Wedding Wednesday Discussion – Should Wedding Venues hold more than one wedding at a time?

Wedding Wednesday Discussion – Should Wedding Venus hold more than one wedding at a time?

I wasn’t going to run a discussion this week but after this weekend’s drunken twittering with some fellow wedding peeps I felt the need to share with you my thoughts on Wedding Venues holding more than one wedding at a time.
Now I know that all venues need to make their money…….But I have to say that I am pretty much against this………….so I guess this isn’t going to be a debate more of a rant!!

My attention was drawn to a situation this Saturday evening when I was sat with a glass of wine in one hand and my phone in the other. I noticed that one of my photographer friends had tweeted that they had been at a wedding where there had been 3…not 2 but 3 weddings on all in the same venue. Now I know a lot of venues hold 2 weddings at a time and they never try and hide the fact…But 3!!! Now come on, is that necessary! The photographer said that it has been very hard for them to get the group shots as there were other weddings around them all day. Each of the 3 brides could very easily see the other one and had to take it in turns to use the venues grounds……………Bad form me thinks!!

So why do venues do it…..greed?? Well I guess that is the simple answer. A lot of venues are big enough and experienced to run more than wedding at a time, which I guess is fine if you can run them as two separate events….but in my experience more often than not there is always some small amount of cross over. A shared bar, shared grounds……and what about god forbid (my biggest nightmare) a shared toilet where 2 brides stand looking at each other in the same dress!!!

People have said to me that the bride is well aware of the fact that there may be another wedding when she books, which is fair point! But what if when that couple book there isn’t anyone else booked in that day, just them. The pay their £2 – £5K venue fee and then a month before the wedding they find out there is another wedding booked in…………well personally I’d be more than a bit annoyed! Yes couples are to expect it……..but why??? Do the couple now have to book their wedding on a Wednesday or a Thursday to guarantee exclusivity……..or do they just have to pay an incredibly high price to make sure that they are the only ones present??

These days it is one of the first questions I ask a venue when I go to meet them ‘Do you have exclusivity for each of your brides?’ and my hats go off to the ones that do!
When a couple gets married they want to know they are the most special people there, they want and deserve first class service and the venues undivided attention. After all they are paying a high enough price as it is.
And yes as a planner it is my job to stop the worst thing happening…..the 2 brides bumping into each other………but if you only had that one wedding on at time there would be no need!

…………………………As for the venue with 3 brides, I would never recommend them to any of my brides and grooms………..EVER!!!

So what do you think? Am I ranting over nothing? Or do you agree with me? Are you a supplier who has worked on a wedding when this has happed? Have you any nightmare stories to tell or even some good ones where it has worked perfectly well?
Are you a bride who has experienced the worst case scenario? Or have you had a good experience??
I would love to hear your points of view………………please feel free to join in the discussion!

Kelly xx

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    I completely agree with you, complete greed, and unless a venue has a whole team of co-ordinators then how could she/he possibly split themselves between 3 special events, never mind the pressure on the kitchens, catering for 3 events and most probably other hotel guests too. That could never be good and you could never get the best service in that eventuality

    Amma // Beyond Beyond

    You need to feel that your day is special, but having to compete for space and picture time on your wedding day is ridic. Or play rock, paper, scissors to decide who gets to use what part of the venue. Nah, blooming cheek!

    Lauretta Morley

    I agree also!
    You can’t expect the same level of service and you want to be the only bride to be married at your chosen venue on your special day!
    I would never take on many weddings on the same day unless it was viable and I’am able to give the bride my full service.


    I agree too – terrible performance and I feel so sorry for the brides involved. I’d be fuming if it was me and it would impact on my day!

    Venues need to get their priorities sorted, if they’re booking two or three in on the same day, think what bad reports they will be getting. It will impact future business and they just won’t get bookings from the 100 or so guests of each couple!

    Jane Swain

    Is it as much a sign of the times (fears about the downturn which has significantly impacted budgets) as it is a commercial decision on the part of some wedding venue owners?

    My daughter and partner married this year in early June. They held their event in small Derbyshire hotel well known for being a wedding venue. Ours was the only event on the day and it did make it feel more secure and “family” orientated that we were not intruded upon by another party group. Not sure we would have achieved the same degree of relaxation if we had been competing for space with strangers!

    Rebecca Jones - Ever After Designs

    I have to say I also agree. I went on a hen weekend at a large hotel in Derbyshire. They had a few large event rooms, one of which was for us girls, another one was hosting a wedding. Although each event room was private, there was some common ground outside where the two did overlap. Now, we all know how girls get on a drink fuelled hen night/weekend, lots of laughs, silliness and a bit of mischief. I remember seeing the bride from the other room watching us in disgust as she felt that she was being upstaged and the attention was being taken away from her. I understand how she must have felt and I wouldn’t want that to happen to me. If/when I get married I think this will be a huge consideration when choosing the venue!


    Good topic! This happened to one of our brides only last Friday! We were filming a wedding in Humberside, the service was lovely and the bride and groom were really happy. We got to the venue to find that there was another wedding party. Ok, yes there are a lot of venues that hold 2 weddings on the same day…. this venue well I’ve never been to a wedding where the rooms back on to each other!!!! Literally! To get to our brides function room (there were two ways in) was to either enter from the rear car-park where you could see into the other wedding party, or through the front car-park entrance where you shared the same conservatory and had to walk by the other function room to get through to our brides function room!

