27 Jul How to choose your wedding venue
WHICH VENUE IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
Things to think about!
Struggling on how to choose your wedding venue? I’ve laid out my considerations when picking the place for you.
Your venue is typically the first aspect of your wedding to secure. Once you have your venue and your date you can book your key suppliers. I’ve been all over the country and abroad and seen some amazing venues. But big is not necessarily beautiful and your day is more about your friends, family and guests than the place that encompasses you. That said, I think you get a feeling for a venue when you walk in and that goes a long way to making it the right one and some are just visually stunning.
There are practical factors that come into play, too, like travel distances for your guests, accommodation and even layout. Below are a few of those considerations to bear in mind!
Make sure you check out my post on beautiful UK wedding venues, there’s some gorgeous places around!
Sounds simple, but you need to fit your guests in! The average wedding party size is about 75 guests in the day and then up to 140 in the evening. Make sure you count for the full list but most venues accommodate this number and a few more. If you’re having over 200 guests then you need to get on the case ASAP, as there are fewer venues with that capacity. If you’re in that space try Mitton Hall, Rivington Hall Barn, Stanley House or Nunsmere Hall.
Check out the size and placing of the rooms. Where’s your party room? Your ceremony room? Your wedding breakfast room? Some venues use one room for all three! That means as each part of the day passes the rooms get turned around and reset for the next part. In that case you and your guests will have to go elsewhere while that’s being done. Do you want a room for older guests or young children while you party on with the tunes going off the decibel scale!!? On that note, think about your guests being together in one place. Fewer rooms means everyone is all together and not getting lost somewhere else! Somewhere like Eaves Hall has different rooms but are all close together.
Fancy meeting another bride in the same building!? A handful of venues do run more than one wedding on a day and some are still open to the public and have other guests. You’ll be caught up in the whirlwind of the day so being in your own part of the venue will feel exclusive in most cases but exclusivity means it’s just you and your party. Ultimately you have to pay extra for exclusivity. Some venues are exclusively wedding venues so what you see is what you get – and pay for! For exclusive only wedding venues try Eaves Hall, Ashfield House or West Tower.
Location & Accommodation
Where are you guests who live farthest away coming from? Maybe one thing to think about when you choose your wedding venue. How does everyone get there? And where are people staying? On average venues have around 20-30 rooms and if you have exclusivity they are all yours. Most family and friends will plump for a local B&B or Premier Inn if close by, so worth a scan of the surrounding area when checking venues. As they’ll be spending most of the day/night with you it’s probably just to sleep over and they may well need a cab at the end of the night so factor this in too. For a venue that will accommodate all of even the biggest parties try Crow Wood.
In the true traditions of weddings the celebrations are around feasting, so food and the wedding breakfast are so important. Plus I love my food and I have had the pleasure of dining with a lot of my couples on their big day – so have had the same food as they have. My top tip for any restaurant or dining venue? Always go by the veg dishes! The average chef can cook a steak but the better ones know how not to serve mushy, over boiled veg. If you get a taster menu offered to you by your venue, maybe take a vegetarian with you!? They’ll be a good indicator to the quality of the menu! I’ve worked at Mitton Hall quite a few times (or any of James’ Places) and can highly recommend their veg – and the rest of their menu!
Well, I had to have this as a consideration! In all truth whatever your venue it is people and personalities that will be at the heart of your day and therefore your photography. I do love to visually express the context of where you are on your wedding day, though.
If your venue has grounds with lots of nooks and crannies and pathways and trees I can shoot amongst you’ll get lots of lovely layers to your photos. If you imagine going for a (romantic!) wander in the grounds for a wee while – simple and nice and relaxed – then the backdrops that will be in the photos are all around you.
Think of somewhere like Eaves Hall with seven acres of beautiful grounds, compared to somewhere like Victoria Warehouse with its funky brickwork and contemporary lighting. Maybe you’ll want some shots with your venue in the background lit up at night? Also think that’ll you’ll be in your dresses and/or dapper suits. You’ll be more aware of your wedding dress on the day. Will you be ok if there’s a bit of a dusty old track en route? It may have rained the night before and be a bit muddy. So maybe take some other shoes and think of how you’ll get there or if you’ll want to keep your dress relatively clean.
Maybe take a shawl or something to keep you warm if we pop out on a crisp autumn day. Also, think about how far you want to go and how long you want to be away from your guests. I think 20-30 mins is ample for some gorgeous, relaxed portraits but you may need to add on a few mins to get there.
So, beautiful grounds around your venue are great but if there are a few drops of rain on the day, is there somewhere inside for some photos? In fact, it is very, very rare that it rains all day – contrary to your fears! I always have a plan B – and C – too! We’ll go through all the options to make sure the approach to your photography – particularly your portraits – will be perfect.
So, have you found the perfect UK wedding venue for you?
There’s so much to consider when it’s time to choose your wedding venue, and there are so many out there to consider! I’m always happy to chat about venues, so do get in touch with me if you’d like my recommendation.
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Whatever stage you're at in your wedding planning, I'm always up for a chat. Drop me a message to see if we're a good fit or to check my calendar and we can go from there. I'd love to hear from you!