You have fallen in love with the most unique and perfect venue, you can see exactly how your wedding day will play out, the oohs and aahs of your guests when they arrive and the compliments for hosting the most amazing experience in an enchanting castle!
OK so this is what we aim for but there are some very serious considerations to take into account when your venue is unique – practical considerations. To highlight what some of those considerations may be we will use as an example the charming castle from our wedding a few weeks ago.
The location is the pretty little port of Portofino, and the iconic Castello that can be seen high up from the little piazzetta.
These considerations apply to location, use and accessibility but can be applied to any venue which may have quirks and special considerations – as charming and appealing as they may be to you – especially when wearing those rose coloured wedding spectacles – some of these considerations are going to be important for your guests and may also have cost implications for the wedding services.
How to arrive? As you can see from the photo the Castle is high up and to reach this fairy tale setting the only way up is on foot! Check with guests about mobility, fitness, what may seem like a mild stair-master workout for you could be a real challenge for the next person.
High on a hill. What are the options to access the castle? Castello Brown can only be accessed on foot in a series of steep inclines and steps. A fit person will take about 10 minutes to do this, someone who has mobility issues it will take a lot longer, someone who is unable to walk this venue is not for them. What goes up must come down. If the descent is late at night or the early hours it may be a nice idea and could earn you some brownie points to give your guests small lanterns or torches to help them on the way down – its also very romantic!
You may just get to see one of these beauties too.
What if it rains? You can either adopt the Gene Kelly approach of “Singing in the Rain” or it will be a case of super wedding planning and ensuring hotel umbrellas are at hand.
What if your venue is a place of interest and open to the public; will your event be private? Always check what is meant by exclusive use. If, like the Castle, the venue is open to the public there are some key questions to be asked.
When will access be stopped to general tourists?
When can vendors have access to the venue to set up? This relates to the point above. If your venue is only available after normal the normal closing hour this will need to be factored in to the timing of your event. If the venue closes at 6pm and the event must close by 1am will your vendors be allowed on site to prepare.
Prices – if prices seem inflated compared to those of other venues you have looked at it could be it is because this reflects the additional resource to get everything to the castle for the set-up and take down. Space. Old venues may not have the spacious exterior and interior spaces – especially if it is original purpose was for as a strategic look out or fortress. Check the interior space to ensure your reception numbers can be easily accommodated – you may find the options offer interesting solutions which will add character to your event. We loved the look of the statesman style banquet – we feel was enhanced by positioning a long table format in the second floor hall.
Does the venue work with approved or preferred suppliers? Will you have choice, is the venue open to your ideas for your event or do they work to a set format? This one definitely needs exploring – some services such as fireworks and music require permits and tax payments make sure these are in place.
Be prepared: equip your guests as early as possible with as much helpful information about the venue and surroundings . Forewarned is forearmed. Wedding websites enable couples to communicate relevant information quickly – using images or videos will give guests an opportunity to experience the location and venue especially if they are first time visitors to your chosen wedding destination. We shot some mini video clips for the wedding couple about the ascent to the castle.Thoughtful gestures: the little thoughtful gestures will be remembered and you will be thanked – set up an hydration table – some chilled water and glasses ready for when guests arrive. Handing out fans for the walk up to the castle – these worked a treat. Do something fun – which will stop guests focusing on their climb. The couple had organised for guests to take their seats with some “aisle style” entrance music – it caused a positive buzz organising everyone into pairs for their show stopper entrance.
Stairway to heaven: Use the natural attributes and characteristics of the venue – once you are there you will love it! Especially the view.
Wow with something wonderful. Treat your guests to an extravaganza – something to finish off the evening – if permits and restrictions allow – go out in a blaze of glory with a firework or light show accompanied to your favourite song or music choice.
If you would like us to help you find your dream venue, something a little different you can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org