Have you always dreamt of an elegant, glamorous ceremony in a countryside stately home as the perfect location to make your vows? Or do you prefer a more laidback, casual atmosphere, with ideas of a rustic barn, for your nuptials, with hay bales as seats thrown in for good measure? Whatever your style, it is true that nowadays, people have managed to get married pretty much anywhere, regardless of whether it meets tradition or not. If you feel confused, fear not! We will take you on a quick tour of some of the different options you have when it comes to choosing the all-important wedding venue.
The first, vital factor you must take into consideration when trying to choose a venue is cost. It is only going to disappoint you and ruin your experience, if you go to view a whole host of extortionately expensive luxury wedding venues, only to discover that they are in fact way out of your budget. Work out roughly how much you have to spend on a venue before deciding on what you want, bearing in mind that many venues will only quote a basic rate and will add on some hidden costs for any additional extras. Weddings are complicated functions, and you might find, when first perusing venues online, that it is quite difficult to actually find costing listed on some websites. You may be asked by some establishments to ‘enquire’ with the wedding coordinator or ‘request a brochure’, in which case, try and speak to the wedding coordinator as these people have huge experience in organising weddings and a quick chat will help you understand the costs better and may highlight things you hadn’t thought of. Make sure that, when meeting with a venue and discussing numbers, you take a list of questions and ask what exactly is included for the price you are paying. This way, you shouldn’t be shocked by any additional bills when it comes to paying the final balance.
There are so many options that checking what’s included is an important factor when deciding on a wedding venue. Some venues are all-singing, all-dancing, ready-made wedding machines- they host weddings on almost a daily basis, all year round and so are very familiar and experienced with every detail. There are venues out there where you can literally show up on the day and they have taken care of everything, from the cars, to the wedding cake and even entertainment for the children. On the other hand, some venues, often with less experience hosting weddings, require a more DIY approach from prospective couples. If you are simply hiring the venue as an open space, you may then need to consider lots of other elements to ensure that a wedding party can take place- including tables, chairs, tablecloths, caterers, a bar, a dance floor and even a license to be able to serve or drink alcohol. Some brides absolutely relish the prospect of having so much influence and control over every single small aspect of their wedding day, whereas some find the whole idea rather overwhelming and would prefer to have a wedding coordinator take the reigns and give them a few options to choose from. Carefully consider which of these categories you fall in to and try to think long term: what else have you got on your calendar between now and the date and do you realistically have the time to dedicate whole weekends/evenings outside of work hours, to fully plan and organise every minute detail of the day? If the answer is yes, go for it! If not, then think about looking for a venue where the elements of the day at least are planned and provided for you.
Of the more traditional options Hotels that cater for weddings are very popular. There is a huge choice of styles from traditional country houses to modern hotels by the sea. They will have lots of experience with weddings and will usually have a wedding co-ordinator who will help you with everything. They will have lots of contacts for suppliers in the local area and will have catering and bar facilities. Their one big advantage is that they have accommodation so you and your guests can let their hair down and not have to worry about driving after the party. Another popular traditional option, if you have the use of a large garden or piece of land, is a marquee. Marquees look great when they are dressed and are regarded as a less expensive option than a hotel, but they can be less comfortable subject to the weather and do your sums carefully because as with any venue only option it may turn out to be more expensive than you think once you have factored in everything you need.
If you are a couple eager to stray from tradition and plan something a little more personalised, you could consider a more unusual and unconventional wedding venue. You would be surprised by the number of extraordinary places that actually have marriage licenses, so don’t be afraid to think outside of the box and choose a venue that means something special to you both. Two film lovers might choose an old-fashioned, vintage cinema to make their vows, or a couple may want to get married at the restaurant they went to for their first date. There are rarely any venues out of bounds nowadays. Even if the venue isn’t licensed legally for weddings, some newlyweds are more than happy to have some sort of ceremony at their chosen venue, without the legal proceedings, then get ‘officially’ married at a registry office on a different day. It certainly detours from the norm and will be a talking point for your guests for years to come.
At BWR-London, we believe your wedding should be tailored to you, which is why we work closely with our clients to create the perfect wedding rings. We specialise in crafting bespoke wedding rings that you’ll love forever. We can make almost any ring so have a look at our portfolio for inspiration and get in touch for more information.
Try not to let anyone convince you that you have to spend a fortune in order to bag yourself the best venue. There are lots of budget-friendly options with packages to suit a number of different available funds. A simple church hall can be decorated beyond recognition with an indoor marquee, floral arrangements and LED dance floor, so that it rivals any lavish listed building from a wedding brochure. Remember also that the wedding industry is very busy at weekends during the spring, summer and autumn months so if you can arrange your wedding during the week or out of season there are usually big savings to be had. Try to keep in mind that what your guests will really remember is the atmosphere of the wedding- the music, the laughter and the love encompassing the day.