I’ve booked my venue ... NOW WHAT

I’ve booked my venue ... NOW WHAT

Amy and Leo - Photography by Peter Reynolds

You are engaged!

From the moment you say “YES!” everything can seem like a whirlwind.

From telling the parents, going on viewings, deciding when, what, who, where, how…the list goes on up until the point you find your dream venue.

You make the booking, secure your date…. Now what?

Gemma and Owain- Photography by Jodie Donovan

We get it! You’ve never done this before.

When you book at Winters Barns you are never left alone. We are happy to get involved with pointing you in the right directions regarding suppliers, deadlines or simply providing reassurance you are on the right track.

We are Lizzie, Sally and Sophie, the wedding co-ordinators here at Winters Barns.

First things first, a few things NOT to worry about…


Your Ceremony

At booking we will send you over your ‘Civil Ceremony Booking Questions’ which we ask you to complete and return. The team here at Winters Barns will book in your ceremony for you with KCC. This may not be immediate so please don’t panic!

Once booked KCC will then contact you to confirm the booking and request your fees, and then arrange a meeting with you.

Booking in Scott Anderson, our caterers

Again, all done for you!

Once your booking is confirmed for the venue we will book you in with Scott Anderson who will shortly after contact you for their deposit and invite you to a menu tasting.

Booking in our package DJ or Band - The Wedding Chaps/ The Redfords

Yet again, leave it in our hands.

If at point of booking you opted in to have our DJ or Band as part of your package we will get it all booked in and they will also contact you for your deposit and then send you their brochure and arrange an initial meeting to discuss music choices.

Sophie and Adam– The Redford’s Photographer

Now, where to start?

Get your save the dates out!

Our rule with this is that its never too early! A massive part of a wedding is getting all your nearest and dearest in one place to celebrate. The longer you give people to arrange travel and transport the better. Especially if you have some family members from further afield.

At Winters Barns we have eight bedrooms with King size beds with ensuites in our Farmhouse and Hop Picking Huts for your guests and our couple’s Cottage just for you. You are also spoilt for choice with local accommodation on our doorstep in Canterbury.



The Farmhouse is part of our on site accommodation and comprises of six double rooms with ensuite.

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Hop Picking Huts

Hop Picking Huts

The Hop Picking Huts are part of our on site accommodation and comprise of two double rooms with ensuite.

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Local Accommodation

Local Accommodation

A selection of highly recommended nearby accommodation.

Learn more

Tommy and Emily– Sam and Louise Photography

Book in suppliers!

Great suppliers get booked up quick! Do not sit on the back burner when it comes to booking the likes of your photographer. Suppliers can often only book in one wed- ding a day meaning when your date’s gone, it’s gone.

There are hundreds of suppliers out there, sometimes it becomes a bit intimidating as you struggle to filter through the long list of google results to “photographers near me”.

We would always send you towards our recommended supplier list and guide you through it.

These are a group of suppliers that we have had at the Barns many times and we love their work!

Have a browse through their websites and social media pages and see who you like the feel of.

Side note: Thinking of a toastmaster? We’ve got you covered.  Your wedding co-ordinator is happy to act as your Master of Ceremonies for the day and we have all had lots of experience!

Natasha and Ronnie– Photographed by Olly Knight

Are you thinking of a band?

The Redfords are a fantastic band that we can put in our package.

The are also many great bands on our recommended suppliers list that have played at Winters Barns often.

These bands often put on shows at local venues for couples to go along to.

It is great idea to get a preview of the party your band will bring! These don’t come along every month so note when they are on early to make sure you can make the date.

Also, who doesn’t love an excuse to go to a gig!

Francesca and Liam – Photographed by Rebecca Holiday


Now, by no means are we saying fill up your baskets and finalise what’s where at this point!

Couples are often finalising this a month before their wedding.

However, establishing a clear colour scheme or style is a great place to start.

Having a clear theme from early doors makes decisions a lot easier throughout the planning process.

Get on Pinterest and see what makes you go WOW!

Are you eager to have quite a DIY wedding? Then get stuck in straight away. These things take time and with the busy lives we all live time runs away from you… but it will all be worth it when you can sit back on the day and look at what you created!

Planning to hand over the reins?

Florists and venue stylists are always ready and raring to go. They love couples to come to them with a direction in mind. Show them your ‘WOW’s!’ and let them run with it! They do this for a living after all!

Oliva and Matthew– Photographed by Gavin Hardy Flowers by BloomingGayles

Time for the official invites!

This time will 100% sneak up on you.

The deadline for providing your final numbers to the caterers is 6 weeks before your date so it is essential you give yourselves plenty of time to retrieve all RSVP’s and meal choices.

Don’t forget to find out your guest’s food allergies and dietary requirements!

We would recommend making your RSVP deadline a minimum of eight weeks before your date. This gives you two weeks to chase those inevitable few guests who forget

Taking into account all of the above, four to six months before is a sensible time to send your invites so long as they have received save the date notes earlier. This gives guests time to arrange time off work and travel plans.

We often get asked timing wise what to put on invitations. We recommend asking your guests to arrive an hour before your ceremony . This then gives lee-way for any traffic delays, and time for them to meet up and head to the bar before the ceremony.

Katie and George – Photographed by Kerry Ann Duffy

That should be enough to keep you busy over the coming months!

Hopefully this has calmed the panic and steered you in the right direction going forward.

The No.1 advice we would give to couples is enjoy the process!

Planning a wedding is meant to be magical. At the end of the day it is all about you and your fiancée.

Don’t let the stress of the little things cloud that!

By Sophie, Wedding Co-ordinator at Winters Barns


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