The Perfect Wedding Venue In The UK
Finding the perfect wedding venue in the UK that ticks all your must-have boxes is essential to the flow, mood and, most importantly, the success of your wedding day. Your chosen wedding venue is the place that you’ll have one of the most important moments of life – saying ‘I do’ to the love of your life. For a newly engaged couple, picking a wedding venue can be exciting. However, wedding venue hire is not an easy task. With only one shot to get it right, choosing the right venue is a big decision.
It all starts with research, viewing potential options and finally hiring the perfect venue. Before you start looking for wedding reception venues or visiting various locations, it’s important to know what you’re looking for. The venue you pick has to cater to all your requirements whether that be having a catering service or allowing fireworks on the premises. Most importantly, your wedding venue has to accommodate your budget and number of guests attending! To help you with your wedding venue hire, here’s our ultimate guide to finding the perfect wedding venue in the UK.
The Perfect Wedding Venue In The UK – Know Your Budget
No matter what stage of wedding planning you’re at, don’t forget to always keep your budget in mind. Before you do start viewing venues, you and your fiancé have to discuss and agree on the amount of money you are willing to spend on hiring your wedding venue. Most couples spend up to 60% of their overall wedding budget on venue hire and everything that goes with it. The average cost for a wedding in 2018 was £32,273. London had the highest cost of a wedding at an average price of £41,521 with £4,354 going towards venue hire. Yorkshire was the most budget conscious at an average price of £27,245 of a wedding with £4,354 going towards venue hire.
When booking a venue, you need to also budget for hidden costs. Save 5-10% of your overall budget for unexpected costs including hidden costs for venue hire. Some venues will be transparent about these costs, while others won’t so it is good to be aware of them. Ask the venue coordinator whether its estimated costs include the following:
- Furniture (chairs and tables)
- Linnen (tablecloths and napkins)
- Crockery and cutlery
- Bar facilities
- Pick The Right Location
Another big decision to make – and one that will affect your overall budget – is your wedding location. There are a few things to consider when choosing your wedding location:
- Transportation to and from your wedding venue
- Accommodation if you’re having a destination/out-of-town wedding
- Wedding theme
- Wedding dress
- Transportation & Accommodation
Whether you decide to have a destination wedding or get married in your hometown, it is important to keep your guests in mind when choosing your location. You want everyone you invite to be able to attend your wedding celebrations. Think about how both you and your guests will get to the wedding venue – especially if you’re having a destination/out-of-town wedding. Use your wedding invitation to inform your guests about various accommodation options and the closest transport hub or airport. Make sure you add options at a variety of price points to suit all guests budgets.
The Perfect Wedding Venue In The UK – Wedding Theme
Before you start researching and viewing UK wedding venues, figure out the theme of your wedding. Knowing your theme will help you to pick venues that suit it. When considering your wedding venue, think about whether or not the space works, theme and aesthetic that you have in mind. Here are a few examples of themes and venues that go together well:
- A country house or hotel is perfect for a garden themed wedding with soft hues and plenty of floral arrangement.
- A lakeside or oceanside venue is perfect for a nautical themed wedding with blue and white tones, and shells, anchors, ropes, and sailboat details.
- A castle or medieval looking guesthouse is perfect for a fairytale themed wedding with antique-looking decor and a classic getaway car.
The location of your wedding can also have a massive influence on your wedding dress. When choosing a wedding venue consider the suitability of the venue and how the weather will affect it. (Especially in the UK).
Make Sure The Venue Has A Wedding Licence
Imagine picking your wedding venue, to find out it does not hold the appropriate license to have a civil ceremony. If you plan to get married in England, Ireland or Wales, you need to ensure that the venue you’ve chosen has a wedding license. The license must be approved by local authorities, and ensure the venue is fit, by law, to hold a wedding. However venues in Scotland do not require a license, but you still must be married by a registrar.
The Perfect Wedding Venue In The UK – Space vs. Guest List
One of the biggest influences when searching for the perfect wedding venue is the capacity it holds. Whether you have a 200+ wedding or a small intimate affair, the number of guests you invite is the first step to narrowing down your venue choices. Start making a rough guest list so you can get rid of venues that are too big or too small. Once you have an estimated number of guests, you can start searching for a venues that accommodate everyone in attendance.
The size of the venue is essential as it will impact your budget and level of enjoyment that everyone has. If a venue is too small, the room will be overcrowded and can feel stuffy. If a venue is too big, guests could feel a bit lost, and the room may feel cold. It is hard to imagine a venue set up for a wedding and filled with guests, so ask the venue coordinator if you can view the venue when it is set up for a wedding. Alternatively, ask to see photographs of other weddings that have been held at the venue. This will help you know how the space looks when filled with tables, chairs, and people.
