- Kelly Gould
Where to Find Your Perfect Venue
Updated: Jun 24, 2020
Deciding on the perfect site for your celebration can be super stressy. Where you choose dictates so many of your other decisions.
Size, cost, location, availability, decor are all key to making a shortlist.
What to choose? Are you getting married, or finding somewhere for the office party, or organising a hen weekend? Don't get worried. Get logical.
When you imagine your celebration what do you see?
Is it a big fun party? Or is it more about good food and wine? How important is the location? Will you care about the weather? The time of year? This celebration is about you and your partner if you are planning a wedding. It's not about the castle or the view. If you are looking for a blank canvas site, do you have the time, skills and money to transform it into your vision? Or can you hire someone to help?
Think about timing and atmosphere
What sort of atmosphere do you want? What sort of food? It is legal to marry any time in 24 hours, so you can do away with convention. If you don't want formal seating, wedding speeches and dancing, then ditch that as a plan.
Talk to your partner
If your mum has already got involved, they might be afraid to say what they want. You want this to be about the two of you. So if they are being quiet and seem unhelpful, then make sure they are OK. Maybe they have always wanted to elope. Maybe they are fine with everything and just want to be sure there is a terrific band.
Working through these options will narrow down your venue choice without you having to do anything.
Face up to creating your budget
There will be a venue out there that suits your budget. Think what you can afford and then lock in that number. In order to further narrow down a venue list, you need to make a first stab at your guest. No need for a Save the Date yet, just a brain dump of everyone you love and want to be there.
If it's looking ghastly and already you feel desperate, think about talking to a wedding planner. If your numbers are going over 150 this is a really good idea. They are expensive but they have great contacts and can save you time.
Decide the absolute 'must have's?'
Time once again to be honest. What would spoil your perfect day? Bad weather? Uninspiring food? Not enough alcohol? Shoes too tight? Best friend cannot come?
The worry about the weather is a huge concern. But it never is that bad, Attitude is everything. If you have a wet weather plan and are having fun dancing in the puddles, then your guests will relax and have a great time. Guaranteed.
But if you must have sunshine, then a destination wedding is a definite option to consider.
Do you need help with planning or do you want independence?
Couples who come to The Copse Country House are attracted by the accommodation on site, the ceremony space, the dining Pavilion and late night dance barn. There are venues like ours that hand responsibility to you. Others do everything for you, leaving you less choice and less time spent planning. So think about the advantages of each, or something midway between the two.
Every couple wants their wedding to be special. The expertise of the team at your venue will be crucial. No matter how independent you want to be, the perfect venue is there to help you to plan and make your budget stretch. At The Copse we have lists of caterers, photographers, helpers, waitresses, taxis, place to stay, things to do, childminders, cleaners, hairdressers, makeup, food delivery.
Indeed we can take over and manage your day for you. You just have to ask. The same will be true of every other venue, so you do need to judge if you can trust and work with their team.
Are you Boho or Retro? Are you a dreamer or a doer? First minute or last minute? Dogs or cats?
A long list of questions to take with you on your venue visits
Do take questions with you. You are going to find several venues that you love and the answers to these questions will help with your final choice. This is the route to the Perfect Venue.
This is a tick list to start: 1. enough seating for your guests. 2. the date is available 3. cost is within budget 4. plenty is included 5. fair cancellation policy 6. exclusive use
7. in house co-ordinator 8. each wedding is special 9. any building renovations, traffic, noise? 10. Wet weather plan 11. Have to/don't have to use preferred suppliers 12. Bar staff. 13. Cater for special diets? 14 Reasonable check in and check out times 15. Noise restrictions? 16. Easy access? 17. Child, dog, wheelchair, people friendly. 18. Stunningly beautiful 19. Run by fun people 20. Feels like 'us'.
Finally, use the sites like Bridebook and Coco to help you plan and search
There is lots of online help to narrow down your perfect venue. The Copse Country House is listed in these two. Here you can add your budget, guest numbers, ideal date, wedding style, area of the country, and a list will appear. This saves so much time.
But most important it keeps you focused on what you want for your celebration.
You are not planning this day to make everyone else happy. You are doing it for yourselves. There is no happiness in crippling yourself with ridiculously high standards, unrealistic expectations and crazy price tags. You want to keep it real and keep it really yours.
Make sure to make time for your friends - and put your feet up!