Venue hire - how do we calculate our hire fee?
Updated: Feb 24
So it seems a great time to explain just how we calculate the Upthorpe Wood wedding venue hire fee. Short and sweet, we wont take up any unnecessary time.
Our hire period is for three days: a set up day, wedding day and clean up morning. I hasten to add that these can also be extended should you choose. Previously we‘ve hired the Venue for a lower one day hire rate but found that it really doesn’t work, it leaves everyone far too stressed.. we prefer a much more chilled approach at the Woods and so one day hire is now a thing of the past.
On paying your non refundable deposit/initial payment/booking fee, whatever you choose to call it, your date is removed from our list. No-one else can pick it, this is solely your date...all yours, no-one else’s...!! We have committed to host your wedding on this day, we put aside any personal & family commitments which we may have on this date and will now start our side of preparations for your big day. For every weekend date between May- Sept, we can get up to 100 enquiries throughout the year. Even once removed from our available list, we will still continue to receive enquiries for your chosen date but will turn them away.
Our work for your wedding begins the moment your date is confirmed.
Admin Time is included in the hire fee calculation: sending contracts, invoices and planning notes, answering your emails, dms and telephone calls, attending meetings whether virtually or in person, attending site visits, dealing with supplier queries, sending suppliers info as well as chasing this up, preparing health and safety reports for each wedding, collecting insurance details, checking PAT and TENS, answering questions sent to us by your guests. Things that all couples require. I will always try and answer emails as soon as possible within my working day.
Offering our Professional Wedding Advice is a service factored into your hire. This begins from the very moment you book. We make ourselves available to all couples with any requested advice to help their individual day run smoothly both during visits, via email and telephone as well as in the form of pdfs, from Monday through to Friday. We can advise on general wedding planning, timings, logistical issues, supplier and guest needs. From the date of booking you are able to contact us with any wedding related query you may have.
Maintaining Upthorpe Wood has to be calculated into the hire fee: Keeping Upthorpe Wood up to scratch and open is a permanent job, with maintenance, gardening, updating, improving. We live 20 miles from the woodland so every journey to and from the woods, in itself, must be calculated when we decide the yearly venue hire fee. Between Allan and myself we work an average of 40 hours a week at the woods, 40 weeks of the year, just to keep it at it’s best ready for your wedding (this year it’s been much higher than that). It’s a full time, never ending job which we love... ok, so maybe not soooo much in those cold winter months. But you get the point... We don’t just open the doors at the beginning of your hire period and Hey Presto Upthorpe Wood, appears beautiful and ready for your wedding. From Springtime onwards, the lawn needs watering at least twice a week for several hours on end, the grass needs cutting every week without fail and also before every visit. Looking after the 2 acres is time consuming even in the Winter.
Utilities: including bills, insurances, licences, yearly tree surgeon fees, advertising, website charges, solicitors and accountants fees, tax etc. In order to be a viable business these irrecoverable costs are included as a percentage into the hire fee.
And so to the wedding hire period: The day before your hire commences we spend time prepping all the last minute requirements at the venue in time for your wedding. Once your wedding belongings start to arrive on site, we need to stay at the woods 24 hours a day both for insurance and security purposes, so from 9am on your set up day through to your departure the day after the wedding, we will remain full time and overnight at the Wood.
For Ceremony hire, we ask for all drinks, soft & alcoholic to be pre-ordered/paid as this package price does not extend to a staffed bar.
These detailed costs are all calculated, either as an hourly figure, set figure or listed individually and then worked as a percentage for the number of Weddings hosted each year.
We hope this explains how we reach a venue hire fee and also the reason why we don’t negotiate our price. Every wedding at Upthorpe costs the same to run regardless of month or day of the week. I hope it also explains that the fee is not just about opening up for your hire period..... soooo much more time and effort goes into your venue hire than that, this is often hidden time and couples are usually surprised just how much time we put in beforehand in order for your day to run smoothly.
We want Upthorpe Wood to be the best it can, not just for us but also for all our fabulous couples, looking to create their amazing days.