Sure-fire ways of finding your perfect wedding venue
If you’ve been putting off planning your wedding because of COVID (and who could blame you!), then chances are you will still have been doing a lot of research. Wedding dresses, music choices, food and, of course, wedding venues.
The problem is often when you have too long to look into different options, you get a bit bogged down and it becomes even more difficult to make a decision. And it doesn’t help when all the top 10 wedding venue lists always inevitably recommend different venues!
We’ve talked before about some amazing venues that we think must be on everyone’s list, but how do you whittle them down to a shortlist? After all, you probably don’t have the time or energy to visit each venue you like the look of.
We take a look at some sure-fire ways of helping you find the wedding venue of your dreams.
1. Think about the style of wedding you really want
Rustic, romantic, whimsical? While it might be tempting to go down the formal/traditional route, and to be fair that is a great choice for a lot of couples, nowadays you can be a lot more flexible with your wedding style. So, before you do anything else have a think about what style of wedding you really want as this will help you identify the right types of venues.
So, if you envisage a more casual ceremony with an outdoor-garden-party theme, then look at venues which offer those types of outdoor spaces. This will help you decide, for example, that Waddesdon Manor doesn’t offer the right kind of vibe, but the quiet gardens at The Winters Tale Country Barn’s could be perfect.
And a word of warning – make sure the style you choose is actually you! While it might be tempting to go a bit off-piste and try something new, this isn’t the time to experiment.
It’s one of the most important days of your life, and the last thing you want is to feel uncomfortable or out of place, because you’ve gone boho when actually traditional is more your style.
2. Decide on the number of wedding guests
Once you’ve decided on your wedding style, you can focus on possibly the most important aspect which will decide your venue – how many people are you going to invite.
Big weddings, small weddings – they are all special in their own way, so there is no magic formula for getting it right. It’s really down to whether you prefer a big or small do and, in some cases, how big your family is!
As we mentioned before, having a bigger wedding means you won’t have to stress about meeting minimum spend requirements and it often works out cheaper per person. But just like with the style of wedding, you have to do what works for you. If you invite everyone and his dog and then spend the whole time resenting the fact, you’re buying them dinner (which is basically what a wedding is!), then you’ve not going to have a great day.
And being clear on numbers will also help you focus on the right size venues to look at. No point going for somewhere the size of Kirtlington Park if you are only going to invite 10 guests.
3. Choose your ideal location
An easy way to cull your list of potential wedding venues is to decide on where you want to get married. If you’re getting married at a specific church, then stick to reception venues in the local area to save people having to traipse long distances between the two.
If you’re not tied to a church, then have a think about where you would like to get married. Is it near where you currently live, back where you lived when you were a child, or maybe it’s a place that is particularly special to both of you?
Also give some thoughts to your guests and how far they will have to travel. While it might be lovely to get married on the Isles of Scilly can most of your guests get there easily or will the distance put them off attending?
4. Work out what you need the venue to offer
If you do go for a venue which isn’t near your friends and family, then they may need to stay overnight, which means you should look for a venue which offers some accommodation. Failing that have a look to see if there are any other B&Bs or hotels nearby for your wedding guests.
Also bear in mind that some venues have preferred suppliers, and some will say you have to use them. So, it could end up your Mum won’t be able to bake your wedding cake or you won’t be able to use your local restaurant to supply the food. Decide upfront whether you want the flexibility to choose your own suppliers or are more than happy to use the venue’s own.
And if you’re planning on fireworks, live music or drone footage make sure the venue doesn’t have any objections.
5. Ensure you get the wedding photos and wedding film of your dreams
Just like the style of your wedding, it’s important to give some thought to how you want your wedding film and wedding photos to look.
If you’ve dreamed of your very own Downton Abbey moment, then what could be better than a drone sweeping in to capture the full majesty of your wedding venue? But if your wedding venue doesn’t lend itself to this (or doesn’t allow drones), then it’s not going to look as spectacular as you envisaged.
And if you’re after a romantic moment on a bridge as a newly wedded couple, make sure the venue has a bridge and one that is suitably romantic!
I’ve had the pleasure of capturing wedding films at small and large weddings at a wide range of different style venues, so am confident you’ll get a film you love, but I also know there is nothing worse than getting something which doesn’t quite hit the mark. So, give some serious thought into how you envisage your wedding film and photos will look and factor that in when you visit your shortlisted venues.
6. Decide on your deal-breakers
So, you’ve found your perfect venue, in the perfect location on the perfect date. One problem – it won’t allow live music and you really wanted your friend’s band to play.
While keeping an open mind is wise, it’s also really important to thrash out any ‘non-negotiables’ beforehand, so you don’t find the venue of your dreams and end up being disappointed last minute.
Get in touch for more advice
Hopefully, this has given you a good idea on how to choose your perfect wedding venue. If you do need any further advice, please get in touch. Over the years, I’ve visited lots of wedding venues (some multiple times) so have a good idea of what’s around. And if you want to learn more about my wedding videography services, just drop me a line and I’ll be happy to help.