Congratulations, you are engaged! Now for the exciting part, planning one of the most important days of your life.
Some couples may have known exactly which venue they want to host their Wedding long before their engagement. For some however they may have no idea where to start when choosing what kind of venue suits their style and budget best.
Once you have narrowed it down to a shortlist of venues and your visit is scheduled, it is important to write a collection of questions you would like to ask their Wedding Co-ordinator. Here at Vallum we love nothing more than an organised bride who has lots of questions for us to answer!
Many couples know they always go away from visiting a potential venue thinking ‘I wish I had asked them that!’ So, our advice is to have a list of questions you know you will need answered. Here is a handy guide of what you will need to know.
The BIG questions!
- Does the venue have your preferred Wedding date free? Some venues will list their availability online. At Vallum we do not want to be seen as a ‘wedding factory’ hosting Weddings every day. We pride ourselves on only hosting a few each week. This allows us to really get to know each individual couple and make them feel relaxed and unrushed during their special day. This however does mean our available dates book fast. We allow couples to be able to ‘save the date’ for 2 weeks while they are making their decision.
- Does the venue have enough capacity to accommodate all your guests? Whether you are looking for a small and intimate Wedding or a mega celebration, you need to make sure your perfect venue can accommodate this. Our Tipi is the perfect size for smaller weddings for those closest to you. The Tipi is charming and still just as special as our indoor marquee, the chandelier is pretty amazing too! Our marquee can seat up to 160 guests for both the ceremony and Wedding Breakfast. In the evening we have had over 220, there is even enough space for a Ceilidh!
- Who will be there on the day? At Vallum this completely depends on the size of the Wedding and what sort of menu a couple has chosen. There will however always be a Wedding Co-ordinator, team of chef’s, bar staff and serving staff. Our Wedding Co-ordinator also takes on the role of master of ceremonies if you wish. All our staff are included in the venue hire. We have a pretty great team!
- Do we only get the venue for the day? We block out the day before and after for every Wedding. Couples have full access the day before to be able to dress the marque and meet with our Wedding Team. We will always go through how the day will run, giving the couple extra reassurance. Some couples love to use the day before or after for a get together. There is nothing better than sharing stories of the night before and seeing everyone before they go home. There is no extra venue hire for this, just the food to pay for!
- Do we get exclusive use of the site? You don’t want to be bumping into someone you may not know on your Wedding day. Our Wedding lawn, marquee and Tipi are there for your exclusive use. The onsite Tearoom, which is unnoticeable on a Wedding Day, is closed by 4pm. After that it is only your Wedding party onsite, and maybe a few Hens!
- How do the Wedding packages work? Our venue does not have ‘packages’ as such. We like to keep it simple, you pay for the venue hire, food and drink. We hate hidden costs! Our venue hire depends completely on the day of the week and month of the year. When choosing your menu, we will give you recommendations on what has gone down a treat in the past! However, there is a complete buzz in our kitchen when couples allow our chefs to create a bespoke menu for their Wedding day. In terms of drinks, we can supply all the drink, or you can go the corkage route. We charge per head and any left-over corkage drinks are kept for you to collect the next day. Don’t forget our bar will always be open, so do not feel as though you have to keep the drinks flowing for your guests.
- Will there be any changes to the venue before our big day? We are always looking for ways to improve our venue and enhance the whole wedding experience for our couples. In 2018 we added a Tipi to our venue which brought a whole new wave of life to Vallum. We also purchased a fancy horse box which has been perfect for serving welcome drinks and evening snacks from! We are constantly in touch with our booked couples and will always let them know if we are looking to make any changes which may affect their Wedding day.
The I Do’s
- Where will the ceremony be held? During a show around, we will always have our ceremony area in the marquee set up, to give couples a feel of what it will be like on the day. There is also an option to have the ceremony outside in our beautiful grounds or even in the Tipi.
- What happens to the ceremony area once we are married? While guests are enjoying drinks and canapes after the ceremony our team clears the ceremony area in our marquee to make way for dancing in the evening!
- Are we allowed to use confetti? We get lots of couples asking this question. Of course, you can use confetti, as long as it is natural. We don’t want any future couples seeing someone else’s confetti. Bubbles are also a great alternative and make for great photos!
Food and Drink
- When is the food served? Our canapes are served directly after the ceremony along with welcome drinks. You may want to wait an hour to an hour and a half before having your guests seated for the main meal. We find you do not necessarily need a starter as our canapes do just the job! Guests can then go straight onto the main course which we believe is enjoyed best when it is served ‘feasting’ style! Desserts then follow which we find is the perfect opportunity to start the speeches. This is one of the most treasured parts of the day. There is nothing better for guests to appreciate this with a glass of fizz in hand enjoying our mini Trio of Desserts! In the evening snacks are often served while the band or DJ takes a break, this is usually at around 9:30pm. You can keep it simple and go with our Barn Butties, or really pull out the stops and go for burger sliders served from our horsebox. The options are endless, what is your favourite food after a night of partying?
