congratulations!), it’s probably right at the top of your list.
Finding the right venue for you and your partner is of utmost importance, and there are many factors to consider before making a decision. These factors range from unavoidable practicalities, to emotional elements. Finding a venue that you really click with is just as important as finding one which can accommodate all your guests, for example.
Wedding venue viewings are a fantastic way to get a good feel of a venue and find out everything you need to know before you commit. But a diary full of viewings can be very overwhelming for newly engaged couples. Not only are you now a fiancé, you’re also suddenly an events planner!
We are big believers that organising your wedding should be a fun, enjoyable and stress-free process. To help it be these things, it’s a smart idea to get fully prepared – so here are our five tips for making the most of wedding venue viewings…
1. Make a list of your non-negotiables
Being prepared is an effective way to reduce stress. While you don’t need to have made any in depth plans before viewing a venue, it will really help if you have some non-negotiables decided beforehand.
These are practical aspects such as an idea of guest numbers, what kind of ceremony you want to have, whether exclusive use is important to you, if the venue is appropriate for young children (if applicable), and factors such as price and parking facilities.
Keep in mind that there is no such thing as a stupid question. During viewings at The Waltham Barns, our friendly wedding coordinators welcome all questions – we’re here to give you as much information as possible, so ask away!
2. Get a feel for the vibe
We can’t stress how important this is. It’s impossible to define a vibe, or what it feels like when you know you’ve found the vibe for you – it’s such a personal thing and will feel different for everyone.
All we can say is pay close attention to your initial gut feeling, and if you can easily picture yourselves getting married in the venue you’re viewing.
The internet is great for getting a sense of a venue, but you have to visit in person to truly get a feel for the vibe, which is why we love to show couples around The Waltham Barns.
3. Get to know the team
A wedding venue isn’t just bricks and mortar, you’ve also got to consider the events team and how they work. You’ll be communicating a lot with the team of your chosen venue, so it’s important that you like them!
Each venue has a slightly different way of doing things, but we believe a wedding team should be welcoming, knowledgeable and reassuring. They should be flexible to each couple – some couples want very regular communication, whereas others are more independent.
Finding the wedding team for you is similar to finding the right vibe. Have a good chat with the wedding coordinators during your viewing to find out whether you “click”.
4. Find out about the food, suppliers and evening options (and write it all down!)
Even if you don’t have any plans for your food and reception entertainment yet, we recommend that you find out what the score is during your viewing.
Find out about the suppliers a venue uses, what the food options are, how much you can personalise your day, if any decorations and accessories are supplied etc. Don’t forget a notebook and pen so you can write everything down and refer back to it later.
Some venues have more options than others. For example, we offer our couples a great choice of menu options, including barbeques during the warmer months, and a carvery for those who want a more casual vibe.
You may have arrived at a viewing with a rough idea of the kind of food you want, and leave feeling completely inspired by a new option that the venue suggested. Be open minded and ask, ask, ask!
5. Chat to your partner about your expectations
Like with most things in life, compromises are inevitable. We’re definitely not saying that you should settle for anything less than your dream venue, but be prepared for a little “wiggle room”.
Compromises might not be on what the venue offers, they might be with your partner instead. Such as, you may prefer a three course wedding breakfast, whereas your partner fancies the carvery option. It’s a good idea to have a conversation with your fiance before and after visiting each venue, so that you understand each other’s expectations.
Remember, the wedding team is there to assist you, and should help you to come to decisions that work well for everyone.
And that concludes our five tips for successful wedding venue viewings, we hope they have been useful. We want your venue viewing experience to be a fun and exciting process, and we love to show couples around The Waltham Barns. If you’d like to experience our great vibes and meet our experienced wedding coordinators, please don’t hesitate to get in touch on [email protected].