Welcome to part two of “How to Choose your Devon Wedding Venue”, looking at the importance of availability and timings, restrictions, practicalities and the flow of your dream Devon wedding!
Choosing your venue is arguably the most important decision you’ll make during your wedding planning, and typically, it happens right at the start of the process. You, therefore, need to know you’ve got it right!
Availability and Timings
Enquire with your Devon wedding venue about the logistics of the day before your wedding. You may like to ask whether there will be time for you to arrive the day before and what the arrangements are for decorating your venue.
It might be your preference to hire the venue for the whole weekend, so you have the day before to settle, however, this more relaxed approach might come at a cost. More established venues can host multiple weddings each week, therefore, the logistics of setup may be a little different in order to accommodate other events.
Take the time to work out what suits your plans and that your Devon wedding venue is well-organised and has an appropriate contingency plan if they do host multiple weddings in a week.
At Shilstone, we are able to host multiple weddings, although we never hold more than two in a row. We, therefore, have a clear plan in place for decoration. If there is no event before your own, you will be offered a Decoration Day; an exclusive slot the day before for you and family to decorate the Shilstone site! If there is an event before your own, don’t stress, Shilstone will decorate on your behalf, free of charge!
We also have two accommodation barns at Shilstone, Whitmore and Meadow Barn. We can, therefore, guarantee you accommodation the night before and night of your wedding!
You may also like to ask if your Devon wedding venue has a preferred Ceremony start time. The Order of the Day and how your wedding flows will be something your venue will have experience in, therefore, they may specify the start time of proceedings to ensure you have the ultimate wedding day journey!
Photograph Courtesy of Clare Kinchin Photography
So, we have already mentioned potential restrictions on timings, but you may like to consider other restrictions too. Are you able to throw confetti? Can you have live music? Will you be able to light candles? Can you have a firework display? Can you and your guests stay onsite?
Hopefully, queries such as this will form part of a venues “Frequently Asked Questions” and whilst some of the above may or may not be important to you, do not forget to consider the finer and perhaps more bespoke details of your day and whether they can be easily accommodated by your preferred Devon wedding venue.
It might also be worth finding out how long you can party for. Most venues have restrictions on what time they can play music until. So, if you’re keen to party the night away, this question should be top of the list. Do keep in mind, however, that weddings are long days, and guests will often be ready to retire by midnight. Therefore, don’t panic if you cannot find a venue that’ll let you party until 5am!!! It is always better for you and guests to go out on a high and peel themselves away from an amazing party, as opposed to things going on for too long, feet getting sore and enthusiasm waning.
Shilstone’s FAQs can be found here.
Photograph Courtesy of Kathryn Clarke-Mcleod Photography
Some venues charge a supplement for use of certain extras. Make sure you receive a clear, detailed quotation from your Devon wedding venue and consider the implications of a package that doesn’t include the fundamentals, such as tables, chairs, cutlery and linen! You don’t want to find yourself with more DIY than you bargained for!!
At Shilstone, we build all inclusive packages, so have the very foundation in place to make the wedding day happen! This includes table, chairs, crockery, cutlery, glassware, linen, and an in house team from Coordinators to Chefs! It’s then over to you for all the personal touches such as floristry, cake, decoration, photography and music!
Photograph Courtesy of Clare Kinchin Photography
Is your venue suitable for the elderly or wheelchair users? Understandably, the presence of Grandparents at a wedding day is very precious, but if they are unable to access the Ceremony space safely and easily, is the venue appropriate for your key guests’ needs?!
Can you, friends and family stay onsite? Another thing not to overlook in your Devon wedding venue search is your accommodation requirements. Whether your preferred Devon wedding venue is on your doorstep or not, there is a huge advantage to being able to stay onsite, and one that can be extended to travelling friends and family.
Imagine the ease of being able to stay the night before, wake up and start getting ready knowing you are just a stone’s throw from the proceedings…no worries of organising transport or leaving ultra-early to avoid any traffic.
Similarly, once the dream day is over, despite the inevitable excitement and high energy of the day, you will likely be feeling zonked come midnight, so what’s better than being able to retire to bed within moments of lights up on the dancefloor.
As we have grown as a venue, we have added to our facilities, offering onsite accommodation and creating step free access across the main wedding site to assist wheelchair users.
Photograph Courtesy of Emma Barrow Photography
The Journey of the Day
Don’t forget to ask your Devon wedding venue how the day will unfold. For example, if the Ceremony is in the same room as the Wedding Breakfast, where will guests go whilst the room is turned around?
Also, consider how the weather may play a part…hopefully, your Devon wedding venue will have a Plan A and Plan B!
Does your venue and package include a wedding coordination service? In the run up to your wedding day, you may be more than happy to take control of planning and complete tasks such as consulting and booking your preferred suppliers, however, you need to ensure someone is taking charge of the smooth running of the day itself! You need to be able to relax and enjoy every single moment of the day, without concerning yourself with logistics.
The Shilstone experience is all about “unwrapping” the venue as the day progresses. Beginning with stunning Ceremonies in our Rustic Barn, to the Drinks and Canape Reception in the Georgian Manor House and finally, the Wedding Breakfast and Evening Party in our very own Mughal Marquee! To ensure a smooth journey, we also have an in house Coordination, Hospitality and Kitchen Team!
Photograph Courtesy of Yeti Photography
We hope this article has been both enjoyable and informative. If you require further information, please give one of our dedicated team a call on 01548 830 888 or fill out a contact form here to get the ball rolling for your dream day!
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Are you interested in booking a wedding and want to know more? Fill out the below form and one of our Dedicated Venue Coordinators will contact you!