Choosing your wedding venue is one of the first things you'll do once you get engaged. There are lots of things to consider, such as, what style of venue fits with the wedding you want to have. If you can hone down a list of three or four characteristics that are really important to you, then you can start to create a venue shortlist. Once you've done that, you can decide on where you want to get married - your home county, your partners home county, abroad or where you live now. You'll find beautiful venues across the whole of Europe in our Recommended suppliers section. We've rounded up some our favourites below along with our top tips for finding your wedding venue...
Rustic & Industrial Wedding Venues
Beams, exposed brick, corrugated iron, animals running around...if this sounds like the backdrop to your perfect wedding then search for barns, farms and old industrial spaces like mills and warehouses. Often some of the very best ones are under the radar, so ask around.
Elegant & Stylish Venues
If you want to feel like a Princess on your wedding day, then these are the venues for you. Wake up in a four poster, throw the (heavy) curtains back and gaze over the rolling grounds of the estate before lounging in a roll top bath with a glass of Champagne in hand. Make an entrance by sweeping down the staircase in your gown. There aren't many occasions in life to be the lady of the Manor - so if you want to milk it for all it's worth, you go for it.
City Chic Wedding venues
Perhaps a laid back city soiree is more your bag? There are SO many gorgeous pubs, restaurants and town houses now offering weddings. It's the perfect way to make your wedding feel like an extended version of your favourite Friday nights or Sunday roasts. Plus transport is usually easier for people and there will be lots of places nearby to stay.
Country Retreat Wedding Venues
A weekend in the country is the ultimate way to treat your wedding guests. I always love a bit of tweed and a riding boot, throw in a battered land-rover and lots of local cider and you've got yourself one hell of a party.
The French Foray
How To Choose A Wedding Venue - 5 Top Tips
1. Location Location LocationYou don't have to get married locally but you might want to consider how easy it will be for your 'A-list' guests to get to your chosen wedding venue. If you have elderly guests is access going to be an issue and will they be able to stay on site? How close are the local hotels and guesthouses? Are you happy for your guests to travel between the wedding venue and reception venue or are you looking for a single location? If you have a lot of international guests you might want to consider a location that will minimise travel time for them. If you want to search for wedding venues by county you can do that easily from our Recommended suppliers section.
It sounds like an obvious tip but before you go and visit a venue (and potentially fall in love with it) you should consider if it falls within your budget. An idea of how many guests you are going to have will play a large factor in this also. It might be worth talking to the venue about the differing seasonal costs as prices for a Thursday wedding in November may vary wildly to a Saturday wedding in August. You should also clarify any potentially hidden costs - for example if you choose to bring in outside caterers will the venue make a charge for use of kitchen space etc.
We know that for our readers, a wedding venue that is overly pushy or even insistent on you using their preferred list of wedding suppliers is an instant disqualification. Make sure you ask what is included in the venue hire too - is it full service or are you going to have to source tables, chairs etc? Are there any restrictions in place? For example; how late can you party? Can you have music outside?
3. Keep Control
Ask as many questions as you can think of before signing the contract. You can treat questions as a test of the venues customer service levels too. Make a list and ask as much as possible during your initial contact call and of course, ask those questions again during your show round if there' snaything you're stil unsure of. Your venue will be one of the biggest investements you make when you get married so it'simportant that everythign feels right.
4. Be inquisitive
It's likely that you will visit quite a few venues before you make your decision. When you think you have found 'the one' it's nice to go back and visit it again. Check that it is as you remember it.
5. Visit Twice (at least)