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Just engaged? Well the first thing you will most likely be looking for (after your planner of course!) is your venue! So what style is it you are looking for? Make sure to decide on a style before you start your search otherwise the Google trawl will be even longer than it needs to be! Of course, you can also contact me to help with your search as I most likely already have your perfect venue on the recommended venues list already! So what really tickles your fancy? What kind of venue can you imagine yourself being at? We have 10 different styles here for you!

Hotel

Barn

Marquee/Tipi

Garden Wedding

Castle

Stately Home

Restaurant

Museums/Art Galleries

Football/Sporting Stadiums & Grounds

Completely Different Venues

Hotel

wedding hotel venue

With 12 years background working in events departments in hotels, I have a big love for them and so they had to be listed first! There are so many benefits of getting married in a hotel; with accommodation onsite, this is great if you have guests travelling, or even if they aren’t it’s a much easier option to pop upstairs to your bed at the end of the night! You can also then plan either a night prior dinner together, or a morning after breakfast (or brunch) to carry on the celebrations – or have both! Hotels are generally located in city/town locations so make it easy to get to for guests who aren’t staying, with apps such as uber etc generally being accessible.

A hotel will generally offer in house caterer, it’s very rare that they don’t. They may allow external caterers for specific cultural food if they don’t feel that they can offer this, but they will generally recommend someone to you, so if you are looking to work with a specific caterer, a hotel may not work for you. Also, be sure to make sure you check if parking is available, not all hotels have onsite parking if they are in city center locations. Also check access times and logistics for suppliers to set up.

The other benefit of a hotel wedding is they may have a spa onsite for you to use to relax the day before the wedding, and for both of you to relax for a couple of days afterwards. You can even revisit on your anniversaries and special occasions. Generally, you aren’t ale to hire a hotel exclusively, depending on the size of the property, so there may be general public around certain areas, check this with during your viewing.

Majority of hotels who hold weddings will have a civil ceremony license, so you are legally able to get married on site which also helps logistically.

Barn

Your year round, ‘outdoorsy’ option. Most barns, unless they have been purpose built in the last few years as a wedding venue, will have been of use to farmers and to the agriculture industry at some point. They offer different styles, but mainly a rustic, country or industrial feel if that is the vibe you are looking for for your day. I say they are year round as majority of barns have been converted so they are now of a wedding venue purpose, so lighting, heating and draft exclusion will have been added.

If you are looking to bring your own caterers, or like the idea of a street food style catering with food trucks, most barns will allow you to bring in caterers. Most will have recommended caterers, and some will ask you to use one of their set caterers, but they will generally give you a choice.

Many barn style venues will also offer the bonus of being able to bring your own alcohol for the day, with their bar or recommended bar supplier then being used in the evening, some will even offer free corkage as an incentive to book! (Corkage is a cost added per bottle to bring your own alcohol which can tend to add up quite costly!)

Barns bring a relaxed atmosphere, many of which being hired on a dry hire basis, so you can bring whichever suppliers you want, but if you are hiring on a dry hire basis, be aware that you may have minimal assistance during the planning process and on the day so a planner/on the day manager would be even more beneficial than we are already!

Barn wedding venues come in various sizes, depending on if you’re having a smaller gathering or a large party!

Marquee/Tipi

Whether you are looking at an established wedding venue with land for a marquee/tipi structure of if you have a piece of land in mind, or you could even be having it on home on your own land, a marquee/tipi wedding is generally the most flexible in terms of being able to bring in all of your own suppliers/caterers. Going with this option can offer a very relaxed day, if you are looking for more festival vibes, but can also be the complete opposite with full wedding traditions, a sit down meal and an evening reception. Just be aware that the actual planning process can be a lot more in depth for you and hiring experienced help will be best in this scenario, to work out the logistics and to also help with hiring suppliers as there will be a lot to think about, including toilets!

If you opt for a venue with a marquee onsite, it may be that they have suppliers in place, toilets, a team, so there are so many different options to think about if this is the style of venue you want to go for. Maybe you start with an at home marquee idea but decide to go to an established marquee venue.

The benefit of a marquee wedding is it is literally a blank canvas, you can make it very personal to you. Every marquee wedding I have seen has been completely different which can be hard to achieve with some styles of venue. If you’re hiring a marquee on your own land, this will be even more personal to you, which can be lovely, and mean none of your friends will have the same venue!

If you are looking to legally get married onsite, check with the venue if they have a license, although there is the option of a celebrant with the legalities being completed prior to the day. Also bare in mind in your planning that you will need to have wet weather back up plans and that this is more of a summer option.

Garden Wedding

Absolutely beautiful in summer if the weather is good, whether you are looking for the full day to be outside amongst the roses, or if the venue also has inside areas too for your wedding breakfast and remaining celebrations (always a good idea if you are looking for a UK wedding!). If they do have available spaces inside but you would like a full garden wedding, use the space inside as a back up in case of bad weather but plan for majority of the festivities to be outside.

Garden weddings are very popular if you are looking for a wedding abroad, whether you are looking for a wedding in Italy or on the French Riviera, their weather can generally guarantee a dry garden wedding!

Stunning gardens with a beautiful array of flowers are a must for this style of venue, and will make perfect photographs. Make sure to allow some time for your guests to wander around the gardens together – so romantic!

