Advice and Tips Choosing a Wedding Venue
It may sound obvious but many venues will not be able to cope with the extra space if you add 20 extra guests at the last minute. You should have a good idea of numbers before you start searching and choosing a venue. The amount of people attending will also have a bearing on what equipment a DJ or Band will require. Larger venues require more powerful equipment just to fill the space with music even if you only require quiet back ground music and this is often a reason for increased costs.
Dining or a buffet?
A formal sit down meal will obviously require more space than a stand up buffet, so a venue whose seated capacity is 75 might well be able to accommodate 150 for a finger buffet reception.
Entertainment facilities: DJ’s, Bands and other entertainment can take up a large amount of space, (some DJ’s can offer tiny high quality set ups to help in confined space venues) as can your dance floor, so decide when and importantly where in the room you want the entertainment to place their equipment and hold the entertainment ,this is often restricted by power points and fire doors and required access areas but an experienced DJ will take all this into consideration , and check with the venue that this can be done in the space available ,safely and to your requirements.
What type of venue?
Castles, Halls, country houses and even stately homes are among the venues many dream of for their event. If your budget can stretch to it, this offers a once in a lifetime dream opportunity to take full advantage and enjoy the use of a stunning classic building.
There are so many different types of hotel some fall into the historic venue category and some are modern, custom designed function rooms with a massive selection of types of hotel in-between. Having accommodation on the spot is, of course, a very big plus and ideal if you are travelling a distance to the venue and intend to have a few drinks.
If you have access to flat spacious gardens or another flat outdoor space, a marquee could be worth taking into consideration. Often people are surprised at how expensive it can be to hire a marquee for their wedding, but the plus side is that you can often take control of wedding catering and could save a considerable amount by providing your own alcohol. If hiring a DJ or band making sure adequate and safe power is available and also that no sound restrictions are in force is very important plus access to the marquee for loading and unloading heavy equipment is also a factor to consider.
Sports or social club.
There are many types of club premises can be perfect for a party. Do plenty of detective work and research and you could find one that is in a lovely and beautiful location, too. For example, some golf clubs have picturesque vistas, and can often be hired at a very reasonable price, especially when compared to traditional wedding venues.
Whatever venue you choose here are some Important Tips;
Always check what time the music has to end (there will be a licence limit or one that the venue insists on) and be wary of any vagueness or avoidance in telling you in that area. Often the person you book the venue with is different than the person in charge on the night and miscommunication can often take place.
Professional DJ’s and bands will speak to the managers on the night and try to sort out any discrepancies, but ultimately if the venue manager on the night insists on a switch of time the entertainers have to follow the venues instructions so clarifying these details is very important when choosing a venue.
Do they have a set time when the music has to be turned down to a lower volume because of other residents staying in the hotel?
Is there a problem with neighbours?
Often at the end of the night the DJ or band cannot just play one more as the venue won’t allow it but if they give permission and it is agreed in good time with the associated costs then most DJ’s are flexible and happy to accommodate these requests.
Always get a written contract and receipt detailing what you have booked.If you have booked at a pub make sure you get a receipt for any deposits or money paid as managers do change quite a lot in the pub industry and any new management may not be aware of any bookings.
Is there a sound limiter or dB meter installed and does it automatically cut off the electricity?
If a venue does have a sound limiter and you like your dance ,indie, rock and pop played at a bar/club volumes then please consider another venue or check out that it’s not set too low as often if it is set to trip off the power at too low a volume or is set not taking into account all the guests soaking up the sound or even them cheering or clapping it can leave you with periods of silence until your guests quieten down and the power comes back on so music can resume.
If you require atmospheric effects such as Haze and smoke does the venue allow this? Have they checked that the fire alarm system is set to cope with effects?
You don’t want your party interrupted by the arrival of a few fire engines! professional Bands and DJ’s like myself will find this out before your event and not when it is too late.
Please make sure you allow adequate time for a DJ or Band to set up and pack up most DJ’s take around an Hour to fully set up and of course the same to pack away, this means that they must have access to the room and a place convenient to park when they load or unload or these set up times can double.
Try to Keep in contact with your venue and other party suppliers not just when you first book them but all the way up to the date keep services like caterers DJ and band informed of any changes so sending emails, having a chat on the phone or face to face or via facebook or via text before the event can really smooth out any details so you have a stress free, fun party of your dreams.