Wedding venue must-haves for thoroughly modern ‘I do’s’ – Part 1

11 July 2016

Consulting

Consulting

I’m constantly meeting and talking to engaged couples at the start of their wedding planning journey, delving into their minds to discover how they envisage their wedding day looking.  It’s a privileged position and through this I get plenty of insight as to what these couples are seeking.  Over the coming posts I’m covering key features that crop up time and time again which modern couples are desiring and expecting; these aren’t fads and trends (which come and go and aren’t generally practical for a long-term venue to adopt), these are things which are ever-popular and by which your venue is judged and ultimately given the ‘I do’ or the ‘I will go somewhere else’.

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First up:

 A Bride’s Room

The Big Dress Up 

Whether you call it this is entirely up to you but you should offer some kind of separate and private area to the main function spaces for the couple and/or their closest bridal party to use for as long as possible during their hire period. If you can (and it works for your business set up), giving the bride the option to get ready at your venue can be really relaxing and fun for her and much calmer and less stressful that last minute transport. If you can host the ladies getting ready (especially relevant if the civil ceremony is held with you), then make it a really pleasant thoughtful experience. A beautiful Surrey venue I know (cue the stunning Millbridge Court) have designed and installed specialist hair and makeup stations (lots of them) for use by bridesmaids and hair and makeup artists. Brides and their teams need lots of space to get ready, and ideally as much natural light for wedding makeup as possible. Think about mirrors (floor standing and table top), extra seating (there could be 8 ladies in there at one time as an average), think about hanging rails (preferably high for a long wedding dress) then think about offering some fun snack food and drinks menus and thoughtful touches that they can pre-order to make the getting ready process just that bit more special.

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Bride and Groom Escape

If you can’t (or don’t want to) offer that space pre-wedding, then at least consider offering a small area post-ceremony that the bride and groom can use to escape for a few short moments, for the bride to tweak her makeup, adjust her veil, possibly change shoes and accessories as lots of modern brides do, not to mention to store going-away bags and more. Whilst there might be a venue cloakroom and of course guest bathrooms, the bride, in particular, wants to feel incredibly special on her day and some thought and attention to this presented on a show-round of your venue and made a feature of in your marketing, can make all the difference.

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The Little Ones

Whilst we’re on the subject of “break-out areas” so to speak, think about and talk about where your venue can host children (either in a more formal crèche setting or a more relaxed TV/DVD zone) – this is something that almost all weddings I organise  need to consider and it’s so much easier if this is presented as part of the show-round and known in advance especially as lots of couples are asking on behalf of family members who are parents and the couple themselves might be a little inexperienced in this themselves – make it easy and considered – the little things really are the big things.

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But we don’t have space in our venue? I am aware from working in a lot of historical venues which were built for another purpose entirely, that we aren’t always blessed with extra useable spaces, but do really try to think if it is possible. I’ve given the ideal above, but some space is better than none so the  area doesn’t have to be huge or doesn’t have to be terribly plush, it’s often the thought and comfort which wins through!

Portrait, Wedding & Fashion Photographer

Build it?

And if you’re in a setting where marquees are being built, why not think of an add-on tent for such a purpose? I often arrange the build of extra storage areas or add-on back of house areas to marquee builds to accommodate all the things we need, this is especially relevant if your marquee is up all summer and you have the opportunity to make it that little bit more welcoming and desirable by kitting out a hidden Bride’s Room – by keeping things flexible and the interiors moveable you might well find all manner of uses for it – I wouldn’t be surprised.

© Ginny Marsh Photography, www.ginnymarsh.co.uk

Until next time …

If you’d like to move your venue to the next level in hosting weddings do contact me about our one to one consulting service to help you on the way.

Thank you so much to the team at Millbridge Court for the many stunning images of their venue throughout this post demonstrating their fantastic bridal room and other features.

Photo Credits:
Millbridge Court // Bibi Basch // Damian Bailey Photography // Hannah Duffy Photography // Pippa Mackenzie // Anneli-Maranovich Photography // Claire Nicole Hair and Makeup

 

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