How To Find The Perfect Wedding Venue
Choosing a wedding venue is arguably one of the biggest decisions you and your partner will make when planning the big day. If you’re eager to start searching, view our top wedding venues with wedding party accommodation. If you need a little help, read below for tip tips from the experts on coming up with wedding venue ideas, and weighing all of the different options.
View a selection of top UK wedding venues
17 Tips From Wedding Planner Experts
Jessie Thomson, luxury wedding planner and designer living in the Cotswolds, says:
- Be flexible with your dates: When looking for a wedding venue try to be as flexible as possible with your dates, and rule out those that don't fulfil minimum requirements upfront. For example, limited space which won't comfortably accommodate your guest list.
- Ask for previous wedding photos at the location: Before booking the venue, make sure to look at real weddings hosted there on other photographers websites. You will get a better idea of how the space can be used, and what your ceremony or reception set up might look like.
- Set your colour scheme after picking the venue: Try not to set your heart on a colour scheme or theme before you pick your venue - it should lead your decor and styling ideas, and is the canvas which you will base absolutely everything around. Consider also the ambience of the venue and how you'll tie it all together so it feels coherent and relaxed on the day.
- Don't assume a reception at home will be cheaper: If you are considering hosting a tented/marquee wedding reception at home, be aware that the cost of doing so often exceeds that of booking into a beautiful hotel or large country house. It can be the most wonderful backdrop for a personal wedding, but logistically is much more work and will need to be thought through carefully.
London based wedding planner, Andri Benson, says:
- Don't forget all the little details: When visiting wedding venues pay attention to the little details, such as the routes your guests will take, what the bathrooms are like, whether there’s ample heating/air conditioning and where the power sockets are for your band, speeches, DJ, ceremony music.
- Make sure the venue are flexible to your needs: Discuss with the venue how they normally orchestrate their wedding days. Are they open to your ideas and flexible with timings or are they rigid in the way that things have always been done? If it doesn’t work for you, chat about how you envisage the flow of the day and the use of the rooms. Are they willing to accommodate your ideas or will they revert to the tried and tested formula?
- Establish your point of contact: Do ask who will be your main point of contact throughout the planning process and on the actual day itself. During the early enquiry stages you may be dealing with the sales team and only once booked will you work with the events team before finally dealing with the banqueting team on your wedding day. For peace of mind you may prefer to deal with one person throughout, but if this isn’t an option you might want to consider working with a wedding planner who can oversee everything for you.
Hampshire based wedding consultant, Sian Bowron, says:
- Know your guest numbers: Put together a provisional guest list before starting your venue search, that way you will only view venues that accommodate your guest numbers.
- Enquire about self catering: If you want a venue where you are able to use your own caterer ask the venue on your initial inquiry if they allow this. A lot of venues, particularly hotels, will have their own catering on site.
- Research what venues are registered: You will find a list of venues that are registered for civil wedding ceremonies on your local council’s website.
Hannah O' Sullivan, wedding specialist at Eynsham Hall, a luxury Jacobean manor house that borders Oxfordshire and the Cotswolds, says:
- List your must-haves: Be sure to get inspired before you start your search, create your top 3 'must haves' so that you don't get carried away and miss anything that's really important to you as a couple. For example, you might want guest accommodation on site or a sweeping staircase to walk down into your ceremony?
- Be prepared for all weather: Look for a venue that has indoor and outdoor options, so that come rain or shine you can be rest assured your wedding day will be everything you dreamed of and the weather will not be something you have to worry about.
- Think about your wedding photos: Sometimes it helps to go around the venue with your wedding photography in mind, that way you can really visualise the outcome of the day.
- Consult your wedding planner: Book some time with the wedding planner at the venues you are looking at so you can ask any questions that may come up as you walk around or go through any ideas you want to sound out that could be a deal breaker.
- Find inspiration on social media: Use social media to find THE one, check out blogs, photographers portfolios and Instagram for the latest wedding inspiration, you never know where you will come across the venue of your dreams.
- Set your budget: The dreaded question and the party pooper of all wedding planning. Everyone has a different budget, stick to yours because you don't have to blow it to achieve your dream day.
- Attend wedding fairs: Create a calendar of wedding fairs, they're a great way to get a feel for a venue whilst also checking out local and recommended suppliers. This is particularly good if you don't have a huge amount of time until your wedding date as you could choose everything on the same day!
Do you have any tips for finding the perfect wedding venue? Please feel free to leave a comment below.