Wedding days create memories and moments to last a lifetime, but choosing the venue, selecting your catering, and all the other planning that goes into it can take months to get right.
To help de-mystify the multitude of questions any couple faces, Alice Sibley – Head of Weddings at Restaurant Associate Venues lends her top ten tips on finding the perfect venue and making sure your special day goes to plan.
Number One – Flexibility
Be flexible when it comes to choosing both your venue and date. Mid-week weddings can be the perfect excuse to extend the celebrations with family and friends.
Choose a venue based on availability and even consider booking a different day of the week to secure your ideal space. Those closest to you won’t mind if you don’t lock in a weekend date if they get to spend the special day with you.
Number Two – Location
Restaurant Associates have spectacular venues throughout the UK, partnering with some of the country’s most awe-inspiring spaces to make choosing the perfect location that bit easier.
Many wedding venues allow both the ceremony and reception to be held at the same place – making it easier for guests to save on precious travel time and kickstart the celebrations sooner.
Number Three – Personalisation
Ensure the venue allows your wedding day to be personalised so it reflects your love and life as couple, such as a photo memory wall or having space for your favourite band to play. You could even have your catering supplier weave your first date menu into the culinary offering.
Number Four – Capacity
Although certain venues in our portfolio can hold up to 10,000 guests, don’t feel like the guest list has to include everyone you have ever met. Weddings are about cherishing precious times with those that really matter to you.
Number Five – Suppliers
Once you have booked your wedding venue it’s never too early to book your suppliers. I advise to cherry pick the suppliers that share your wedding vision and can work with your venue to create the experience you’re after, sooner rather than later.
Number Six – Plan Remotely
Planning a wedding is time-consuming and trying to arrange in-person meetings with your venue can often be difficult to co-ordinate. Remote planning can alleviate time pressures, using 360-degree online tours to provide all you need to know about a potential space.
Number Seven – Planet Friendly
There are many ways a wedding can be made more sustainable, especially if you choose suppliers and a venue that prioritises this in their business model. You can also make environmentally-friendly choices yourself, such as sending invites made with re-plantable paper or including seeds that guests can plant after the wedding.
Number Eight – Alcohol Alternatives
Historically, weddings have been seen as boozy affairs. But with many people now choosing to cut their alcohol intake, consider a venue with the catering provisions to offer delicious alcoholic alternatives.
It’ll be a refreshing surprise for guests to be welcomed with your chosen signature mocktail or more unique alcohol-free drinks, such as REAL Kombucha.
Number Nine – Versatile Catering
Guests may be cautious of sharing food and drinks in a post-pandemic world, but Restaurant Associates wedding venues are well-equipped to serve a range of alternative catering options.
For example, canapes can be served pre-wedding breakfast, and pre-plated evening food can be circulated around the dancefloor.
Number Ten – Extended Venue Hire
Keep the celebrations going and choose a venue with exclusive weekend hire. Enjoy the setting and make plans around the wedding day with breakfast, brunches, and dinners.
Soak up the atmosphere, enjoy the company of your loved ones and relive the special moments of the day before.