How to find the perfect wedding venue

How to find the perfect wedding venue

Marine Kerival BrownExclusive Wedding Planner Marine Kerivel-Brown of Boutique Wedding, shares her top tips on how to find the perfect wedding venue.  Marine is a valued member of TheWeddingVine.com's exclusive 'Invitation only' Premier Portfolio.

Your wedding venue determines the style of your wedding or civil partnership so it’s no wonder that finding the perfect one for you can be both a daunting and very time-consuming task. Throughout the UK, there are thousands of wedding venues from castles to golf clubs, country houses, hotels, museums, stadiums and racecourses available for people to hold their wedding receptions. And that’s without considering venues abroad! So unless you intend to spend every spare time viewing wedding venues, how do you find the perfect wedding venue for you?

Don’t start searching or viewing venues until you have finalized your wedding budget and guest list. Those two factors are critical in selecting wedding venues so resist the temptation of viewing venues until you know how much you can spend and how many guests will be coming. You could otherwise end up with a venue that is too big (costly mistake) or too small (very embarrassing mistake), or overspend and end up with a big wedding debt, which is definitely not a way to start your married life.

Botley's Mansion

Establish right from the start your ceremony requirements: civil ceremony? Church blessing? Humanist ceremony? etc. It will partly determine if you need everything in one location or not.

Write a vision of what your perfect wedding location should be and stick to it! So your mum wanted a fairytale venue but you want a barn in an organic farm? Just remember that this is your day. With your partner, write down a series of 5 to 8 key points the venue must meet (i.e in/outside London; with or without onsite accommodation, with or without sound limit, etc). This list will help you rule out inappropriate venues straight from your searches on the internet, saving you time. Always revert back to your initial list when viewing venues to make sure they fit with what you’re looking for. And remind your mum: this is your day!

Establish tight geographical parameters. 2 hours of London is way too vague. Instead, say Surrey and East Sussex for example. Focusing your searches will save you time and money. If you can’t find what you’re looking for (and trust me, I dare you not to find the right venue for you in Surrey!!), then move to another county.

Loseley Park

Think about the entertainment you want before viewing venues. Some venues have sound restrictions, others won’t allow fireworks, etc. knowing what you want from the start will help you eliminating unsuitable venues right from the start or avoid facing issues further down the line.

Read the contract carefully and ask what’s included! Many venues will quote on a basic package so you must be sure of what is part of that package, and what will need to be paid extra. It will be too late to complain about it once a contract is signed so don’t get too excited about a place until you’ve checked all the details first!

View venues with a rainy day in mind. This is England remember so rain in summer happens! Does the venue have a decent space for the drink reception if it rains? If not, hire a small marquee to host the drinks reception if it rains. The golden rule here is to never, ever gamble on the weather.

Le Manoir Quat Saisons

Remember that a more impressive venue will save on flowers and furniture hire or props. A blank canvas might look cheaper but will be costly to furnish and decorate. So when you compare costs, keep this in mind or you’ll be in for a nasty shock at the end. Remember that if it’s too good to be true, then it probably is!

Think about transport and car park for your guests when viewing venues. The last thing you want is guests showing up late or covered in mud because they couldn’t park their cars. Most venues will be able to help you find suitable solutions if their in-house car park is too small.

If you’ve found the venue of your dream but can’t afford the price tag, ask what they could offer for a weekday or winter wedding. Many venues will offer serious discounts off peak. A bit of money is better than no money at all as far as they’re concerned. Or if you can get ready at short notice, ask if they have any late availabilities or last minute cancellations.

Check if you’ll have exclusive use or not. And decide how you feel about it if you’re sharing a venue with one or more couples.

Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park

No time to view venues? Get a wedding planner on board. He/she will save you time and money! Remember that you can hire a planner to sort out the venue only since the vast majority of us offer a made to measure service.

Lastly, follow your instinct. You will know when a wedding venue feels right for you or not.

- Botley’s Mansion: www.botleys-mansion.co.uk
- Loseley Park: www.loseleypark.co.uk
- Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons: www.manoir.com
- Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park: www.mandarinoriental.com
- Crazy Bear Stadhampton: http://crazybeargroup.co.uk/stadhampton


Boutique Wedding Ltd are a professional wedding planning service, based in Reigate, South West London. For further information, please contact Marine at Boutique Wedding on 07766 246 845 or enquiries@boutiquewedding.uk.com or visit her website http://www.boutiquewedding.uk.com

  • 1 comments "How to find the perfect wedding venue"

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  • Larry Green says

    18th August 2011 at 3:16 am

    When I have brides and planners think about wedding venues (I call them reception sites) I've directed their attention to whether or not all wedding guests can be situated in one open room and hence feel connected and included in the festivities. I now see that merely approaching the venue from an entertainment perspective, is only part of the picture. I like this very comprehensive post.

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