You’re engaged and have started the journey to planning your wedding. One of the first jobs to tick off is to find your ideal venue.
Keep in mind how far your guests will have to travel for your wedding and try to cater for them as best you can; you want as many of them as possible to be able to attend your special day. Also, whichever venue style you go for, be sure to meet with the proprietors several times to make sure they are able to fully cater for what you have in mind. There’s nothing wrong with shopping around before you settle on your dream wedding venue.
If you’re looking for outdoor elegance, a marquee wedding is the venue for you. Similar in aesthetic to a tipi wedding, marquees are more of a formal affair. They tend to be fully enclosed & fully insulated so your guests are kept warm, meaning these can suit a wedding at any time of year. Marquees also usually have a real floor installed and are more of a permanent structure, so you can enjoy the feel of a venue, with the option of exploring outside if you wish. A tipi wedding is fab for those who want a rustic outdoor wedding in nature. It’s basically a large tent, that’s open to the elements and usually has no floor, so guests walk on bare grass. This style of venue is perfect for those Summer months, but not recommended when the weather is unpredictable. A tipi wedding is a more laidback kind of do with buffet style food and guests free to meander both inside and out.
Hotel / Manor House
For the traditional sit down meal, a hotel/ manor house is the obvious choice. Everything is taken care of for you, from the waiter service to the accommodation. They are super convenient and also offer their venue as the perfect backdrop to complement your wedding theme, meaning you don’t have to start from scratch with your décor design. The only issue with these types of venue, is for the majority, they can be quite restrictive and don’t leave much room for creativity. If you really want to put your personal stamp on it, and have extras like mobile food vans, fireworks, magicians and other more ‘out there’ décor ideas, some hotels/ manor houses will cater to a certain point, but a tipi or marquee may be better suited.
Rising in popularity in recent years, barns are a good halfway house to a venue and outdoor wedding. You have a permanent structure with enough freedom to style your wedding exactly how you want. Many brides who want rustic weddings go for a barn venue. Exposed wooden beams and straw bales lend themselves well to this laidback country style wedding. You can also hire whatever catering you like at a barn, (owner permitting of course) and can really take the rustic vibe all the way with barn dancing, fairy lights and garlands hanging from the rafters.
Typically catering for smaller weddings due to the size of the venue, a restaurant is a good choice if you have an exact style of food in mind. We’re talking Indian, Chinese, Japanese; if you know what you like and want it done well, go for an authentic restaurant that cooks your favourite foods better than you could imagine. As food is the main focus of a restaurant, it won’t come second best to the other aspects of your wedding. You can also guarantee fantastic customer service, as it’s the restaurant’s chance to potentially gain lots of future business from happy wedding guests. The only downside with a restaurant is they won’t usually have a dedicated dancefloor area for guests to move onto after dining, so if this is what you want, you may end up having to hire another venue for your evening festivities.