So, completely brushing over the fact I haven’t blogged in about three hundred years (more on that later*), I just wanted to pop on today to draw your attention to a service I offer through Utterly Wow called The Venue Hunt.
Finding your wedding venue can be an absolute bitch. Fact. One of the first things you need to get booked once the planning begins, it can also be one of the first things to burst the just-engaged-bubble-of-love you’ve been bopping merrily around in for however many weeks. Agreeing on the type of wedding and venue you’d like, reeling at the expense, trying to compromise with parents and outside opinions, having your world crumble around you because you eventually find the ‘perfect venue’ but it’s fully booked until 2019… there are many, many hurdles to leap before you can finally circle the date on your calendar, clink glasses and say, ‘The countdown begins!’.
Of course, the key to finding your ideal venue is learning where to compromise. Your wedding venue is never going to be 100% perfect. It will feel perfect by the time your wedding rolls around because by that point you’ve completely forgotten what had made finding the venue so ruddy difficult in the first place and, of course, you’re about to have the Best Day Ever and are more excited than you ever will be in life, ever. I stumbled across The Great Barn fairly early on in my wedding search, but when I rang to enquire they didn’t have any availability on the April date I had in mind. It took a further month of endless internet research, venue visits and a tantrum or two before I realised that moving the date back 6 weeks to a lovely May bank holiday weekend instead really wasn’t the end of the world.
But back to those three little words that strike fear and loathing in to the majority of people who lead busy lives…. endless internet research. Finding a venue takes time, y’all. There’s a selection process that happens for every potential venue you come across that usually plays out in a series of questions. Is it visually appealing? Does it match my main criteria? How much does it cost? What does that include? Does it tick ALL the boxes? Is it available? And of course, more often than not the website alone doesn’t have all this information. You have to download a brochure (or have one sent in the post); you have to call and enquire about dates and the finer details; you have to pack for a road trip and visit the bloody thing; you have to run it past whoever’s paying. And repeat ad infinitum…
This is where I come in. Believe it or not, I love internet research and am actually pretty good at it. I dislike how a whole day can go by hunched over the computer, but I enjoy problem solving, and I love uncovering hidden gems. I’ve also been immersed in the world of weddings for a long, long time now so I have great deal more contacts, insider knowledge and venue-finding experience than the average just-engaged person. If you are looking for something special in the south-east of England then, quite frankly, you’d be a fool not to hire me for your venue-finding needs.
So how does The Venue Hunt work?
Well, upon deciding that you could probably do with some outside help and making initial contact, I send you a pretty extensive questionnaire that covers everything I need to know- from budget and numbers, to whether you require wheelchair access and what you are drawn to aesthetically. Once this is filled in and back with me, I get to work doing the necessary research, drawing from the knowledge I already have and even visiting potential venues if time and distance allow.
As I mentioned earlier, there has to be some compromise when deciding on your wedding venue, and I’m able to glean from my questionnaire which criteria are essential and which are, shall I say, subject to negotiation. Once I’ve settled on 3-5 venues that I know tick most of the boxes, fit within your budget, are available on the date(s) you require and I think will excite you, I put together a detailed report listing each of the venues, along with its strengths, weaknesses, real wedding images, logistical concerns (if any) and my potential solutions. It’s then up to you to arrange site visits for those that appeal and make the final decision at your convenience.
And all for a bargainous £150.
But that’s enough from me. Here’s what a recent Venue Hunt client had to say when I sent her report over…
Sama, you’re amazing – thank you so much! We didn’t find any of those places when we were looking and honestly cannot tell you what a weight off our shoulders it is to have four such exciting venues to consider! It must have been very tricky searching for us and we really do appreciate all your hard work on this- I will definitely be recommending you to my friends when they start looking for venues!
And then ten days later…
I just wanted to let you know that we visited Hampton Court House on Saturday and completely fell in love with it – we’ve booked our wedding there for Saturday 5th September next year!
Ohh, it’s enough to warm the cockles of a cold, tired heart 🙂
If you know someone who could do with some help finding their dream venue, then please do send them my way. I shall probably be sitting in a corner patting myself on the back still, but I shall stop immediately to get hunting. I’m considerate like that.
*So, erm, back to the fact I haven’t blogged in approximately three hundred years. It’s abominable and I don’t even have a half-decent excuse other than I’ve been busy doing Utterly Wow stuff, decorating my house and watching all five seasons of The Walking Dead. Expect a final 2014 post making all sorts of dramatic resolutions and promises that I will struggle to keep next week.