Ask the right questions. Some venues offer full service – catering, tables, chairs, linens, glassware, dishware, lighting, bartenders, alcohol, tents, decor, music, and audio/visual. You will have to determine your needs before meeting with a venue to ensure they can provide everything that you need. Do they also provide a list of preferred vendors and are you required to book those vendors or can you bring in your own? What are all of the costs involved – rental fees, taxes, gratuities, service fees, cake cutting fees, set up fees. Get everything in writing before signing a contract and putting down a deposit.
What are your expectations for food and drink? This is often the most important part of the wedding – some couples can be very particular on the style and quality of the food and drink that they serve their guests. Generally speaking, the higher the quality and service, the higher the price. What kind of food and beverages would you like to serve at your wedding? If you have a certain idea in mind – let's say food stations or family style service, a casual bar-b-que feel or a gourmet five-course meal – you will need to make sure the venue can accommodate your requests. If not, will they allow you to bring in your own caterer? Do they have set menu packages and can they customize a menu for you? Do they provide a menu trial dinner? Will they provide the alcohol or do you need to provide it yourself and apply for your own permit? Will your expectations require extra servers and fees? Consider the out of town guests. Will you have a lot of out of town guests that will need accommodations and transportation? If so you'll want to choose a venue that is close to hotels and where guests can be transported to easily. If the venue you absolutely love is a little out of the way, you may need to look into bus and shuttle services to get guests to and from the wedding site.
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If you are planning to have your wedding in UK then there are many wedding-venues that offer both the services of a civil ceremony venue and reception venue. Such venues are very much in demand and have to be booked several months prior to the wedding date. Such venues are available at some of the finest locations in UK; you can have your civil ceremony and reception at sport clubs, country houses, hotels, country clubs, art centres, outdoor gardens and estates etc. The selection of a wedding-venue for both civil ceremony and reception will depend on many factors and one of them is, whether you want the function to be held outdoor or indoor.
The first is your wedding budget. There are many venues that you can choose from and that will also be available, the question is, can you afford them? As you are planning your wedding, you must learn to appropriately budget your money and set aside portions for each part of your wedding. The budget you will use for your venue will also depend on how many guests you are planning to invite. Of course, the bigger the place, the more expensive you will pay. The second thing to think about is your wedding date. If you are considering having two wedding venues, then you need to make sure that both venues will be available on the same date. When deciding for a wedding date, it is best to pick a year ahead. Most often than not, wedding venues will accept reservations for big weddings if you book 6 months to 1 year ahead. Believe it or not, sometimes you will encounter booking a venue that has already been booked for more than a year. That is why starting ahead of time is an advantage.
For something a little different, have a look at stately homes and historical buildings. Many of these venues allow you to hire them exclusively giving you a more intimate feel to the day. Some people are put off by the fact you often need to book the catering etc yourself, but more and more of these potentially beautiful wedding venues will offer to help you plan your big day for those brides who would prefer someone else to take the strain. Stately homes and historical buildings often come with beautiful grounds and therefore the opportunity for a romantic marquee wedding. Marquees come in all shapes and sizes, but for 200 people you could be looking at around £10,000 to hire a marquee that included everything you'd need such as carpets furniture, power and heating.