I get asked a lot ‘Where do I start’?
It can be very daunting when you start looking for a wedding venue as firstly, there are so many and secondly, it’s going to take up most of your budget.
Before you start you could save yourself a lot of time and heartache by firstly writing down the attributes that you would like your venue to have:
- Location: Does it need to be local? or Does it need to be within a certain proximity to your church or civil ceremony venue? Do you want to escape from your local area or even go abroad?
- Style: What have you pictured in your head- traditional, modern, quirky, marquee, castle, country house, restaurant, local hall, DIY…?
- Size of wedding: Are you planning on having a large wedding of 200+ or looking at middle ground 100-160 or keeping it intimate- under 100 or just a few friends 20.
- Time of year: Will weather impact on the type of venue you want – winter and outdoor ceremonies don’t go hand in hand! Bear in mind that in Ireland, you can’t be guaranteed good weather.
- Budget: There are some venues that you know will be out of price range. If there are no prices on the website then it will be hard to tell. Venues do this so that you have to make contact to get more information. It’s their way of securing a show around with you. Once you’re in they will disclose prices. If you have a price range in mind- tell them- if they can’t match, don’t visit.
Once you can summarise what you want down it could look a bit like this:
Style: Country House
Time of year: Christmas
Budget: less than €10,000
Now that you have this idea you can Google- ‘wedding venues meath’ or ‘winter wedding venues meath’ or even easier, log on to the like of www.weddingsonline.ie or www.weddingdates.ie. You can search by location and most wedding venues that have an advertising budget will be listed on these sites. All of the venues are in one place so it makes it easier to condense your options.
Once you have summarised a list of promising venues, take a look at their websites and see if their images and information match what you have in mind. You will find that a few venues may drop off the list based on the look of their website – don’t rule them out as they may have a great venue but bad marketing……it is possible!
Once you have a list – Call the wedding coordinator and make an appointment. I always recommend booking an appointment for 2 reasons-
1. You get to meet the right person. If you get there and meet someone other than the coordinator, more than likely you will not get all of the best information. They are more inclined to know what levels of discount they can do.
2. If you have given a venue notice that you are visiting then they should be prepared to sell, if you get there and the venue is not prepared for you, they more than likely won’t be prepared in a lot of the planning aspects. Remember- Weddings are big business for hotels, they want your business!
I hope this helps!
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