Everything you need to know about last-minute venue hire in London

If you need to book a last-minute venue, here’s how to do it without losing sleep or breaking the bank. Whether your original venue has cancelled, you’ve been asked to schedule an emergency meeting or you’re throwing a surprise wedding with only a few weeks to spare, don’t panic – just follow these tried-and-tested time-saving tips from our resident venue experts.

What to do if there’s a last-minute venue change:

Not sure how to manage a last-minute change of venue? If you don’t have a backup venue already lined up, use a free venue-finding service to see all your options. After you’ve booked an alternative venue, get in touch with your guests as well as all your vendors to let them know what’s going on.

Top tip: If the change is because of an error the venue has made, check with the manager to see if there are any services they can offer to compensate for the inconvenience (perhaps they could provide discounted catering or drinks for you to serve in your new location or maybe they’re able to cover the cost of sending out new invitations).

Last-minute wedding venues – what to look for:

Throwing a last-minute wedding? Be prepared to be flexible with your dates. If Saturdays are all booked out, perhaps a Friday, Sunday or midweek wedding could work instead. You may even be able to negotiate a discount if a venue is looking to fill slow times. Try not to limit yourself to venues that specialise in weddings either. Studios, warehouses and private dining rooms are more likely to have availability at late notice.

Top tip: Look for a late-availability deal if you’re planning to tie the knot in a matter of weeks, rather than months, as last-minute cancellations are one of the best ways to save on a wedding.

Situated in the famous old Whitbread Brewery building (now the Montcalm five-star hotel), this stylish wedding venue features Georgian panelled walls, vintage mirrors and handcrafted oak flooring.

Last-minute meeting spaces – how to get a great deal:

Before you start scouting for a meeting room or conference space, reach out to important clients so you can learn their availability and work around them. While finding a venue for a late-notice business meeting can be quite competitive in terms of pricing, with a little flexibility you should be able to book a space that’s become available because of a cancellation.

Top tip: Before hiring a last-minute meeting room, decide who needs to attend. As a rule of thumb, the smaller the meeting, the more collaborative it’ll be.

This meeting room at The Ampersand Hotel features an impressive collection of books, providing a brainstorm inspiration.

Last-minute Christmas party venues – how to find one:

Left planning your office Christmas party a little late this year? Save time by using a free venue search engine to find a late-availability venue fast. Choosing a festive-themed space or somewhere that offers dedicated Christmas party packages will make your life a little easier in the lead up to your event.

Top tip: If you’re working to a tight deadline, don’t ask the entire office for input. You can avoid drama and wasted time by deciding on what to do with your planning team and then emailing everyone the details.

Cinnamon Kitchen will add a little spice to your Christmas party.

Last-minute bridal shower venues – tips and tricks:

Want to throw a last-minute bridal shower that looks like you’ve been planning it for months? If you’re playing hostess for a party that’s just a few weeks away, reserving a private dining room or bar is one of the most budget-friendly options. You can also save time on decorating by choosing a space that reflects the bride’s personality or ties in with a theme you’ve chosen for the event.

Top tip: A bridal shower centred around a meal doesn’t require much orchestrating and means the start and end times will be clearly defined.

This retro-themed space in Covent Garden is one of London’s most popular last-minute bridal shower venues.

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