Tips to Find Your Perfect Wedding Venue with Celebrity Planner Mark Niemierko

For many of us, finding a wedding venue is a massive undertaking. Our planning doesn’t really start until we’ve got that one nailed down!

How we are expected to know what to look for and what to ask for is beyond me. From the size of the venue, to trying to disguise hideous carpets. From traditional to modern, from barns to beaches, manor houses, hotels and even castles. Phew! The options are endless and also, yup, you’ve guessed it, overwhelming.

Niemierko | XANDER Casey | www.nubride.com_0474Niemierko | Photography: Xander Casey Photography

To help make your search for the perfect setting for your wedding day a little easier, I’ve got some super savvy tips to share with you from über stylish, celebrity event and wedding planner Mark Niemierko. Needless to say, Mark knows the wedding industry and some of the best wedding venues inside and out.

Perfect Wedding Venue  Photography Eddie Judd  650Mark Niemierko | Photography Eddie Judd

Get your iPads, Androids and note pads at the ready!

Mark – please share your magic with us!

First Thing You Need

Niemierko | KODE Media | www.nubride.com_0473Niemierko | Photography: KODE Media

Whatever type of venue you decide to choose; contemporary, or traditional,  it’s important to just be you.

To find your perfect wedding venue, first you need what I call the four fundamentals:

  1. Date (or even approximate date) you have in mind, or even the season of a year you are keen to get married
  2. Number of guests
  3. Location – e.g: London, near to London, countryside, Scotland or Destination.  Make a firm decision on location, otherwise you’ll be searching the world forever. (Nu Bride: You’re right. That could take a while Mark)
  4.  Budget – be honest with yourself from the start about what you can and can’t afford. This will help you narrow down your search criteria.

Location Location Location

Niemierko | David Pullman Photography | www.nubride.com_0455Niemierko | Photography: David Pullum

Think about logistics  – You should make sure that your venue ticks all of the boxes that you want.

For example…

Is the location easy to find?

Is it easily accessible by public transport or train?

Does it have accommodation on site or nearby that’s good enough for you to recommend to your guests?

Get To Know The Staff

Niemierko-HELLO-Magazine-www.nubride.com_0471.jpgNiemierko | Hello Magazine

Talk to the people who work there…. Look at how they interact with each other.

If someone is rude to you on reception, it may be due to them not being happy in their job, which can only come from the top.  It’s the people at the venue that will make your wedding day experience positive and one to remember.

If something isn’t or doesn’t feel right, don’t get married there.

Important Things To Ask During Your Visit

Niemierko | Jeremy Enness Photography | www.nubride.com_0467Niemierko | Photography: Jeremy Enness Photography

It’s important to ask the following:

1. What are the minimum and maximum capacities?

2. Are there any timing restrictions: What time can your celebration start and finish?

3. Are there any music or sound restrictions? For example, in some venues near residential areas, they cannot allow live bands, or you can only have a live band up until a certain part of the day.

4. Ask about exclusivity: Will another wedding take place in the venue on the same day? How will that impact your celebrations?

5. Ask if the venue hire fee quoted includes the whole day (remember you – well, your suppliers or perhaps your planner,  will need to set up the wedding well in advance of your start time.

If it’s a hotel don’t just look at the reception / ceremony room, ask to look at the bedrooms, the spa and so on.  To REALLY get a feel for service, if there is a restaurant attached to your venue, consider eating there prior to booking without them knowing.

Important things to consider when you have found your venue

Niemierko | Jeremy Enness Photography | www.nubride.com_0466Niemierko | Photography: Jeremy Enness Photography

When you think you have found your venue (or a strong contender), reserve your date straight away. Always pencil it in.

Do sleep on it before handing over a deposit or arrange a second viewing. But like everything in the planning – you know when you’ve found the one.

Your Top 3 Wedding Venues

1. Having just worked at Banqueting House I feel the space, location and history is all too amazing.  Whilst you can have 300-400 people there, our wedding was for 94.  So, we were lucky enough to bring the space in by using huge stages and acts. | Pure Consult | Banqueting HouseBanqueting House | Photography: Greg Allen Photo | Image source

2. The Plaza Hotel in New York  Just because.  And it was the location for Bride Wars. (Nu Bride: Well of course. That says it all then Mark ;o) )

The Plaza Hotel New YorkNew York Plaza Hotel | Image source via NeW York Plaza

3. Four Seasons Hampshire I love the team, it’s like a country home.  I have planned many a special wedding there.

The Four Seasons HampshireThe Four Seasons Hampshire | Image copyright: The Four Seasons Hampshire

What about Price: to Negotiate or Not

Niemierko-Jeremy-Enness-Photography-www.nubride.com_0465.jpgNiemierko | Photography: Jeremy Enness

I believe you get what you pay for, but I also don’t think people should take advantage of brides and grooms.  Most venues and hotels charge similar prices but dry hire venues can be more expensive.

If you do get discounts in advance, do remember your wedding may potentially be treated like a favour by your venue.

Unlike if you have paid the prices as quoted from the start. This means that if something isn’t right you can of course demand better service and question the experience.  If you’ve had a discount – you can’t really go back and complain.  But that’s just the Englishman in me perhaps. (Nu Bride: I think it is the gentlemen in you Mark, but then again, I am a bit like riff raff sometimes. LOL! Just adding my two penneth –  if a venue can offer a discount, especially if you are booking a wedding out of season, this does not mean you should expect a lesser service or can’t complain if things aren’t as you expect and have contracted. If venues are able to offer you a discount, they will, if they can’t, they won’t. But never assume, you will have to ask them first).

Venue Décor or Blank Canvas

Niemierko | Jeremy Enness Photography | www.nubride.com_0463Niemierko | Photography: Jeremy Enness

I think it’s nice to work with a space and incorporate the venue’s history.

But it’s also fun to turn up at the likes of Battersea Power Station and try to turn it into the Beverley Hills Hotel.  Ultimately, it’s about being you and your taste and vision, not what you’ve seen elsewhere or your friends have done. (Nu Bride: Great tip Mark!)

Great tips to get started on, thank you so much Mark!

For more information on Niemierko, please contact Mark and his delightful team directly:
+44 (0) 20 7580 5010
Header image: Niemierko | Photography: Jeremy Enness

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