Thomas Harper, Hirings Manager at the Award-Winning Hylands House, Essex, gives the top tips on what to consider when hiring a wedding venue.
It can take time to find your perfect wedding venue so ensure you start planning for it as soon as possible. Work out you budget and see as many locations as you can to gain a greater idea of what is available so that you do achieve your dream wedding.
Often, couples pick somewhere that is either near to where they currently live, or a place where either the bride or groom grew up. Some couples plan a church wedding and then hire a separate reception venue. Others have the wedding ceremony, reception and evening party in one place. An important factor is that the location should be somewhere that is convenient for guests to visit. Ensure there are quick transport links and ample parking spaces. Look at how easy it might be for people to travel there.
The amount of people attending your wedding has a major impact on your venue choice. You can hire village halls, country houses, hotels and even barns. For a lovely mix, look at venues that offer both small and large rooms. The smaller areas can be used for drinks and the ceremony and the larger banqueting rooms for entertainment spaces. Look at houses that have added Pavilions or Marquees that you can dress to your own theme and are great for dancing.
How many guests can be seated for the wedding breakfast? How many can attend an evening buffet? How many rooms are available? Is there a place for the Bride to get ready or change in the evening? Are there facilities available for any quests with disabilities? Is there a place to keep gifts safe? Are there proper cloakrooms for coats and umbrellas? Where will you greet your guests, where will people sit, where will they dance? Can you decorate the room? Are you allowed to have LED candles or lanterns?
4. Venue Hire Costs and Timings
The Banqueting Room at Hylands House
Does the hire of the venue include insurance, staff, hire of tables and chairs? When will the venue be available and how long can you use it on the day. Does it have a fully-licensed bar? Are there any noise restrictions? What kind of lighting does it have and how is this adjusted throughout the day. What are the electricals like, are there enough sockets for the band, DJ,
any videos etc. Is there free and convenient car-parking?
It’s good to have a choice of catering and to deal with creative chefs that allow you to have some control. Check whether you can provide your own catering – or do you need to use the venue’s own. Can you bring your own drinks? Do you need to hire tableware? If you have a theme, ensure that the caterers can supply food that matches it.
Planning the best day of your life takes time, so it is always good to secure a helping hand from a wedding planner. Many venues can offer this service as part of the hire costs.