10 Questions to ask before you book your wedding venue:
The selection of your wedding venue is key to setting the scene for your perfect day and yet there are so many different options from which to chose. Obviously a visit to the site is vital in the selection process but before you make the journey it’s worth asking some important questions to help you shortlist your top choices.
1. Event Management – Since Event Management is so important for a successful wedding, who will be responsible on the day?
Try to identify the actual person who will be dealing with your enquiry throughout the process and ideally establish if this will be the same person who will conduct you on a site visit and then handle the event management on your wedding day. It is really important to form a bond with this person since they can make or break your day and if you have good personal chemistry from the outset, then the wedding journey can be more fun and less stressful. At Dryhill, we prefer to allocate the same person throughout this process, from the first contact through to your wedding day.
2. Marquee Use – How many days do we have access to the wedding marquee?
These days marquees are back in vogue and this is due to a variety of reasons.The more corporate hotel wedding has natural restrictions due to the physical confines of the property or the needs of other residents.This can lead to difficulties with access to the wedding room at times that best suit the bride. There has been an upsurge in Marquee weddings as fabric technology has greatly advanced and new shapes and designs can now provide a really contemporary offering: you can even enjoy a completely transparent marquee to optimise your venue view and provide a truly amazing space. Thus it is important for you to have access to this integral part of your wedding day and at Dryhill we give you unhindered access for 3 days.
3. Accommodation – Please advise me on the accommodation arrangements at and near to your venue?
To enjoy your wedding experience it is important not to have long transfer times to your chosen accommodation. ….it should really be on your doorstep, so you can nip back to collect anything you may need at short notice. It is usually an advantage to have close friends and family staying near you but with space for you all to breath. In addition, the quality of the accommodation, the reception rooms available, the interesting garden options including a pizza oven to allow you to entertain before and after the wedding, are all important factors.The bedrooms should really be closely examined to ensure that house guests are sleeping in a luxurious setting, so there are no compromises. Ideally, the rooms should have scenic views and a separate honeymoon property on-site would be a real plus point….especially if it has an epic view from its own private hot tub. Dryhill has taken care of all of these aspects and has additional, personally selected other space within a 10-minute taxi ride.
4. Pre-Wedding Party – Is it possible to have a pre-wedding party at your venue?
This is worth checking in advance since sometimes this is not possible in a wedding factory type of arrangement where other weddings are booked close to your own. Dryhill has a 3-day policy, to prevent anyone else entering your space during your chosen period.
5. Evening Party – What are the options for the wedding evening party?
Your Event Planner should have a list of all the local suppliers who can help to provide a magical evening. It is important to know if there are any restrictions before you book, perhaps due to other residents or local environmental considerations. Dryhill is in a unique, secluded setting and can more easily accommodate your imaginative evening party ideas.
6. Wedding Brunch – Are there facilities for operating a post-wedding brunch?
The day after is often a great time to see people who have travelled from afar and a brunch on the ‘morning after’ is a lovely way to conclude your wedding weekend. It is worth checking that your venue is free on that day and that they can cater for your needs. Dryhill includes this extra day, in the 3-day arrangement that they offer all brides.
7. Bars – Please can you guide me on the licensing arrangements required for operating a range of bar services?
Your Event Manager should have years of experience in this area and must know the ins and outs of running a bar.check on legal and health and safety matters and ensure security is provided to deal with any difficulties. As people indulge in the party spirit, things can go wrong and lead to difficult issues.Is there a qualified First Aider on site, where are they located, how can they be contacted? At Dryhill our Event Manager has the answers to these questions and more, including who are the best bar operators in this area.
8. Corkage – What is your policy on wine and Champagne corkage?
This is often an emotive subject until some thought is given about who will store and chill and serve the chosen alcoholic drinks. It is worth exploring the various options with your Event a Planner to find what works best for you. Dryhill Wine has recently planted 2000 Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay for future wedding bubbly. This will be exclusively for those selecting Dryhill as their wedding venue. Right now, Dryhill has some special supply arrangements with both local vineyards and those further afield. We offer boutique bubbly from passionate small growers around the world and as a venue, we do not charge corkage. We aim to ensure our chosen caterers and bar companies do not cause you this expense either.
9. Caterer – If I use the caterer of my choice, are there any restrictions?
Catering is one of the key selection criteria for those wanting to personalise their wedding experience, with many brides choosing this before anything else…..apparently, just after choosing their bridegroom! Thus when larger corporate venues insist on using their in-house facilities, this often prevents you from achieving that extra special touch of magic. Talk to your Event Manager and ask for details of the most trusted and best suppliers and be prepared to arrange tastings after seeing their menu options.This can help you decide what is best for your guests but consider also the different other food needs there could be over the course of your wedding celebration. At Dryhill our Event Manager is totally flexible and will listen to your ideas, whilst being able to offer a range of 9 dining locations over your 3-day stay. These include the following; Lakeside suppers on arrival, authentic Valoriani Pizza Oven in our Tuscan courtyard, Roman vaulted Cellar for candlelit dining, Moroccan bar for wine or bubbly tasting sessions, chill-out tree with an epic view, outside picnics in the wildflower meadow.
10. Travel – How accessible is the venue by road and rail from my location?
Check out the distance from major cities or airports and consider local airports or helipads for those special guests from afar. Request a detailed map with suggested local shortcuts to avoid peak time traffic and consider the location of suitable local accommodation for the many extra guests and friends. This may make a shuttle service worth operating to move people safely to and fro without the stress of designating drivers. Careful planning can thus make it easier for more people to be transferred in comfort without the need for last minute taxis. If there are special parking arrangements to simplify traffic flow or disabled parking very close by, then consider issuing special passes to make your family or guests feel special. Consider special access requirements and how these can be planned for optimum efficiency. Check emergency access arrangements and any particular medical back-up that may be needed by certain guests eg diabetics. All these factors can be discussed and agreed by your Dryhill Event Manager who is not only well qualified professionally but has years of wedding event experience.