Make sure if you opt for this style of venue that your suppliers are all aware that it is outside and are aware of the wet weather options, especially for example your band. Also be prepared for extremely hot weather and have shaded areas/umbrellas for suppliers and guests, for example, direct sunlight can be highly damaging to instruments if you are having a string quartet.

Castle

castle wedding venue

Possibly one of the most romantic venues choices which will really make you feel like a King or Queen. Absolutely steeped in history, there will be plenty for your guests to see and many do offer the option of a tour for your guests, maybe even down into the dungeons!

Castle wedding venues are generally completely exclusive to you, unless the odd knight is wandering round!

Many will offer quirky extras such as long wooden banqueting tables, low lighting and even thrones for you to sit on at your top table! There will generally also be different options of where to hold your celebrations, whether you prefer a classic, beautiful dining room or ballroom, or you would rather be down in the dungeons! It goes without saying that your images will be absolutely stunning, in and around the castle grounds. Many will also have a chapel onsite or a room which has a chapel feel to it, perfect for your ceremony.

Your wedding venue will most likely be very remote, so make sure to check that there is accommodation onsite or nearby and accessibility for guests.

Stately Home

A very popular option with my couples, a grand space with a stunning backdrop for your photos and will make you feel like you’re in Bridgeton or Downton Abbey for the day! Majority of stately homes will have once been just that, a stately home for a Lord or Lady, and many still are used as homes around the country and now open up for events such as weddings to bring in an income to be able to maintain the house. If this is the case, you will need to respect that it is their home and it my mean certain parts are off limits at certain points in the day or completely, and there may be restrictions on music etc, make sure to check these restrictions during your viewing and if they work for you.

If you do find yourself booking a mansion which is still a home, this can also be sch a wonderful choice, as the family will want to give you the best day, however involved they are, as the property will mean so much to them. For venues which are no longer homes, such as English Heritage properties, it’s always great to know about who lived there before, so make sure to ask as the team will generally love to tell the story!

Stately homes, mansions and grade listed houses are generally hired on an exclusive basis, which means it’s all yours for the day!

Restaurant

Perhaps you have a favourite restaurant which you regularly visit, a memorable place you visit together, where they also allow you to hire space for wedding receptions. A massive benefit will be the amazing food and drinks that you may visit particularly for!

Restaurant wedding venues don’t tend to have space or licenses for a legal ceremony (although some do so make sure to check!) but they are the perfect spaces for your post ceremony celebrations, especially if you just want something a little more informal, maybe no music, just good food and company! Also perfect if you are looking for a small wedding party.

This style of venue is also great with larger numbers if they can accommodate you, don’t forget, they are used to feeding large numbers of people so logistically they are used to it!

You will also find this style of venue is great for you to revisit for anniversaries and special occasions.

Museums/Art Galleries

wedding venue london

Something very different, but seriously cool! Museum and art gallery wedding venues are so different to the usual style of wedding venue and will most likely not be something your friends have already booked!

You may find minimal décor is required, if for instance you already have the museum artefacts surrounding you or the art within a gallery. It gives your guests something to look at and a talking point, so minimal entertainment required!

This style of venue is also great if it is something you enjoy doing together, such as if you are both into art, an art gallery would really suit you as a couple.

Make sure to check the logistics of the venue, for example, what times can you access the space as sometimes it may be that they open to the general public prior to the wedding, especially if they are a large popular galley or museum, for example the Natural History Museum. Also make sure to check what artifacts/art will be on display during your wedding as some galleries and museums change this on a regular basis, and you wouldn’t want this to be not to your taste when it comes round to your day.

Football/Sporting Stadiums & Grounds

Football lover? Love the rugby? Whatever sport it is, they will generally have a sadium, and no I am not talking about getting married on the pitch….well, maybe! But most of the time, these stadiums or grounds have event spaces vailable which they use for their VIP guests to watch the match. They may also have a estaruant which offers event space.

Spaces such as these generally have large windows overlooking the pitch or sporting space below, so with the flood lights on, it’s a great view for you.

And yes, if you are a huge fan, you may find that the stadium/club will allow you to get married on the pitch itself, many have a license to do so.

Don’t forget, sporting activity does generally happen at the weekends, so be aware that you may need to look out of the sporting season or on a day when there is no other match/event.

Catering is generally available from the catering company who provide food during their matches. The event spaces normally vary in size, but many will have a space which will be very large to accommodate bigger guest numbers if that is what you need.

Completely Different Venues

Yes, that’s right, if you want something COMPLETELY different from the ordinary, or from what your best friend, cousin, sister etc have had, then it is possible. Think about some of your favourite places or hobbies together, it is normally possible on some level to have part of your day there even if it just for the ceremony or for photo/drinks reception.

For example, you can get married on a theme park….that’s right! From Disney to Alton Towers, many theme parks offer this option. Most will have a hotel or event space onsite for your reception, but just think of the drinks reception, where your guests can go off and have fun and you can get some awesome pictures together on the rollercoaster!

Absolutely love shopping? Harvey Nichols in London offers weddings! The zoo…love animals? Many offer weddings! The aquarium, some also offer weddings! Have a think about what you love and what would really show your personalities as a couple and most of the time, it can really be a possibility!

Remember that many of these ideas do operate for the general public, so will offer services as a wedding venue but outside of their usual opening hours but check with the venue as all venue are different.

Still not sure on your perfect venue style? Get in contact and I can help you to decide!

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