I saw today that Claire at English Wedding.com featured a post written by Gabrielle of Blue Bouquet Bride on what essential questions couples need to ask before booking their wedding venue. So I thought I’d put Ever After to the English Wedding blog venue test and see how we fare on their questions….
1. Is this the type of venue I’m looking for? (marquee, castle, hotel etc..)
If you’ve always dreamed of getting married in an ancient castle, you’re unlikely to fall in love with a remote field where you have to provide your own marquee and everything that goes in it. Sure, think laterally but looking at lots of different types of venue is unlikely to help you narrow things down, do the work on the type of venue before booking an appointment to view.
2. How many guests can it hold?
We make it clear our maximum number of guests is 120. But we still get enquiries for weddings for double that. Most venues will have a note on their website of their maximum number so check that out before falling in love with somewhere that just can’t take your numbers. There might be a difference between ceremony, sit down wedding breakfast and evening guests so do check that too.
3. Can I have my ceremony and reception at the venue?
More couples are looking for a venue where they can get married and have their wedding reception. That way your guests are only travelling to one venue and you won’t lose anyone along the way! We’re fully licensed for civil ceremonies and weddings here at Ever After and our couples find it a real advantage to have everything in one place.
4. Are there several rooms/spaces available and if so are they included in the hire price?
It’s important to check whether your guests will have to use the same space for the ceremony, drinks reception, wedding breakfast and evening entertainment. We have our luxurious honeymoon cottage for the bride and her party to get ready on the morning of the wedding, a place for your guests to gather before the ceremony (inside or outside depending on the weather), a wedding barn for the ceremony itself, deck and lawns for an outdoor drinks reception after the ceremony (or in another indoor space if the weather isn’t playing ball) and yet another space for your wedding breakfast. We don’t expect you to dance in the hallway or on the floor, we have a separate dance floor (white starlight no less for ultimate glamour and party atmosphere!) and a chill out area for your guests to lounge in the evening. We don’t change over rooms from one use to another unless you especially want us to and then we do it discretely so guests don’t even realise what’s happening.
5. How does the pricing structure work? (Is it price per head, room hire, or minimum spend packages?)
We have a minimum venue hire fee and then we have a price per head so that couples can work out what effect a change in guest numbers has. You might come with initial guest numbers of 120 and wonder what happens to the price if you cut that to 95. Easy, you can work it out by using the per head price without having to come back and ask for another price. Everything we supply is included in the price, see the About Us page of the website for the list of what we include.
6. Can I use my own caterer or do I have to use an in-house caterer?
Our caterer is the only supplier we insist that couples use when they book the venue. We know the caterer, they’re local to us, they know the venue and most importantly we know they provide fabulous food that your guests will be talking about during and after the wedding. Keeping control of the quality of the food is important to us so we don’t make exceptions on the catering supplier, no matter how wonderful you know your own supplier to be.
7. Do I have to use their preferred list of suppliers?
We don’t have a list of preferred suppliers. We do have great contacts with amazing wedding artisan suppliers but if you want to use your own people or DIY, that’s great, no problem.
8. Is there an extra charge for using my own suppliers/caterer?
We make no charge for using your own suppliers. We take no commission from our caterer, we just get the peace of mind of knowing you’ll have great food at your wedding.
9. Are there sample menus available and can I arrange a food tasting?
We have sample menus to download on our website and new menus being prepared now which we can email to you. And yes, Philip of our caterer would love to do a food tasting for you at his restaurant.
10. Will I get exclusive access or will there be other events/guests on site?
You definitely get exclusive access here at Ever After for the whole wedding day. What’s more, we guarantee not to hold another wedding the day before yours or the day after so that neither you nor we feel rushed.
11. Will there be an Events Manager/Wedding Planner/staff available on the day?
Nicola Evans of Ever After provides full on the day event co-ordination. As a graduate of the Niemierko Wedding Planning Academy Nicola will help put together a detailed running order especially for each wedding. Nicola will also be there on the day with the rest of her team to ensure the day runs smoothly and you can be fully present with your family and friends enjoying your day to the full.
12. Can we bring our own drinks or will there be a corkage charge?
Yes you can bring all your own drinks and no, there is no corkage charge.
13. When can we get access to the venue before and after the wedding (for set-up, caterers access etc)
You can have access to the venue from midday the day before the wedding. We’re happy to take deliveries for your wedding any time in the week running up the wedding if that’s helpful. You need to check out by 2 pm the day after the wedding and we’re flexible about collections after the wedding by suppliers (eg maybe your drinks supplier can’t collect on a Sunday)
14. How easy it is it get there by public transport/car?
We’re located off the main A386 between Tavistock and Plymouth so we’re pretty easy to locate. The nearest train station is at Plymouth and we’re a taxi ride from there.
15. Is there parking available?
We have parking for 17 cars for each wedding, that includes parking for all suppliers so we say it’s generally about 10 cars for the wedding couple and 7 for suppliers although you can allocate the spaces as you wish amongst your guests and suppliers. We have a free (FREE!) minibus service which picks up your guests from a 7 mile radius and brings them to the venue and then takes them back to their accommodation at the end of the wedding (again within 7 miles). There might be a charge if guests are travelling outside the 7 miles. This is a really popular service with both our couples and their guests – one less thing to think about for most people and parking for those who really need it.
Anything else we’ve missed out here? Give us a call on 0844 5000 501 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org