Planning Your Village Hall Wedding
I absolutely flipping love a good village hall wedding. I’m pretty sure that if were to do it all again, I’d choose to hold my wedding reception in one of the very very lovely village halls we have dotted all over the North West. A village hall wedding gives you the chance do things your way and personalise your wedding. It’s the perfect setting for a relaxed and informal wedding and done well, can outshine any wedding at a fancy pants hotel. But organising a village hall wedding is a totally different ballgame than holding your wedding in a hotel. Here are some of my tips and tricks to help yours run smoothly.
1. Who’s in charge?
Whilst a lot of village halls are quite used to holding wedding receptions, they don’t have a dedicated wedding coordinator like most hotel venues do. So who is going to look after you in the run up to the wedding, who is there to answer questions? Will there be anyone on hand to help you on the wedding day? A top tip for a village hall wedding is to hire a helper for the day – sometime to be on hand to meet suppliers as they arrive, to tell the caterers where to set up, or answer the florists questions and make sure the tables are set up correctly. These are all things you would normally see a hotel wedding coordinator doing. The last thing you want to be doing on your wedding day is fielding phone calls from suppliers or solving problems. You can hire a helper for the day or perhaps ask an organised friend if they’d do it for you as a wedding present.
2. Food and Drink
Both a pro and con for holding a village hall wedding is that you’re completely in charge of your own food and drink. Some village halls do have staffed bars, but many will allow you to bring your own drink. This means you can save hundreds of pounds on your bar bill, and your guests can bring their own booze, making it a very cheap night all round. But make sure you’ve allocated somewhere to keep the drinks so they are kept cool. Or why not push the boat out and hire a mobile cocktail or prosecco bar? If you do hire an outside bar make sure you check their drinks prices before hand!
Finding good outdoor caterers is one of the trickiest aspect of planning a village hall wedding but it can open up a whole different avenue of food. What about a street food van, fish and chips or even a pizza oven? All possible with outdoor catering. Village hall weddings foster such an amazing sense of community, that guests are often happy to get involved with the catering. Andrew and Claire’s guests provided an amazing selection of desserts for their wedding in a bake off-style spread (see that wedding here). Talk to the village hall staff, speak to your other wedding suppliers and check online to get reviews and recommendations for your wedding catering.
Unlike a normal hotel wedding, village halls don’t have any accommodation attached – so think about where your guests are going to stay? Nearby pubs or B&B’s are great, but make sure people book soon enough so they don’t miss out. Got big groups of friends or families coming along? Why not research some local holiday cottages or Airbnbs? Choosing a village hall for your wedding day might mean you also ended supporting lots of other local businesses too!
4. Decorating the venue
A village hall wedding is a very hands on affair for all involved. You’ll probably be expected to be there the day before the wedding to set up everything for yourself and come again the day after to remove everything and clean away anything left over. It’s worth recruiting some friends and family to help you get everything done – people love helping out at weddings so don’t be afraid to ask different people to do different jobs. Check with your village hall about what decorations you can and cannot use – some wont allow things to be stuck onto walls – so you might need to get creative about how you decorate your venue.
5. Wedding Ceremony
Where are you planning to hold your wedding ceremony? If you didn’t really fancy a church wedding then the downside of a village hall wedding is that not many of them have a licence to hold wedding ceremonies so if you’re set on a civil ceremony then this might limit your choices. There are some village halls such as Slaidburn in Lancashire where you can hold your ceremony but it might take a little more searching to find the one for you. Another alternative is to consider a humanist ceremony. Humanist ceremonies are totally personal and can take place anywhere so they are a great option if you’d like an outdoor ceremony or a ceremony at your village hall. They aren’t however legally binding so you’ll need to arrange your legal ceremony at the registry office on a different day. Two weddings?! Double the fun.
If you’re planning a village hall wedding then I’d love to hear from you. I cover weddings across the North West and further afield too. Please get in touch via my contact form and I’ll send you over a wedding brochure.
A few of my favourite village hall weddings.