Researching and viewing venues: The Spa Hotel, Tunbridge Wells

It’s wedding season and the sun is only now starting to make an appearance. With that in mind, on Saturday me and two of my girlies went on a mini roadtrip to Tunbridge Wells in Kent to visit the Spa Hotel; a potential wedding venue.

It’s important to view with at least one other person in order to get another opinion- besides that of the hotel events planner. They are lovely but they’re also there to sell. I thought I’d share with you my experience and a few viewing tips.

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The venue was gorgeous, a real mix of traditional vs. modern. There was a wedding on that day so the venue was dressed and the cakes were being laid out when we arrived. It’s a good idea to view your venue on a Saturday. We found out that the traffic into that particular part of Kent was crazy. At some parts of our journey we were at a complete stand still. Not what your guests want to be greeted with!

Whilst being shown around I asked lots of questions, as did my friends. For example, there was a Gazebo and we asked if they do outdoor weddings. We were told this isn’t possible due to the licence the venue has. So it’s important not to assume you can use something in a certain way simply because it’s there. Make sure you clarify!

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As the venue was already dressed for the wedding we were able to assess it’s size with all the tables and chairs laid out. This is great as I didn’t leave thinking it was bigger than it was. It’s important to leave feeling informed. We also asked about caterers. We were told that they use their own suppliers but if there is something the Chef cannot make, we are more than welcome to provide the recipe to the Chef or bring in our own caterer/Chef to show them how to do it. This is a great idea if you want exotic or international food as most venues are keen to use their own suppliers.

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As this venue is a bit far from where we live, we decided to check out the rooms. In case anyone needs/wants to avoid the drive home.

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We decided to stay at the hotel and have lunch. After all, if I do decide to hold my wedding there, it’s important to know what the food tastes like on a normal day, not just at the carefully planned and delicately prepared food tasting stage.

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I’m happy we stayed for lunch. The food and service were perfect!

So my tips are:

  1. View the venue on the day of the week you are thinking of getting married. Pay attention to the traffic on the way and surrounding the venue.
  2. Ask the venue where pictures are usually held if it were to rain on your day. Try and view on a rainy day too. You may have a different opinion in the rain.
  3. If your venue is a hotel, ask to see the Honeymoon suite. Also ask to see the rooms your guests would sleep in.
  4. Find out if they will clear away some of the tables after your guests have finished eating. You don’t want to end up with a tiny dance floor.
  5. Find out what planning help is on offer. This should be inclusive of the price.

Happy planning <3

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