If you’re a regular to our blog, then you will have been reading Eleanor’s features over the past few months as she shares with us her experience and advice to venues as a millennial bride-in-the-planning, marrying in July this year.
In today’s feature I put some questions to Eleanor, seeking to dive deep into how she and her fiancé found their wedding venue, what things were vital to them with an eye on what things you as modern ambitious venues can pay attention to in constantly reviewing and updating your wedding offering for maximum success.
Here we go:
When it came to searching for your wedding venue, was the experience as you expected?
On the whole, yes. As I had some experience of working with venues (though less of the searching), I had a reasonable idea of what to expect. I imagined that the initial search would be very much online using google, online directories and social media, which it was. I expected some venues to be more responsive and professional than others which was also the case. Though I found some venues to be less flexible in terms of showrounds and visits than I expected; for example, one or two only had Monday – Friday, 9am – 5:30pm availability which I can imagine doesn’t work at all well for most prospective couples.
Where was your first port of call for finding venues?
Google was our most used and most useful tool throughout our venue search. As we had a reasonably clear idea of what we wanted (a wedding weekend in the South West), we were able to refine our keywords quite effectively to enable us to reach some potential venues.
What things did you look for in your ideal venue?
– A venue with accommodation that could be ours exclusively for the weekend, that didn’t feel like just a wedding venue but a welcoming home for a few days too.
– A point of contact / owner / manager who we felt confident in, reassured by and got on well with.
– A blank canvas so that we could make our day unique to us.
– Value for money. And by that I don’t mean necessarily a low price but the feeling we are comfortable with the price we have paid and for what we feel we are getting in return.
What things impressed you?
– Responsiveness – Venues that replied to enquiries quickly made the venue much more appealing.
– A social media presence – With some nice imagery (and video, where relevant) allowed us to get a feel for venues without visiting them – which is really helpful.
– A well designed, considered website (though keeping it quite simple is fine – key information and some visual content is sufficient).
What things did venues disappoint you with?
– As mentioned above, a couple of instances of the lack of flexibility with visits and showrounds.
– Not getting a feel for the whole venue before visiting – a visit can be a bit of a wasted trip if you find things you didn’t realise about the venue. Having lots of images, a floor plan and even an online video showround would really add value upfront.
– On one occasion, a venue not answering my questions in enough detail – I think this was more of the attitude of the owner who didn’t seem to value my questions (I’m sure readers of this blog wouldn’t be like this!).
How many venues did you visit before deciding and over what timeframe?
As we wanted somewhere a little further from home, we visited about 4 venues in one weekend (this was about 4 – 6 weeks after we started our initial search). This was also due to not having much time to visit lots and lots. We did a comprehensive online search and made a shortlist and arranged the visits for the same weekend. Luckily one of those venues was the venue we have chosen – Hallsannery House!
What clinched the choice of your final chosen venue for you and your fiancé?
The venue has a really welcoming feel to it and I think it will be like a home away from home during our wedding weekend! Also, it felt like the day would flow well throughout the different spaces and rooms (others we had seen seemed more disjointed). And then a huge part was the lovely owner, Hannah, who we really like and are very reassured by the fact she’ll be around on the day and during the weekend (and we can call on her if we need help) – and the attention to detail and level of information she has provided has been so helpful and also very reassuring (all bases really are covered!).
What do you think couples looking for venues right now will be thinking or looking for?
I think they’ll be looking for a point of difference – something that is moving away from tradition; maybe venues that have wonderful outside ceremony areas or modern spaces that have a contemporary feel. I think if a venue has an unusual feature or a story behind it, that could really attract couples looking for something different.
And I think venues that have different “options” could appeal for couples – offering a bit of variety in terms of where they could have their ceremony for instance or some different options for where the wedding breakfast could be.
Where have you sourced/found most of the things/suppliers you’ve needed for your wedding?
We sourced one supplier as a recommendation (from the venue) which was our caterer; we wanted a caterer who knew the venue well to ensure the food & drink element would go as smoothly as it could.
A number of suppliers we found via google and simple keyword searching, looking at their websites and social media before approaching and booking.
Thank you so much Eleanor for your really valuable insights. I talk a lot about the value of ‘people and team’ behind any venue and it seems that Eleanor agrees wholeheartedly, with Hannah, a very key ingredient to their decision to marry at Hallsannery House. I can’t wait to see and hear all about your beautiful wedding day this summer Eleanor and Andy.
Eleanor was really kind to have participated in a Facebook Live interview earlier this year also where members of our private Facebook group just for venues put their questions to her. If you’d like to view this live stream and more FREE content to help you grow your wedding bookings, then do come and join Wedding Spaces Going Places by answering 3 simple questions HERE.
Work with Us?
Are you a venue in need of new bookings? In a lot of cases, you need a review, a rethink and a refinement of how your weddings are marketed and sold to help those bookings flow more easily. This is exactly what team Kelly Chandler Consulting does via our Refine and Shine 6 month consulting programme. Take a look HERE at how this works and what results you can expect for your venue and its wedding business:
Hallsannery House – Garden View (Image from Hallsannery.co.uk) // Hallsannery House – Hallway (Image from Hallsannery.co.uk) // Hallsannery House from afar (Image from Hallsannery.co.uk) // Hallsannery House Doorbell (Image: Mark Barnes) // Hallsannery House – Teepee Marquee (Image from Hallsannery.co.uk) // Hallsannery House – Sitting Room (Image from Hallsannery.co.uk) // Order of the Day (Image: Mark Barnes) // Hallsannery House – Bedroom (Image from Hallsannery.co.uk) // Ceremony at Hallsannery House (Image: Mark Barnes) // Hallsannery House – Corner View (Image: RIBA)