If you’ve started planning your wedding, you’ll already know that finding your perfect venue is one of the most important decisions you’ll need to make. So with that in mind, here’s our expert guide on how to find the right venue for you.
If you don’t know where to start, have a scroll through Bridebook’s Venue Search. We’ve got the biggest and best wedding venue directory in the UK, so it’s a sure-fire way to find “the one”!
In this video, Bridebook founder (and qualified wedding planner!) Hamish Shephard gives his tips on finding your wedding venue in three easy steps. Whether you’re after initial wedding venue ideas or wondering what questions to ask your wedding venue, this is the video for you.
This day is about you and your partner, and your venue should reflect that! Work together to find a venue that suits both of your tastes. Whether you choose a modern loft, a beach wedding or a grand country house (like Elmore Court, below), make sure it’s what you both want.
Elmore Court, Buckinghamshire
We know, it’s not our most romantic advice – but it is important. And we promise, you can find a gorgeous venue, even on the tightest of budgets! Sit down with your partner and work out how much you want to spend on your venue early on so you know what you’re working with. Need somewhere to start? Your Bridebook has a handy Budget Calculator which will let you know in seconds how much of your budget to spend on your venue.
Rayleigh Windmill, Essex
Where you get married is one of your most important decisions. Between you and your partner, it’s likely there are friends and family spread out across the country (or even the globe!) so choosing the right location is key to making sure as many people as possible can attend. Keep travel connections in mind if you’ve got people coming from far and wide. If you have elderly relatives you’d love to be there, think about how far they can reasonably travel too.
How long is your guest list? Who’s on your A List and who could you do without? Do you want 300 people in attendance or would you rather just have you, your partner and ten close friends? Thinking about how many people will be there and what you want to happen on the day is key to picking the right venue. You don’t want hundreds of people crammed into a space that’s too small for them and the ten-piece band you’ve booked… But you also don’t want fifteen people spread out across an enormous hall.
George Vaults, Kent.
One of the most frequently overlooked elements of any wedding day is the lighting – but we can’t stress how important it is. After all, there’s no point in spending thousands on a gorgeous venue if no one can see it! Make sure to check out what lighting packages the venue offers and whether it will complement the space and work with your wedding theme. If you want a few pointers, our top tip would always be to stay well away from fluorescent and ultraviolet lighting (unless you’re having a glow in the dark wedding, of course!). And if all else fails, explore options for creating your own lighting.
Arnos Vale, Somerset
On your big day, the number one thing you’ll want is for things to run smoothly from dawn until dusk. So do your research! Read reviews and get recommendations of potential venues to make sure you get five-star service.
Sit down with your partner and write a list of non-negotiables. These are your must-haves, the things you and your partner absolutely can’t do without on your wedding day. If you have your heart set on a particular caterer and a venue can’t accommodate that, they’re out. On the other hand, if you decide an ice sculpture is just the thing and they’re willing to make that happen, you might just have found your dream venue!
Duke of York’s Picturehouse, Brighton
You won’t love every venue – but it might just be the venue you least expect that takes your breath away! Even if you think you know what you want, try to keep your mind open to new ideas, themes and locations. You might be surprised at what you find in our directory and how you feel when you visit it. Ever thought about tying the knot in a riverside cabin, at the zoo or in a gorgeous picturehouse?
We can’t stress this enough. Always go and see your top venue choices at least two or three times before you make a decision. There’s no rush to sign on the dotted line, we promise. Take your time because your choice of venue affects every other choice you’ll make.
Holkham House, Norfolk
Okay, so this is something you’ll only know when you feel it. It’s a bit like getting butterflies… It’s the moment you step inside a venue and know it’s perfect. You can see yourself walking down the aisle, you can see yourself surrounded by your loved ones… That’s “the feeling” we’re talking about! And it means you’ve found your venue.
Hopefully, that’s helped get you well on your way to finding your perfect venue! Now you know the basics, you can use Bridebook’s Venue Search to start looking for “the one.” You can filter by name, capacity, type and style, as well as location. You can also use Bridebook for the rest of your wedding planning, including managing your budget, creating your guest list and booking the rest of your wedding team.