Being an event planner for the past few years (almost 7 years whoa) has given me a load of experience in how to find the perfect venue. So when it came time to organise our own wedding I knew exactly what to look for to fit our perfect day.
No matter the event, finding and sourcing the perfect venue can be tricky. So here are my top tips on what to consider when planning your event and what to look for when commencing your venue search.
You can find a venue in any budget you just need to know what to look for. So I knew D wanted to have the classy look and feel for our London wedding, but I knew I didn’t want to spend a fortune to achieve this. So I started looking for venues with minimum spends, this means you are not paying for a room hire.
Paying a room hire is dead money in my eyes, it’s like paying rent for a space to host your party, which you’re not going to get back.
So literally start searching venues with minimum spend.
In London I know that the city is dead on the weekend, so any hotel that is located in the city will usually be cheaper on the weekend. You’ll probably notice that the minimum spend is lower on Saturday night, which for a wedding is ideal.
We managed to get a 5* venue this way.
You might also want your guests to be able to park. This wasn’t important to us, so most people caught public transport, but for some of you parking will be top priority. Also if you want to arrive in a nice fancy car you’ll need to make sure this is possible.
Next you want to look at the room like you’re the guest for the night, what is in the room that you can and can’t use to achieve your desired look.
So we found the perfect little bar that had the most gorgeous open roof, however our event was at the end of October, which is not summer weather. The venue knew this, so they had a huge greenery installation placed just under the roll away roof, so from inside it looked like this beautiful tropical rainforest, it was absolutely beautiful. Which meant we actually didn’t need to decorate the venue at all, and it was very much on brand for our wedding.
This is a big one, you want to make sure whatever your budget is that you have enough in your kitty to get enough food for your guests. Some of the venues who offer minimum spend will have a certain amount you’ll need to reach on food to meet your targets. If you have some food options in mind, definitely share these with your venue contact, as they’ll usually have a few different menu’s you can choose from to make up your meals on the day.
Sizing of the menu items is also super important, you need to make sure whatever they are serving you will be satisfying to your guest’s tummies. We had a mishap at our wedding in London whereby one dish was supposed to a filling bowl food item, and instead the kitchen made a really small canape, so our guests were starving, including myself. We had to do a Maccas run afterwards as I was soo hungry.
Whatever you choose to serve make sure you make note of what the item is supposed to look like and get someone you trust keep track of the food coming out. Unlucky for the venue I’m a huge foodie and noticed almost right away when something wasn’t right, they even tried to charge me for it. So make sure you know your menu inside out and you’re getting your correct value.
Audio Visual Elements
Will you be having speeches or music at your event? If so, will you need a DJ, or can you use the speakers at the venue to play a Spotify playlist?
I had two different Spotify playlists made for the London wedding, one for the cocktail party and one for the dancing. We then offlined each playlist and used the venues speakers, we placed the tablet behind the bar so no one could change the music. There is nothing worse than people changing tracks half way through, I definitely didn’t want that at my wedding.
Making use of the AV which was included with the room, meant we didn’t have any additional expenses. They gave us a microphone and we didn’t really need anything else.
At Orange we hired a band, which was at an additional expense, but we used the package that came with the room hire. The microphone and sound system with the room hire wasn’t for outdoors and we wanted our ceremony outside, so instead of paying more, we used the microphone at the very edge of the room and turned the speakers so they could be heard outside. This was super effective and meant we weren’t paying for any additional features that would only be used for a short period of time.
Lastly make sure you check your dates with the venue to make sure there are no activities in the area on your date that might affect your event. For example in London if you’re wanting to arrive somewhere in a fancy car before your wedding, you may like to check if the streets will be opened etc.
Have you got any great tips for venue sourcing?
Peace out for now