Mazel Tov, you’ve gotten engaged. You’ve found your soul mate. You’re ready to marry the love of your life. But first, you need to find that perfect venue for a Jewish wedding.
Deciding where to get married is not an easy task. In fact, it’s probably the biggest, toughest decision when planning your wedding. And if you’re looking for a Jewish wedding venue in particular, you’ll need to make sure you’re asking all the right questions.
Before you start actually viewing venues, you should ask yourself a few questions first:
Deciding the basics and the non-negotiables
With so many potential Jewish wedding venues to choose from, the first thing you’ll want to do is narrow them down. And to do this, you’ll need to start thinking about what you want from your big day.
- Do you want a large and extravagant wedding, or would you prefer something small and intimate?
- What’s your rough budget for the day?
- How many people are you planning on inviting?
- Do you want an outdoor wedding, or a ceremony inside?
You probably already know the answers to these questions, but they’ll be very important to keep in mind when you start looking at venues. One of the first things you can do is ask the venue what their capacity is.
At Heaton House Farm, we can comfortably accommodate 350 guests, so we’re a great venue for large Jewish weddings. But we also have smaller areas for smaller weddings – so don’t rule us out if you want something more intimate.
You’ll want to discuss the ‘must haves’ with your partner. If you’ve got your heart set on a wedding in a castle, then you’ll know you can rule out lots of other venues. If you must have a certain caterer, then you know to focus your search on the venues where these caterers are able to cater at.
Planning the logistics of your Jewish Wedding
Next you’ll want to think about your requirements for the big day, and how you expect it to unfold. Start discussing the things you’d like, and wouldn’t like, and get prepared with a list of questions to ask potential venues when you’re viewing them. For example:
Do you have a separate area for the tisch?
If you’re planning on a traditional Jewish wedding, you’ll want a venue that has space for the groom, his father, the father of the bride, your rabbi and other male guests. This is usually in a separate area to the Bride’s Reception.
At Heaton House Farm, our Old Stableyard Restaurant provides a unique place for a tisch, a private area away from all the other guests.
Do you have a separate area for the Badeken?
One of the most emotional and moving elements of your wedding is likely to be the Badeken ceremony, if you choose to have one. You might want to ask venues if they have a separate or special area where the groom can veil the bride.
We love to recommend our Honeymoon Suite or our brand new Pamper Room, because there are huge windows that look out onto the stunning Cheshire and Staffordshire countryside. It makes the ceremony extra beautiful.
Is there capacity for dancing and dining in the same room?
Don’t forget to ask about logistics for the rest of the day too. If you plan on dancing in between courses, you’ll need to make sure the venue is big enough to accommodate this. You’ll also want to check out the space for a live band too, if that’s on your wish list. We regularly host Jewish weddings with 15-piece bands, so we know they can be a very important part of the day.
You might also require a Mechitzah. This will need space too, but it’s not a problem at Heaton House Farm. We can put in a full Mechitzah to completely divide males and females on the dancefloor.
What happens if it rains?
If you’re having a wedding outside, and it’s in the UK, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got wet weather back-up plans. You might have a dream of a perfect outdoor Jewish wedding, but the British weather might say otherwise.
So be sure to ask the venue about their plan Bs. At Heaton House Farm, we always make sure to show our couples the different areas they can get married – inside and out – so they can be happy with both options.
What’s the parking situation like?
A simple question but one you don’t want to overlook. Be sure to check with your venues where your guests can park, and if there will be any difficulties (or even any charges). We’ve got ample space on-site for our guests, but if you’re looking at venues in Manchester or London city centres, you might struggle.
Is there overnight accommodation?
Finally, you and your guests may want to stay overnight after a long day of celebrations. Always ask the venue what their options are, even if they don’t have rooms on-site.
We’ve got 15 luxurious rooms right here at Heaton House Farm, but we can also recommend lots of other wonderful places to stay nearby.
Focus on the Kosher food and drinks
Once you’ve got all your questions answered about the general logistics, you’ll want to focus on more specifics like the food and drink.
Some common questions to ask of a potential venue for your Jewish wedding are:
- What catering options do you have?
- Can you cater for Kosher?
- Do you have a fully Kosher bar?
- Are there drinks packages available?
Each venue is different, so you have to decide what works for you. At Heaton House Farm for example, we have a selection of carefully chosen caterers for you to pick from.
We’ll also ensure our bar is entirely Kosher and can offer a range of drinks packages. This saves you the hassle and trouble of storing, transporting and organising your own drinks.
Check what other suppliers you’ll need
You’ll want to think about everything else you might need for your wedding too, and start deciding if you need to contact other suppliers. You’ll also want to make sure your chosen venue has experience in hosting Jewish weddings, and can liaise with you to make sure everything is as perfect as you imagine.
Some questions to ask might include:
- How many Jewish Weddings have you had here?
- Do we get an organiser or coordinator to help us plan our wedding?
- Do we need to hire an external wedding planner?
- Will we need to hire additional stages?
- Do we need lighting or audio equipment?
At Heaton House Farm, we’re used to all these kinds of questions. We regularly help couples plan their perfect Jewish Wedding with us, and we have experienced events coordinators who work directly with you.
You don’t need to hire any other wedding planners, because we take care of everything for you. And we include lots of equipment as standard, including uplighters around each barn, a stage, a dancefloor and an integrated PA system for background music and speeches.
Of course, you can add more if you prefer! We have a dedicated list of our preferred suppliers which covers just about everything – but you can always bring your own recommendations too!
Ask about bookings and fees at your preferred venue
Once you’ve asked all of these questions when viewing Jewish wedding venues, you’ll hopefully have narrowed down your choices when you’ve gotten all your answers.
Now you can get into the most important questions on price and booking!
- What dates are currently available, around the time you’re looking
- Whether or not you can hold your chosen date for a few days
- What the price to hire the venue is (and if there are different rates for different days/times of year)
- What that price includes
- What deposits are required
- If there are payment plans available
- Are they any extra costs?
Your preferred venues should be completely open and honest about their prices and their booking process. You should be comfortable asking any and all questions you want, and they shouldn’t be trying to hide anything.
Just make sure you’re clear on the final price and what that includes – you don’t want to be surprised by any hidden extras.
But once you’ve asked all of these questions (there may seem like a lot but you’ll quickly find the answers when viewing a venue), you’ll hopefully have found the perfect place for your Jewish wedding.