The Wedding Planner
Could your club be a wedding venue of choice? Whether it's for the wedding breakfast, the dinner or the ceremony itself, weddings represent a valuable revenue stream ready to be tapped into.
The average cost of a UK wedding is now just under £18,000 according to recent research from wedding-planner Bridesbook.co.uk. Other research found that over 20% of couples were taking out loans and credit cards to fund the day, and one in nine newlyweds admitted to almost breaking up over their strained wedding finances. As a result, says the survey, modern couples planning to get hitched are becoming more thrifty than ever before – from home-produced invitations and wedding favours, to baking their own cakes. And, of course, finding more costfriendly venues for the reception – and indeed the wedding itself. All of this is good news for those clubs willing and able to step into the brink.
Since the 1994 Marriage Act declared that licensed venues could hold weddings, the opportunity to provide all aspects of the event – from hen and stag do’s to the reception and the wedding itself – has proved an attractive prospect for club revenue streams.
FEES, FORMS AND APPLICATIONS
License fees vary across the country, as you’d expect, and there are numerous regional variations. Rules laid down by the Registrar General, however, form the backbone of regulations across England, Wales and Scotland. (For variants to Scottish guidelines, visit https://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/registration/getting-married-in-scotland). The application is, of course, only part of the process. Is your club geared up to leading the bride and groom effortlessly up the aisle, or is it more a question of up the garden path? Can you have your wedding-cake and eat it.
THE WEDDING LIST
The following list poses questions that the wedding planners will be asking when they visit their venues of choice. Obvious as the questions may seem, your visitors will be reassured when you have the answers at your finger tips, or presented in a professional-looking Wedding Pack.
FOOD AND DRINK
• What is the maximum amount of guests
• Do they need to bring in their own caterer?
• Can they bring in their own wine/champagne? If
so, is there a corkage charge?
• What time can the club stay open until?
• How many staff would be needed on the day?
• Is there a single point of contact at the club who
will take responsibility for the event?
• Will they have exclusive use of the venue?
• Is there a safe place for storing presents?
• Is there a room the bride can use to get changed?
• Confirmation of public liability insurance.
• Is there the opportunity to see how the venue
looks dressed up for another wedding first?
• Are candles allowed?
• Is there a reasonable rain-proof smoking area
• Can you recommend/book a cake specialist?
• Can you recommend/book a photographer?
• Can you recommend/book a car hire service?
• Can you recommend/book flowers?
• Can you recommend/ book a registrar (if needed/
• Can you recommend/book entertainment/band
etc for the afternoon/evening festivities?
• Can you recommend/book a toastmaster/Master
of Ceremonies if required?
• Can you organise any special rates with local
• Are the parking facilities adequate?
• Can people leave cars overnight?
• Can children be catered for?
FINANCE AND WHAT’S INCLUDED
• Is VAT included in prices quoted?
• Are staff included in the costs?
• What is the policy on postponement/