When I started this, I had no clue about venues. I didn’t know what they offered or how much they charged, so I found a site online (Hitched) that had a list and I sent for brochures from about 45 different places, everything from cheap hotels to castles. I requested physical brochures to my home, thinking it would make it easier to browse through them and sort them into “insane” and “maybe” piles.
Firstly, 13 of these didn’t bother to reply to me at all. No brochure through the post, no email contact and no phone contact! Not going to be married there then!
Secondly, some didn’t bother to read my request and just sent an E-Brochure (though to be fair, a couple did say that they didn’t have them printed yet, so I’ll let them off!)
I sat down and went through my physical brochures, filling out their prices and what they offer into a spreadsheet (created by Frazzled Mother, thanks mum!) and chucked away the ones that couldn’t offer something I wanted, like those that didn’t have civil ceremony licences. I have still got to do this with the E-Brochures… It seems like so much more hassle for some reason!
My plan is, once they are all listed on the spreadsheet, to pick out the best few – and by best, I mean the ones that look nicest for the cheapest prices – and to call them with details and guest numbers for a personal quote. We can then go look at them and pick which one gets the honour of putting up with the bride who’s allergic to life!
But, some venues aren’t happy with this method. They have sent me brochures, physical and by email, they have sent me many follow up emails and they have called me, multiple times in some cases!
I’m beginning to feel a little hounded. I understand following up on an enquiry, I used to work in hotels and I know weddings are big money, but (insert exclamation of frustration here), there’s a line there somewhere, between following up and stalking!
One venue I’ve spoken to is actually run by a catering company, I don’t know how common this is, but it definitely showed through in their quote. For a £9k package, nearly half of that was for food and that was after I told them I didn’t want a wedding breakfast – They just swapped it for something called “Bowl Service” instead! Erm…. no thanks!
Lots more work to do in this area, but I’m happy to say, they aren’t all bad. I already have a few that I would like to contact for a quote and that’s before I finish going through them all.