Fools Guide To Finding The Best Wedding Venues & Places To Get Married

Fools Guide To Finding The Best Wedding Venues & Places To Get Married

Once engaged, most couples' attention shifts to finding the best place to get married because they understand that their choice of venue will have a major impact upon their entire wedding. The search for the best wedding venue is therefore one of the most important tasks to undertake during the planning process. Unfortunately, the vast majority underestimate how time-consuming, worrying and difficult it can be. So today we thought we would pass on our top tips on how to quickly identify your wedding venue and avoid all the unnecessary stress and worry in the process.

Many of you reading this will have already found lots of venues for weddings but have yet to find The One that ticks all your boxes. Now there are 2 simple reasons for this:

  1. It doesn't exist...
  2. It does exist, but you need to modify, expand or finely tune your search parameters and/or requirements

Having spent countless hours over the past 18 years hunting for venues for weddings, we have never come across a couple who did not think that their venue was the best place to get married. So don't despair... your perfect property is out there waiting for you. Here's how to find it.

By all means draw up a strict set of venue criteria, but if find you are not getting any decent results it's sensible to reassess your requirements and be as flexible as possible about wedding dates, days and locations. The more flexible you are, the greater your choice of the most suitable, available venues and the quicker and easier it is to find and secure your dream property. Unfortunately, we see far too many couples naively sticking rigidly and for too long to an unrealistic set of pre-determined venue criteria in the vague hope that they will eventually find one that ticks all the boxes... only to learn weeks later that it doesn't exist!

And then when they do finally decide to make some minor concessions, they discover to their utter dismay that the best venue was a property they had previously disregarded and is now no longer available! 

Romantic Gravetye Manor in Sussex

Top Tips For Finding The Perfect Wedding Venue

  • Don’t restrict yourself to Saturdays only – 50% of all weddings take place on Saturdays so the most popular places get booked up quickly. Consider Sundays (chosen by only 6% of couples), Bank Holidays (oddly no more popular than any other Mondays when only 5% of marriages/civil partnerships take place), Thursdays (9%) or Fridays (19%). By opting for a Sunday, you are also likely to benefit from some substantial savings on venue hire too.
  • Consider locations a little further afield than you initially feel comfortable with, otherwise you risk missing out on some incredible venues that may also offer better value for money because of their location. 

Other parameters that will greatly restrict your choice of venues include:

  • Expecting accommodation onsite as opposed to a local hotel within walking distance – listen carefully.... there are hundreds of incredible venues across the UK that don't have any bedrooms onsite. It's ludicrous to dismiss them because you think it will be great to stay onsite. Just take over a local boutique hotel instead!
  • Requiring exclusive use – plenty of premium properties have sufficient space to manage 2 or more weddings at the same time, without the separate wedding parties and guests mingling or even knowing any other events are taking place. Exclusive use also usually incurs an additional fee that can be exorbitant or better spent.
  • Intending to party until 1am or later on the wedding day – many, many fine venues close at 12am. If you want to celebrate until the early hours, considering hiring a club for a wedding after-party.
  • Inviting more than 100 guests but not wishing to consider holding the wedding breakfast in a marquee – many grand stately homes with fine Capability Brown landscaped gardens can only cater for up to 100 guests internally within the walls of the property and instead have their own stylish, fixed marquee to cater for larger weddings or allow you to erect one yourself. All I’m saying is, don't automatically reject the idea of a marquee just because you once went to a wedding in a marquee that you thought was tacky.
  • Rejecting venues where dancing takes place in a separate room adjoining the dining room – likewise, lots of grand country houses have ornate dining rooms that are unsuitable for dancing. Having a separate room for dancing is often a very small price to pay for celebrating your wedding in such a property.
  • Not wishing to consider properties where rooms are 'turned around' during the drink’s reception – plenty of smaller historic venues only have one large ballroom. However, they will be highly adept at maximising the space so that the civil ceremony and wedding breakfast take place in the same room. All that happens is that the dining tables are laid and dressed whilst the drinks reception takes place, usually on the lawns, terrace or in an adjoining room. This is common practice in many venues across the UK. And if you are at all worried, just hire your own wedding planner to oversee and perfect the turn around.
  • Wanting a fireworks display – many fine historic venues are situated in quiet country locations that have restrictions in place to protect locals from excessive noise pollution. Don't get me wrong, I love a good pyrotechnic display as much as the next person. But given the choice between the best wedding venue your budget can afford without fireworks or the second-best venue with fireworks, I know which one I would choose!

If, after all this, you are still struggling to find the perfect place to get married you need to give us a call on 0208 404 2525! We have 10,000+ UK venues for weddings on file and know for sure that at least one of them will tick all your boxes!

(For those of you who are interested, the impressive venue at the top of the page is Harlaxton Hall).