Picking your Dream Venue

One of the very first decisions you will make when starting to plan your wedding will most likely to be where you will hold your special day. And, for some of you, this will involve choosing two venues. So, double the number of things to think about! This decision will be influenced by many things, and therefore will itself influence many things – so it’s a hugely important decision.

The Ceremony

Deciding what kind of ceremony you’re going to have is a very important part of deciding the venue. If you want a religious ceremony, you’ll need to decide as a couple which place of worship is the right one for you. Usually, if you’re going to have a religious ceremony, the two of you may already have an idea of where you’ll be holding it – but make sure you take the appropriate steps in making sure you are actually allowed to get married there! This also means that for the sake of easy logistics and happy guests, you’ll want to consider holding your reception somewhere close by. This will be something that will need to be taken into consideration.

If you would prefer a civil ceremony, then it’s either your local registry office, or a licensed venue. If you’ve got your heart set on getting married and holding the reception in one location, make sure the venue you’ve fallen for can legally marry you.

Luxurious Hotels & Stately Homes

Sometimes, these venues will offer a wedding package, so make sure you’re happy with all their chosen suppliers before you commit to them. It’s also important to make sure you know exactly what is and isn’t included in this package so that you can allocate your wedding budget accordingly.

If you find a venue that is more flexible with supplier choice make sure you think about the additional things you may need to organise for the big day that aren’t included with your venue hire.

Generally these type of venues are great for taking the stress away – they already have tables, linens, cutlery, glassware, kitchens, designated dance floor areas, a permanent marquee, toilets etc…and often they have a designated wedding planner who will be your main point of contact throughout your planning process.

There is usually plenty of accommodation for guests to stay too, make sure that you check to see whether this is included in your wedding package, and always check if there are any additional costs to this.

Marquees & Tipis

With the rise in humanist and alternative ceremonies, more and more couples are holding their reception in a marquee or a Tipi. This could be a fabulous option if you know of someone or land you can hire to put one up. These days quite a lot of wedding venues allow for marquee weddings on their own land.

Do bear in mind with this option that you may have to organise a lot more, depending on where the location of the marquee/ Tipi is. And, while there are lots of great marquee, tent and Tipi companies who will set up for you and often offer things like tables and generator hire too – you will also have to think about toilet facilities, furniture, all of the decor, where people will have drinks, eat, dance, relax and somewhere for the caterers to go…

For many Brides however, this is the perfect chance to unleash their inner creative party planner. If this is you, go for it – because the only restrictions on your dreams will be financial ones. You can choose ANY suppliers you want, decorate in exactly the way you want, make noise until you want and ensure that your wedding day is totally private. It is the perfect blank canvas.

Pubs & Restaurants

You’re serving friends and family food and drink – surely, it’s totally logical to hold your reception at a favourite restaurant?

If this isn’t something you’ve even thought about before, do give it some consideration. Especially if you’re having a city wedding. Lots of independent pubs and restaurants are more than happy to give you exclusive use and work on a menu with you.

There isn’t any clearing up for you to do and as you’ve probably chosen that place because it’s somewhere you like to go to eat – you know the food, ambience and decor are good.

Things To Consider Before Choosing A Venue 

BUDGET – There is a reason why this is in capitals… this has to be one of the most important things when planning your wedding, it goes without saying. Talk through with your partner how much you want to budget for the venue. Do your homework and try compare prices online and enquire with a venue before viewing it. By determining how much you can afford will help you avoid the heartache of falling in love with a venue that’s well out of your price range — we believe that you don’t want to spend more than 50% of your total wedding budget on your venue.

Number of Guests? - Since not all places can accommodate a wide variety of wedding sizes. Nearly every venue will have a guest count minimum: Be sure to aim low in your numbers, it will be easier to add guests than to deduct. If your final attendance number winds up being smaller than you had anticipated, you may have to pay for extra plates. Knowing your number of guests will mean that you can easily choose the right venue depending on how many you want for both the reception and evening festivities.

Theme – Are you set on having your wedding in a certain theme? Or perhaps you have already thought through the colour scheme of your very special day. Now is a good point to start thinking about what sort of venue will accommodate the type of wedding you are wanting to have. However, if you are waiting to see what venue you choose first, then that is completely fine.

Location – Whether you plan on getting married in a church and transferring your guests to a separate reception venue, or plan on having the ceremony and evening party all in the same place, it’ll need to be a suitable location. When considering a location, most couples pick somewhere that is either near to where they currently live, or a place where either the bride or groom grew up. This is especially important to remember if you want a church wedding, because you will need to either still be living within the Parish or have a family connection to that church.

Booking time… If you are wanting to get married between May – August on a weekend, then it would be best to book your wedding venue 12-18 months (or even earlier) before the date. This will mean that you will avoid disappointment if your date is not available. If you are however looking to get married soon, have a look on venues websites and they may give you any dates they have spare. You can usually book these and get additional offers for your wedding!