Coordinating in a blank canvas venue – why I’m a total fraud!

I have a confession to make. I’m a total fraud. Yup – on Wednesday I had a meeting with my lovely florist and stylist (all will be revealed soon) at the venue to put preliminary plans into action. One of the great things about a blank canvas venue is the freedom I’ll have to do what I want right?

I have to say I walked in genuinely believing I had it all figured out. After all, I’m a wedding blogger. I live and breathe this industry. I’ve also been a busy little bee with lots of DIY projects and styling. I have almost all my suppliers booked – eight months in advance. Yup – got it sorted.

Erm… nope.

So walking around the venue with the events managers was when I really realised just how much trouble I’m in. While I’ve got all the lovely styling details all worked out, I hadn’t actually taken any practicalities into account.

My lavish outdoor wedding plans have all been optimistically made on the assumption that it won’t rain.

Now, I’m not completely stupid – somewhere in the back of my head I knew it might rain – but I always thought I’d miraculously come up with some sort of contingency plan and I really didn’t realise how complicated it would be until challenged on it.

Me: “Well, if it rains, I’ll just move the ceremony indoors.”
Events Manager: “But you’ve designated that room for your vintage tea room.”
Me: “Right, so I’ll just move that into another room.”
Events Manager: “Well, there’s only one option as the rest is carpeted – can’t have food in there.”
Me: “OK… well… erm…”

During the course of the meeting more and more holes started to appear in my plan. My hundred milk bottle and straws idea went right out the window when I took fridge space into account – I hadn’t even thought about how to get a marquee onto the lawn if it rains, let alone what rain might do to the wood on the chairs. Yes, having a party in a marquee is lovely, but what about sound levels? And again, electrics might be scuppered by… you guessed it… rain! And am I really going to expect people to traipse into the building to use the two toilets? No portaloo?

And pretty much every contingency plan has a knock on effect on the rest of the plan.

So the venue has suggested I make two different plans – one for rain and one for sun.


So yes, a real eye opener – wedding planning is hard. Wrapped in my little haven of DIY loveliness, I just assumed the logistical details were for other people to take care of.

So brides, I know it’s not dreamy or lovely or even remotely desirable, but it’s necessary: write everything down. If you’re planning a wedding, you’ll need to understand everything from timings of the day to whether your marquee has the right sort of pole (I’m not kidding) all of this needs to be taken into account. And it isn’t easy.

I’m so glad I’ve hired an amazing team to help me – but there’s still lots I have to think of myself.

So for all you brides out there who’ve hired a blank canvas venue, make sure you go and talk to the events managers well in advance. Taking on a venue with no in-house team has its definite benefits – and I wouldn’t do it differently for the world. But make sure you know exactly what can and can’t be done on the day in order to avoid disappointment.

And if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to stress out and obsessively make some lists!

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