The perfect venue – Dos and don’ts of picking a wedding venue

Our first guest contributor to our Wedding series is Paula Cogan of Cork’s River Lee Hotel. Here Paula gives some excellent (and very impartial!) tips on picking your perfect wedding venue.

Weddings, particularly in Ireland have taken on a life of their own in the past 10 years. The days of sherry receptions and sandwiches and cocktail sausages have been replaced with champagne and strawberry receptions and chocolate fountains.
While it goes without saying that a wedding day is certainly one of the most important days of your life, there are definitely some practical tips which will allow you to plan effectively and not break the bank while doing so.
One great piece of advice that I was given prior to my own wedding was to consider who would you be willing to pay €60 a head for dinner for and then plan your wedding guest list accordingly.
When choosing a venue, again it is important to view as many venues as possible that meet your general criteria.  Consider what you and your groom have in mind.  Are you looking for a country retreat, Urban location or something with a twist? Compile a check list as to what will be key for your particular wedding e.g. outside space for photographs, plenty of bedrooms for the wedding guests or a ballroom with natural daylight.

The web has opened up so many avenues for research to the bride to be.  Check out each venue and their website.  You can download menus, packages and also check out blogs where you will get feedback from other brides as to venues that have worked for them.
You will then have a good idea of costs and the specific packages that the hotel can offer prior to meeting with the on-site wedding coordinator. In the majority of hotels, it is also worth meeting with the Chef and the Events Manager to ensure that everyone understands your vision for the day.  It is important that you feel comfortable with the staff in the hotel, as you will be liaising with them on a regular basis for a number of months.
Every hotel will be delighted to sit with you and provide a free consultation and answer any of your enquiries.  They will also be delighted to assist with recommendations for entertainment, decorations and many other items, as they will deal with suppliers on a daily basis. If you ring in advance to make an appointment, make sure to ask when the hotel is hosting a wedding and pop in to see the room and make sure that you are happy with how it looks.
Of course negotiate on price.  If you are not a good negotiator bring a mum or dad to do the negotiating for you.  Many hotels will offer substantial discounts for mid week weddings, or Autumn and Winter dates. Ask for a written quotation, as well as all terms and conditions before signing a contract.
At River Lee Hotel, we specialise in the smaller size wedding, and provide a bespoke wedding day, not as much of a cookie cutter wedding, that the larger traditional wedding hotels can provide. Some of the most special weddings that I have been privileged to have helped organise over the years, have been for smaller numbers, 50 to 60 people. The wedding couples were able to spend a little more on a superb menu, nice wines and were able to really get to chat with all of their guests and enjoy the day.
Paula Cogan is Director of Sales and Marketing at Cork’s River Lee Hotel and has enjoyed assisting wedding couples with their plans for over 14 years.

Comments are closed.

Sign up for our Newsletter

Like what you see? Sign up for our weekly-ish newsletters for the latest special offers, new arrivals, bin ends and exclusive discounts.

Privacy Policy

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Content ©2021 Curious Wines Ltd. and Partners | Company registered in Ireland No. 462257

Tramore Commercial Park, Tramore Road, Cork, T12 V5DE, Ireland | Tel: +353 21 432 0233