    For the photo’s we go out to the gardens at the back – lovely gardens. However, the other bride’s function rooms backs onto the gardens and all the doors were open with people sitting outside having drinks. We start the filming of our couple then the other bride appears shouting at a child to stop pulling her f****** dress up – nice! Then the rest of the party come out and watch our couple’s photo’s being taken making lots of remarks such as “shall we jump in their photos” etc. They all just stood on the terrace watching then some sauntered on to the gardens where the photos were taking place. We moved away from the terrace to do the more scenic, romantic shots and before we know it, about 6/7 lads from the other wedding party started a game of football! Surely that’s not on! Our bridal party then went inside which had to pass by the other function room. The evening reception started and we could here the next rooms DJ, my hubby went to get a drink and the bar staff told him he would have to go to the other bar – the other bar being located in the other function where the other wedding was!! Just unbelievable really and in my view bad co-ordination of the day! No privacy with people hovering around your room, walking in and out of each others function rooms, getting drinks, going to the same toilets – nightmare. I just felt for our couple and I’m not sure if they were disappointed (I would have been) but they hid it well and just got on with enjoying themselves which I suppose that’s all you can do!

    Another time last year where the venue had 2 weddings on at the same time – not once did the brides or the bridal party meet -the venue was superbly co-ordinated and photo’s were taken in privacy etc. Thumbs up for that one!

    Paul Thompson Spirits High Entertainments

    Even as a supplier to the Wedding industry (I’m a Dj) I find it sad and dissapointing that venues feel the need to turn thier glamorous hotels into virtual “Wedding factorys”. It takes away the Special feeling that it’s your big day and you shouldn’t have to share it with anyone.

    As previously said it’s mainly greed from the hoteliers side of things with the economy now on the up let’s hope that we go back to one a day, but somehow I doubt it.

    If your venue is huge and you have different function suites say one in the hotel and a marquee in the grounds then probably not as bad but I gigged at a venue in North Derbyshire a few weeks ago that had 3 Weddings on at the same time. I was having to go through the other Wedding parties to get my kit into the room I was playing in as the guests were all out on the terraces and in the gardens.

    Lyndsey Gribble

    Ouch, that is harsh – I’m divided really as I can imagine that if the venue was cheaper it would seem attractive for a cash strap bride to hire it but if the venue was just being greedy then that is bad planning and they could get some negative feedback from it which could spiral from bad word of mouth comments.

    Katy Thomson

    This is a topic VERY close to my heart and I can 110% relate to your photographer friend! ; )
    As a photographer I want to capture the best possible memories for my couple and if I’m having to move them and their guests around so as not to get another wedding in the back ground it really ruins it. I feel very strongly that venues should make every wedding couple feel special and if they’re stretching their resources to cover 2 or more weddings then this can’t happen. If a wedding venue is fortunate enough to be large enough to accommodate 2 weddings/events then they should think very carefully about timings and ensure that the 2 couples don’t ever overlap. I had a situation recently where the venue had told me there would be 2 weddings happening but there would be no overlap because the timings were so different. On the day that wasn’t the case and as my couple arrived at the venue for their reception I could see the other couple coming out from their ceremony and making their way onto the grounds for photos. It was a horrendous situation and one that the venue should have ensured never happened. The venue itself is a lovely location for photos but I personally would never recommend it to a couple. On the day my couple were lovely and didn’t appear to be too bothered about the other wedding but it was clearly an issue for family & friends who couldn’t quite believe what they were seeing.

    Denice Iglesias - BodaWebPR

    I think it depends on the venue. For example, I got married a few months ago and on that same night the hotel had another wedding and a sweet sixteen. I didn’t have any problems and never saw the other bride; the place was big enough and had more than enough staff to run the three events without problems. The ballrooms were completely separate and they make sure you have your privacy. So, if the venue is big enough and has capable staff, I don’t see a problem.

    On the other hand, if the venue is too small and the ballrooms have shared spaces I, as a wedding planner, wouldn’t recommend it. It would be a recipe for disaster and would result on a VERY unhappy bride.

    Mark Skeet

    Hi Kelly

    Well you know my views from the weekend’s twittering but I’ll re-iterate them here.

    Yes it’s sad, yes it’s not particularly good form on the hotel’s part, but like all businesses they exist to make money; many of these chain hotels have shareholders to answer to.

    There’s also the argument that caveat emptor – couples should be asking the question and if they can’t afford exclusivity they either take the risk of another wedding party or more using the same facilities or go somewhere where only 1 wedding a day is handled.

    As a photographer I choose to only photograph 1 wedding a weekend as I feel it’s unfair to my couples if I can’t give them every last ounce of my creativity. I just know that if I had weddings Friday, Saturday & Sunday none of my couples would get me at 110% and that’s not fair.

    I’m not unsympathetic, but I just think people need to think before they hand over their hard-earned cash.

    Jonathan Grice Fruition Photography

    As a professional wedding photographer its our worst nightmare to have more than one wedding going on at the same venue. The biggest problem is not knowing who is with which wedding, our style is very much candid and fly on the wall and is hard work trying to work out who is with which wedding. Also we have found that as the night do(s) get into full swing it seems the party with the best music or best looking bridesmaids get the guests from both parties which is even worse for the bride as she is all of a sudden besieged by drunken lads from the other wedding trying to cop off with her bridesmaids. The only thing I would say to a bride and groom is to check with the venue to make sure they will be the only wedding party there on their wedding day or accept it at their peril


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