Welcome to our Let’s talk Weddings… Section! Today, let’s talk about Finding the Right Wedding venue.
With experience, comes knowledge and being a member of the wedding industry in Spain for many years, has given me an advantage point to see things the way they REALLY are. In this Lets talk weddings section, I’m going to talk about all of those things that you otherwise have little chance of finding out, until it is too late! The things that perhaps might not seem important when at first planning your wedding, but nevertheless you should be aware off just in case they end up affecting your plans.
This is the section that will help you understand the difference between Venues/Caterers that offer to plan your wedding and an actual Wedding planner, why you should have two sets of chairs, why do the catering charge extra for delays on your dinner, or how venues sell their services. All aspects that will affect you, when you contract any professional Wedding services.
My name is Jesus and I look after all the logistics at the Boutique Wedding Co. I am the person in charge of making sure everything is in place so Lucy can work her magic and make your wedding look beautiful!
My only goal on writing these articles is to share some inside knowledge with those who have the time to pay attention to the smaller details. I completely respect the work of every professional in this industry, as long as they understand who they work for and who is most important… Our Wedding couples.
Let’s talk about … the right wedding venue!
The 1st thing you are going to think about when planning a wedding anywhere in the world is your Wedding Venue. It is without a doubt one of the most important elements of your wedding. For some couples, THE most important thing. Your wedding venue is the place where you plan to make all the magic happen. It is the location that is going to be a part of your memories for eternity!
There are many types of Wedding Venues old, new, elegant, posh, rustic, modern, comfortable, luxurious… but they all have one thing in common. Wedding Venues are designed to make you fall in love with them. At least the good ones are! Once you fall in love with it, the dreams start to take form and there is no stopping you. I have seen it so many times in the eyes of our brides. Sometimes our grooms as well.
Unfortunately, Wedding venues are a business and they don´t live in our Wedding dreamland. Quite the opposite in fact, they survive in a ruthless market with voracious competition, where numbers are everything and each wedding contracted is an important sale.
Only in Malaga province there are hundreds of them. They come in all shapes…Hotels with luxurious salons, and pools surrounded by palms trees. Palaces or mansions. Restaurants with great decor and an amazing food. Private villas with the best views which will give you a taste of how millionaires live…
But regardless of the type of Wedding Venue, they all want to convince you that they are the right venue for your wedding.
With that goal in mind, many venues employ sales teams to enhance their numbers. They are the people that first show you around and you misjudge as the venue manager. I like to call them, Venue Sales managers as that is a much more accurate title for their job. They work almost exclusively on a commission scheme and they oversee achieving the necessary number of events each year as any other business.
So here comes the problem, with popularity comes success and with success, over selling. So in reality some venues book as many weddings as they possibly can. During high season, sometimes 5 times a week. Some venues with different event areas, might hold 2 or more weddings at the same time. Other venues without the size, will try 2 in a day. One in the morning and one in the evening. They might even lock you in an area so the later party can access the venue. I find that utterly hilarious.
Since most people wish to marry on a Fridays and Saturdays, venues expect a minimum spend for those days and don’t give them away for a small event. Otherwise they charge a fixed fee to compensate for not qualifying for their minimum.
I remember once, I contacted a venue by the beach in the Cadiz area. I asked them about their availability, and they asked me about numbers. When I explained that my clients wanted a small intimate wedding of no more than 80 people, they claimed that that was not a wedding… and that, they reserve the right to hold another event the same day at the same time to compensate for my small event. I felt like I was giving them a problem and not a business opportunity. Fortunately, at the Boutique Wedding Co. we do not work with people who do not understand the value of our product. So I wished them luck with their business and hung up the phone.
With this amount of business each year, the venue premises suffer dramatically making it complicated to even maintain it to high standards. It is common sense that no place is going to look the same after hosting 150 parties, no matter how hard your gardener and cleaner work. That is why venue sales manager prefer to show you the venue during low season, preferably before high season starts.
If you think this is not the case, next time you are seeing a venue, just ask how many weddings they organize a year and see how the face of the Venue Sales manager changes. Don´t worry he/she will keep it reasonable, so you don’t run away. Next, look for signs of decay and imagine how is going to look the day of your wedding, if there is another wedding booked the day before.
Thankfully this is not the case for every venue. There are some Wedding venues who protect their product and understand that long term is more important than short term. That sales teams are less imperative than a venue manager who cares about his product. They cap their numbers and contract a venue team who maintain everything in pristine condition. These are the Weddign Venues that we choose to work with!
Lets be honest if the venue is beautiful, it sells by itself.
So, next time you are sitting down in a wedding venue considering whether it is the one for you, and you feel you are being sold too, perhaps too aggressively, with videos, photos and presentations, think about this post and do one thing, enjoy the cava and keep smiling!
We are professionals in planning weddings in Andalucia southern Spain, our planning service includes an extensive venue search and viewing trip! Trust in the professionals to help guide you through and book a wedding planner in Spain.