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Wedding Ideas What to expect at a wedding venue viewing – and how to get the most out of it
What to expect at a wedding venue viewing – and how to get the most out of it

What to expect at a wedding venue viewing – and how to get the most out of it

Choosing the perfect wedding venue should be an exciting time in your wedding planning. At Hodsock Priory we’ve hosted weddings for hundreds of happy couples, and fully appreciate what a big deal it is to put your trust in a venue to host your big day. Aside from the fact that the venue will most likely take up the biggest portion of your wedding budget, the venue is crucial in helping set the tone for your day. Relaxed, traditional, quirky, elegant; wedding venues come in all shapes and sizes, and the best way to get a real feel for a specific venue is with a viewing. Here, we share our advice on what to expect at a wedding venue viewing, as well as how to get the most out of it…

What to expect at a venue viewing

A wedding venue viewing is so important in helping couples make a big decision. Some venues, like Hodsock Priory, offer virtual viewings which are beneficial in showing off a venue’s spaces and helping couples decide whether the venue could be a good fit for the day. 

The next step is to book an in-person viewing, so you can walk around the venue and grounds, soak up the atmosphere, and try to imagine how your wedding day could look. A wedding venue viewing gives a venue the opportunity to show off what makes it special – whether that’s extensive grounds (Hodsock Priory has the most gorgeous formal gardens and outdoor ceremony options), beautiful interiors or unique features.

Typically, a member of the venue events team will welcome you to the venue then take you on a relaxed tour, answering all your questions and giving you a real feel for the venue. Sometimes a venue may be set-up ready for a wedding, other times it won’t – if you have a strong preference, you can always mention this in your initial enquiry emails with the team.

Hodsock set up for wedding venue viewing
Credit: Esther Louise Triffitt

How to get the most out of a wedding venue viewing

Whether you have one viewing booked, or viewings with various venues in the diary, it pays to be prepared before you arrive. Thankfully, there are a few simple things you can do before, during and after a wedding venue viewing to really get the most out of it.

Do your research

Before you even book in a viewing, you need to do your research to make sure the venue is right for you. One of the most important considerations is price – the last thing you want to do is end up falling in love with a venue that just doesn’t align with your budget. At Hodsock Priory we don’t want to waste your time. Instead we like to be completely transparent about prices – you can find all our wedding hire cost breakdowns here. As well as price, check the venue capacity works for you, and that they offer the kind of ceremony options you have your heart set on.

bride and groom walking through Hodsock Priory gardens
Credit: Elise Kasak Photography

Have a date – or dates – in mind

It’s really helpful to come to a viewing with a few potential wedding dates in mind. Not only can the events team let you know if these are available, but it also gives them the opportunity to talk to you about what kind of things their venue can offer in different seasons. For example, during the winter months Hodsock Priory has the chicest of cosy vibes with roaring log fires and traditional festive decorations, and in spring our gardens come into bloom, setting the scene for the most romantic of alfresco ceremonies.

Come with a list of questions

This is your opportunity to ask all the questions you like. What’s the cut-off time for live music? Is there space for a marquee outside? What are the evening food options? Are dogs allowed? Whatever you want to know, now is the time to ask. Although don’t worry too much if you get swept away during the viewing and forget to ask something important – the events team will always be happy to answer any questions over email after the viewing. 

bride and groom with dogs
Credit: Fly On The Wall Photography

Check out the venue’s socials

Before your viewing, make sure you’re following the venue on social media. Instagram, Facebook and TikTok accounts serve up the most amazing behind-the-scenes content, as well as glimpses of real weddings and beautiful venue set-ups. 

Pack a notebook and phone

During a viewing don’t be embarrassed to bring a notebook for jotting down any notes as you walk around. And take as many photos and videos as you can. Not only will these help keep the venue fresh in your mind, they will also come in handy if you’d like a second opinion from another family member.

Is it accessible?

Think about any accessibility needs or issues for either yourself or your wedding guests.  If you have elderly or disabled people in your wedding party make sure to check for ramps, accessible toilets, and step-free access throughout the venue. Ask whoever is showing you around about whether there are (or they can provide) quiet spaces at the venue, with plenty of tables and chairs, for older guests or those who may need a calming break from the noise during the day.

Wedding reception viewing set up at Hodsock
Credit: Megan Wilson

Don’t forget the basics

While it’s easy to get carried away with the excitement of a venue viewing, it’s important to think about the essentials too. Is it clean? What are the loos like? Will the layout work for you, your guests and the kind of day you have planned? Is there somewhere for you to get ready the morning of your wedding (if that’s important to you)? Are there baby changing facilities (if needed)? Is there plenty of parking? And, if so, is it well-lit from the venue to the car park? Not the most glamorous points, we know, but these are all essentials to consider during your viewing.

View the accommodation

If your viewing offers on-site accommodation, make sure you ask to see this during your viewing. At Hodsock Priory we have 17 luxurious bedrooms for you and your guests to book out the night of the wedding and our guide would love to show you around.

Bedroom at Hodsock Priory wedding venue
Credit: Megan Wilson

Look further afield

As you make your way to and from the venue, be sure to take in the local area. Is the venue easy to get to? Is there enough parking on-site? What are the transport links like for non-drivers? Are there plenty of hotels nearby for additional guests? Take it all in as you drive around.

Save the date

If you’ve fallen hard for your venue, ask if it’s possible to save the date for a week or so, while you and your partner talk things though, go through the logistics and work your way through all the information the venue has provided. When you’re ready, go for it!

Exterior of Hodsock Priory
Credit: A Big Neon Glitter Photography

Finding the perfect historic country house wedding venue 

If you’ve just started the search for the ultimate country house wedding venue, Hodsock Priory ticks all the boxes. Set in 800 acres of glorious countryside on the border of Nottinghamshire and South Yorkshire, our exclusive-use historic venue is perfect whatever the season. Our friendly team would love the chance to show you around Hodsock Priory so you can really see the magic of this venue for yourselves. To book a viewing or to ask any questions just click here and we’ll get right back to you. 

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