The day we get married is undoubtedly the biggest, happiest and most enjoyable day of our lives. Setting out a future with the person you love more than anyone else, whilst also enjoying it with your close friends and family, sounds pretty idyllic right?
Unfortunately, it doesn’t come without a rather considerable helping of stress, worry and a pinch of panic during the planning process.
Arguably the biggest decision in planning your wedding is actually deciding on a location. Are you getting married in a church? If so, the secondary venue needs to be nearby. If you’re not, then you need to find somewhere which offers both
Then perhaps you have sentimental reasons to contend with, geographical decisions or logistical ones. All in all, it’s not easy.
So, to help you find the ideal place, here’s a quick guide to choosing the perfect wedding venue.
The first thing to establish is whether you are planning on heading abroad. The destination wedding is certainly on the rise, with ABTA statistics showing that over 1.5 million planned weddings abroad back in 2014.
If you do decide on a destination wedding, there is obviously a number of extra considerations, such as potential extra expense, issues of guests and who can travel and any extra paperwork you need to fulfil to make the marriage legal in a foreign land.
Read all about this and more in this great piece from Destination Weddings Mag.
If you do decide to stay within the Great British isles, geography is still very important. For example, you may live on the South coast but for a certain reason have a huge affection for the Lake District, which can still have a bearing on who may or may not travel for it, as well as organisational logistical factors.
We spoke to Lake District Country Hotels, one of the leading wedding venues in the Lake District, who have a number of hotels in the picturesque region of northern England, who told us, “We get a great deal of couples who have fallen in love with this area in the past, be it because of a holiday or previous romantic or sentimental reasons, so they can’t imagine getting married anywhere else.”
Whether you decide to travel a decent distance to get married somewhere particularly special to you or not, it’s also worth considering whether you’re getting married in a church or not.
If you are, then obviously the secondary venue can’t be too far away, (you’d rather not force your guests onto a coach for over an hour travelling) if you’re planning on getting married and holding the reception at the same venue, then you need to find somewhere large enough to cope with everything and a venue which is registered to hold a wedding ceremony.
A handy document to look at if you’re wondering whether a venue is approved or not can be found here on gov.uk.
Another issue to flesh out is whether a venue is actually the right size and shape to cope with your needs on the day.
The first thing to consider is capacity. After that, check out space, consider whether you really like the layout. Remember, it’s your big day, so it’s one of the only times you can be really picky!
If the size and layout of a venue are perfect, but you don’t like the fact it looks more like a working men’s club than a banquet hall, look elsewhere. Try adopting a trial and error approach to venues.
Also, try to take account of any extra things which might change the layout of a venue, for example, some evening entertainment.
If you are hiring a band for the evening, they’ll need plenty of room to play, so only having rooms for chairs and tables for your guests to sit at just won’t do.