Posted on Monday, 10th June, 2013

When considering what venue is right for your big day, one of the first things you should do is compile a rough guest list – one of the most crucial pieces of information is what venues will be able to cope with your numbers, be that with maximum or indeed minimum numbers. Certain venues will have a minimum number of guests that you can book with during the peak summer period. You should then consider whether your venues have on site accommodation – will guests be able to stay at the venue or do they have to travel? If they are travelling then you may have to provide coaches for them to return to the city. This is where the question of budget comes in – not only your budget in planning your wedding but also the budget for your guests – often overlooked by many couples is how much it can cost for guests to attend your wedding with outfits, gifts and drinks and when you start to add overnight accommodation then it becomes expensive just to be a guest!

This is why the City Centre has become so popular in recent years – particularly 29 Glasgow where couples can take advantage of a 3am license. One of the concerns many couples have expressed to me about a city centre venue is the commonplace 12am closing time – guests planning to make a night of it, particularly on a weekend night, may start planning to leave earlier than 12am to get to a venue of choice nearby – at 29 Glasgow our 3am license means that guests can party the night away!

Another important aspect to consider when choosing a venue is the reputation for food – It may have an award winning restaurant on site but can that same standard be replicated for 100 people – the best feedback I hear about the food at 29 is that it “wasn’t like a wedding dinner” which says it all about guests expectations. Not only do we have an award winning Chef who oversees every aspect of the process – cooking, presentations and delivery but we also have a dramatically different approach to planning your menu. The standard approach for most venues is to ask couples to pick a starter, a main and a dessert with a vegetarian option for starter and main. At 29 Glasgow we allow couples the chance to compile a choice menu of 3 starters, 3 mains and 2 desserts (always a chocolate v non chocolate debate!) We find that guests have so much more experience of eating out these days that you can be a bit more creative with your menu – it frees couples from having to make the Soup/Chicken/Cheesecake choices when trying to pick a menu that will suit 100+ guests. A natural development of the choice menu options was the bespoke guest menu on the day which means guests really feel that they have been looked after and thought about from the moment they sit down.

The final important aspect to consider when choosing your venue would be service. Guests should feel looked after from the moment they arrive until the lights come on at the end of the night – How many staff work at your event? How many bar staff are there? Is there table service at night for guests or only during dinner? How is the food served at dinner – by type or by table (a huge difference that will severely impact on guests enjoyment)

Having said all of this the most important thing is you – How did you feel when you walked in, do you see yourself in the venue, would your friends see “you” in there – I always think that all the decisions you make about your day should ultimately reflect you and your personality!

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