Venue hire and party planning on the Isle of Wight

By Observer Features Feb 25, 2024
Make a wish! Happy young girl celebrating birthday among friends while blowing candles on cake

Whether you’re planning a birthday bash, a company gathering, a wedding, or any event in between, choosing the right venue is a crucial step that can make or break your event.

Once you’ve decided not to to hold your event at home there are lots of options, and it can be hard to nail down the perfect spot. We’ve put together some of the things to consider to ensure you find a venue that fits your needs perfectly.

Location, location, location
First off, the location is important. It sets the stage for your event and can even influence your guests’ willingness to attend. Ideally, you want a place that’s accessible to most of your guests, whether they live locally, are travelling from elsewhere on the Island or will be coming over from the mainland. Consider the proximity to public transport, hotels, and parking options if your invited guests are likely to drive. Talk to the managers of the venue to find out how people have dealt with these issues before.

Size matters
It’s all about balance here; too small and your guests might feel cramped, too big and the event could lose its intimacy or seem under-attended. Think about the nature and size of your gathering. How many guests are you expecting? What kind of activities will there be? Whether it’s a sit-down dinner, a dance area, or space for stalls, ensure the venue can comfortably accommodate your plans. Is there an outside area that can be used if the weather is good? That could make a big difference to how the venue can work for you.

Catering conundrums
Food and drink often take up a significant part of the event budget and play a big part in the experience for your guests. Does your venue offer in-house catering options, which are often the most convenient option? However, if they don’t, or you prefer a specific catering company, check if the venue allows external caterers and what their kitchen facilities are like. If you want to provide the catering yourself, is that allowed and would there be any restrictions or extra charges – such as corkage for providing your own wines? Remember, the way to your guests’ hearts is often through their stomachs!

Setting the scene
The ambiance and atmosphere of the venue should align with the mood you’re trying to set for your event. While some venues have a natural charm about them, others might need a bit of dressing up. Find out what the venue allows in terms of decoration. Can you hang decorations, light candles, or change the lighting? These small details can transform a space to match your vision.

Never underestimate the importance of practical aspects such as parking. A venue might tick all the aesthetic and size boxes, but fall short on accessibility or parking options. Ensure there are enough parking spaces for your guests, or look into nearby parking facilities. Also assess other practicalities, like toilet facilities and accessibility for guests with special needs.

Set your budget
Your venue hire is likely to take up a reasonable chunk of your event budget, so it’s essential to have a clear idea of how much you can afford. Get all costs up front to avoid any surprises. Some venues may offer package deals, that include catering, decoration, and even entertainment, which might help stretch your budget further. The owners of the venue will certainly have examples of things people have done before that have worked well. Even more importantly, they will be able to tell you of things that have not worked out so well, and give you tips that could help you avoid expensive mistakes.

The marquee option
Don’t forget about the flexibility of hiring a marquee. If you have access to a suitable outdoor space, marquees can be a magical and versatile option. They come in different sizes, and can be decked out to match your theme, offering a blank canvas to bring your event vision to life. Plus you’ll often have more freedom when it comes to catering and entertainment.

The right venue is out there!
Whether it’s a corporate function, a dream wedding, or a casual get-together, the perfect venue is out there waiting for you. By considering some of these aspects – from location and size to catering and budget, including the unique option of hiring a marquee – you’ll be well on your way to finding the right place.

The supporters of this feature will be able to help you book a venue which can host an event that fits in with your plans, budget and vision.

Enjoy your a wonderful event – whatever it is you are planning!