- How do the drinks work? When we supply the drinks, you are invited to Vallum for a Wine Tasting. We help you match the wine to your menu and on the day, we keep the drinks flowing. There is no limit to what people can drink. When you opt for corkage, we charge a one-off fixed price per drinks per head. Service works the same way as when we serve our own wines. All you need to do is deliver your drinks to us the day before your wedding and we take care of everything else. Any leftover drinks are collected the next day. Welcome drinks are served for one hour after your arrival or after your ceremony, table wines are served with your main course and we offer to top up glasses before the main course plates are cleared, toasting drinks are filled just before the speeches, which are usually made after desserts are served. We always make sure our own bar is open too, so you are covered on all bases!
- Does the venue supply crockery and linen? We do! We supply crockery, cutlery, linen and glassware. All you need to add is your fancy centre pieces and decorations!
- Where does the top table usually go? All our tables are round and many couple usually go for a round table as their ‘Top table’. This keeps the whole day relaxed and the couple are able to talk to everyone sitting at their table. We do however have rectangle tables if you would like to keep things traditional. You can have your top table situated wherever you like in our marquee. We will set the room up however you tell us on your table plan. Just think, where would you like your back drop to be when photographs are being snapped during the speeches.
- Do you have any decorations we can use? YES! We have lots of decorations you can wish we don’t charge you for. If we have it, you can use it! Ask our Wedding Co-ordinator for a list of decorations.
- Do we have to pay extra for fire pits? We would hate to charge for our fire pits as we feel they completely add the to ambience on an evening. We supply the fire pits and logs, you bring the marshmallows!
- Can we hang bunting? Of course, we even have our own bunting which fits around the whole of the marquee. You are welcome to use this if you think it will fit well with your theme.
- Do you have a sound system? We have a Bose sound system which you are welcome to use. You can play your ceremony and background music from the speaker, you might want to leave the music for the evening to a professional! The speaker also comes with a microphone which is perfect for speeches. You can connect your music device by aux lead or Bluetooth.
- What time does the bar close? Our bar is open for any pre-ceremony drinks until 11pm. You can however pay for a late licence to extend the bar until 12am. We find guests have enough to drink by 11pm and they are ready to hang up their dancing shoes!
- When do guests need to leave? It usually takes half an hour for couples to say bye to all their guests and make sure nothing is left behind. Remember to tell your guests to book their taxi’s well in advance as Vallum is pretty remote!
- Can we stay onsite? We do not have our own accommodation here at Vallum. We do however work with a fantastic company called Northern Star Tepees. You book directly with them and they can put up a Tepee village onsite. They also have a honeymoon Tepee!
- Are there any hotels nearby? Northumberland is full of beautiful hotels in all different price ranges! There is even a cosy pub opposite us here at Vallum where guests can stay. We will send a list of recommended accommodation if you are interested in our venue.
- Where can the bride and groom stay after their Wedding? We love Close House and Walwick Hall which are both a short drive from us. Both perfect for a bit of luxury on your Wedding evening.
- How do we receive a quote for our Wedding? During the show around, we will ask you some important questions, what is your preferred date? How many guests? What kind of food were you looking at having? From this we will be able to generate a quote for your wedding. We usually send this on the same day as your show around.
- How does the deposit work? We will hold a date for you for 2 weeks, giving you a chance to book your ceremony with your church or registrar. Once you have made the decision to book with Vallum we ask for a £1,500.00 deposit. This can be paid by cheque or by BAC’s.
- What is the payment schedule? Once your deposit is paid, we deduct this from your total payment which we generate using your quote. We then as for half of your remaining payment 16 weeks before the big day. Your final payment is to be paid 6 weeks before your Wedding. You are welcome to pay off any of the total whenever you like.
- When do we receive our Wedding Notes? Once you have booked with us and your deposit is paid, we will send you a welcome pack. We call this ‘A Guide for Brides & Grooms’. This will include your wedding notes, a helpful guide to planning your wedding and a list of recommended suppliers. You are welcome to ask for a copy of your notes at any time, we can pop them in the post or email them straight to you.
- When do we get to meet before the big day? We like to see couples as part of the Vallum family during their Wedding process. This means you are welcome to pop and see us at any time! We are always on hand to answer an email or phone call. We do however meet with all of our couples 3 months before their Wedding. During this meeting all the finer details are confirmed. You also get a chance to meet with our chefs and complete your menu.
- When do you need the final guest numbers? Two months before the wedding we will get in touch for your final numbers. After this date your numbers can go up but not go down. We will also ask for the dietary needs of your guests and for a table plan.
We hope this covers most of the questions you need answered during your visit to your potential venue. Our Wedding Team here at Vallum are always on hand to answer questions! To book a 1:1 viewing of our venue please get in touch with our Wedding Co-ordinator firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy Planning!