We’re attending our first Wedding Fair of 2020 and holding our first Wedding Showcase later this month so we asked Nicola Postlethwaite, our award-winning wedding co-ordinator, how to get the best out of a trip to a wedding fair or venue.
Nicola told us: ‘Firstly, I’d encourage you to take a friend! Either your potential bridesmaids, mum or even your partner, as they’ll pick up on ideas and possible options that you might have missed. Plus it’s always good to bounce different options around with people who are committed to you having the best day. If you’ve got a clear idea of what you want, great; if not, collect a lot of information as your plans or themes may change and you’ll kick yourself you never picked up a leaflet!
Here’s Nicola’s essential questions for a venue search:
WHAT SPACES CAN I USE?
Most venues can adapt ceremony and function rooms to suit your requirements, but it’s worth knowing what spaces are available at particular times especially if you’re not the only guests that will be there on the day. You don’t want to have your heart set on a drinks reception in a particular area if your venue needs it for other guests.
DO YOU ACCOMMODATE MORE THAN ONE WEDDING A DAY?
Some venues may take more than one wedding a day whilst others offer an exclusive option so they can solely focus on your special day. Those booking more than one will adjust timings to ensure you never meet, but if it’s a definite no-no for you, you need to rule out the venue.
PACKAGES, OFFERS & RESTRICTIONS
Venues have a whole range of different offers – summer/winter, small or larger weddings, seasonal options and late availability – so don’t be afraid to ask questions to get the package that best fits you and your budget. But check the small print! Some offers may have minimum numbers on particular days, apply to particular function rooms or include items you don’t want. Remember every wedding is different and this is your day, so if an existing package doesn’t quite fit, ask if they will combine options so you get what you want.
Generally once you have signed your wedding contract there will be a little ‘wiggle room’ if your numbers go down. It’s important you know what that is before you sign – you don’t want to pay for people who aren’t there. If the package minimum number is 40 but you’re looking to invite 50 guests then book for 40 if your venue will allow, then there’s a smaller chance you’ll be hit by cancellation charges.
BEDROOMS – ROOM TYPES, MINIMUM NIGHTS AND MINIMUM BOOKINGS
Depending on what type of venue you’re booking there may be different terms and conditions for bedrooms so check if there is a minimum requirement for you to book any bedrooms at all. If you’re getting married locally a minimum number of rooms and nights may be a challenge to fill and only add to your wedding bill if left unsold. Also you know who you are inviting so ask about family rooms, disabled access and ground floor bedrooms if you need them – you will only get the hassle later on when great aunt Mabel can’t get what she needs!
What’s on the menu and what type of beers are available is a common question we’re asked by our grooms. Many wedding packages have a menu tasting included to try out your perfect menu with possible wine options. Similarly if your partner’s favourite tipple is not usually on the bar list ask if they can stock it for you.
Good luck with your wedding plans!
Nicola and our dedicated dream makers will be hosting our Wedding Showcase at Castle Green on Saturday 22nd & Sunday 23rd February, 11-3pm both days if you would like to call on their expertise for your wedding day. Contact us if you would like to make your first appointment to view the Hotel on either of the showcase days or on an alternative date and time to suit you. We can be contacted on 01539 797004 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
The Lake District Wedding Fair is being held on the same days at Junction 36 Exhibition Centre, off the M6 and you can get your tickets here. Castle Green will be exhibiting too.