One of the biggest costs for a wedding is the venue. The place you choose to get married might be for nostalgia, sentimental reasons, or simply because you love it having been to an event there before.
You’re spoilt for choice as so many venues now lend their hand to the lucrative business of weddings. Wedding venues will cover all the food, drinks, entertainment, accommodation and more and the attraction of ‘all under one roof’ is enough for most. We can see why.
You don’t always have to head to a hotel where it’s all covered for you though, and if you’re not heading for a hotel or traditional wedding venue, then you have so many other options.
There are plenty of stunning wedding barns and unique wedding venues to choose from. Some of these have the infrastructure in place, and some don’t. Some will need you to manage the catering and other items like furniture, glass hire and crockery, some won’t.
It’s always best to find out what’s included in the non-hotel package weddings as there are often areas you’ve not considered that you will want to arrange and plan for in your schedule and budget.
Planning the Catering for Your Wedding Venue - a Guide
Different types of wedding venues
There are lots of options for you if you’re not going down the hotel route. From barns to castles and even the local village hall. You can really go to town on the customisation with a venue that’s not following a strict set of rules and ‘churning out’ wedding after wedding, too.
Some wedding venue ideas might include:
- Wedding barn
- Marquee wedding
- Village hall wedding
- Back garden/field wedding (in a marquee)
- Nightclub or conference hall hire.
One of the big areas to consider is catering. Having it pre-arranged takes a lot of the planning out of it for you, but it might limit your options.
Wedding venues with catering versus wedding venues without catering?
This is a big decision to get nailed early on, assuming you’re not going for the hotel route, which is what we’ll assume from here on in.
A wedding venue with catering included will have most of the equipment you need, including the chef and staff in some cases.
A wedding venue without the infrastructure will mean you need to hire the catering equipment and the caterers. This is covered below, but it’s a big list, and one you might not want to take on.
The main question for you here is simple. Are you willing to take on all this planning, or not?
Most caterers will help you with many aspects of the wedding breakfast, but you’ll still need to have overall control and responsibility with the venue. This isn’t terrible, and many thrive on it. Just something to consider.
Is your wedding venue suitable?
Just because you’ve found a stunning venue, doesn’t mean it’s perfect for an event. Event planning needs to be meticulous, and you’ll need to consider so much about the event to ensure you have a successful day. You’ll soon realise why the wedding packages are so expensive and set in stone; it’s a complex event and some stick to what works.
Here are some essential things to get into your wedding plan:
- Parking for guests? If you have 100 guests, you can expect 40-50 cars! Make sure you’ve got the room and have advised your guests.
- How far from the church or ceremony venue? We’ve heard of hour+ trips from one to another. This can play havoc with the rest of the day’s timings with the chances of some guests taking far longer than others.
- Disabled access? This might be more of a consideration for your non-wedding set-up venues like marquees but bear your guests in mind when you choose.
- Weatherproof? Getting married in the UK means you’ll need to plan for the rain, no matter which season you opt for. Have some protection and a contingency plan.
- Accommodation on-site or nearby? Can your guests stay nearby? Have you spoken to local cab companies or planned a minibus to the local hotel?
- Going on late? Make sure the venue has a licence for this or that your neighbours know so you don’t get an unexpected evening guest in the shape of a PC! (It happens!)
- Good access for your wedding team? You’ll need the caterers, bar and wedding entertainment and other services to be able to get on and off-site easily. Can they?
Planning checklists – what you’ll need to think about, organise, book, and more…
Once you’re happy with the venue, you’ll need to fill it and set in place the itinerary for your day (what happens, when) and then organise the ‘what’ and work out where it all comes from.
Good luck and have an incredible day!
We’ve been hiring catering equipment in Birmingham, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Gloucestershire, The Cotswolds and West Midlands for over 20 years.
We’ve seen our fair share of weddings and this gives us the insight and expertise to ask the right questions to give you exactly what you need for your big day.
Contact us now or get a quote by clicking on the button below and we’ll get working on it together.