The Perfect Wedding Venue In The UK – Know The Flow
The flow of your wedding day is essential to avoid long delays, confusion, and chaos. With the average wedding taking between eight and nine hours, you need to get your timing and flow spot on to make it enjoyable for everyone in attendance. Ask the venue coordinator about how a typical wedding day is run at the venue, and for any advice to improve the flow of your wedding. Take notes and, with the help of the venue coordinator, start planning the timing of the entire day. It is essential to know whether or not the venue can accommodate the way you’d like your wedding to flow. Even though you might not know how long each element will take, an experienced coordinator should be able to advise you accordingly.
Two significant factors that can affect the flow of your big day is the weather and knowing when it should end. No matter when your wedding is in the UK, plan for unpredictable weather. Whether the wind whips up, it begins to snow, or it starts to rain, always have a backup plan especially if you have an outdoor wedding. You also should know when to end your wedding. Most venues have a time limit so give yourself enough time to finish the celebrations. Also, keep in mind where the majority of people will be coming from, and leave plenty of time for guests to get back home with public transport.
Check The Lighting
Something that many couples overlook when viewing wedding venues is the lighting. Lighting can make or break your wedding photographs so making sure there is plenty of natural light for the ceremony and mood lighting for the reception. While viewing a potential venue, ask the venue coordinator if they have photographic examples of weddings that have taken place there so that you can see if the lighting of specific rooms or areas. Additionally, ask if there are any beautiful areas at the venue to take photographs so you can assess the lighting.
If you know nothing about lighting, but have a few venues in mind, contact your wedding photographer for advice. If you have a local photographer they might have some knowledge of various wedding venues in the area, the lighting at these venues and will know what equipment to bring to ensure the lighting in your photographs is perfect.
Get To Know The Menu
Whether you decide on serving your meals family style, having a sit-down menu, or going for a buffet, a delicious wedding menu will only add to your special day. Most wedding venues have a catering option and if you do choose this option make sure you know what you will be served to you and your guests.
Start by sitting down with the chef and venue coordinator to discuss your menu. There are a few key questions you need to ask during this meeting:
- Do they have wedding experience?
- Is there is a limit on the number of guests they can cater for?
- Do they do creative add-ons like BBQ or food trucks?
- Can they cater to guests with dietary restrictions (vegetarians, vegans or gluten-free)?
- Can you order in anything that the venue can not provide like desserts or traditional foods (dumplings, spanakopita or tamales)?
Once you’ve decided on your menu with the chef, ask to do a tasting. You will be spending thousands of pounds to feed your guests, so having a tasting allows you to get the menu perfect. If the venue does not offer a tasting, you might want to bring in an outside caterer or find a new venue. During the tasting take your time and pay attention to the quality of each dish – the flavor, texture, and temperature. You might not be happy with everything on the menu after the tasting, but this is precisely why it is needed.
Make A Non-Negotiable List
Before heading to view venues, sit down with your fiancé and discuss what you both want from a potential wedding venue. List your must-have wedding requirements for a venue in your non-negotiable list. Save yourself some time by emailing or calling the venues to find out what it does not allow so you can compare it to your non-negotiable list. To help you create this list, here are a few questions that you and your fiance need to answer to establish your non-negotiable list:
- Is the venue available on your chosen wedding date?
- Will the venue provide everything you need for your budget?
- If you need to go over budget, by how much will you fo over by?
- Does the price include VAT and staff gratuities? If not, is staff gratuities optional?
- What does the wedding hire cost include?
- Does the venue have a coordinator that you can communicate with?
- Is there an outdoor option for the wedding ceremony?
- When can you access you the venue?
- Is there a room for the bride and groom to get dressed?
- Can the venue provide the food?
- What type of cuisine would you like to serve at your wedding?
- Can you do a tasting of a wedding potential menu?
- Does the venue permit outside vendors like photographers or caterers?
- Does the venue have a recommended vendor list if they do not permit outside vendors?
- What is the venue’s rain plan if you’re having an outdoor wedding?
- Is live music permitted?
- Is there a cash bar option?
- Are fireworks and sparklers permitted?
- Does the venue have a wedding license?
Even though finding a venue can seem overwhelming, knowing the essentials like your budget, the number of guests and your non-negotiables will make your life so much easier. Picking the right location, the perfect menu and knowing the lighting will additionally make for a beautiful day for everyone involved.
This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019 at 8:00 amand is filed under Blog. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.