How to find your dream wedding venue

How to find your dream wedding venue

by Liz Gatherer

After the excitement of the initial engagement has worn off, it's time to start thinking about your wedding day! The first thing on your wedding planning checklist is a venue, you cannot select a wedding date until you have chosen your venue. The venue will often dictate the outfits you will wear, your wedding vibe and even your colour scheme. But how do you go about selecting the perfect venue?

We’ve put together some tips to help you choose the right venue: 

  • think about somewhere that suits your tastes, something you both want 
  • consider your budget and go visit venues within that budget 
  • choose the right location 
  • think about how many guests you will be having and visit venues which will accommodate your numbers 
  • check out the venue's reviews from previous wedding couples 
  • keep an open mind, it would be good to visit a 'wild card' venue 
  • visit more than one venue 
  • wait for 'the feeling'

A dream wedding venue to suit your tastes

If you are both into history then taking a look at castle wedding venues and stately home wedding venues will be a good place to start, but if you are both into ultra modern then take a look at modern hotel wedding venues. Think about what you both like and look at the venue that suits both your needs, if one of you loves the outdoors and the other loves a bit of pampering, for example, then an outdoor ceremony at a 5* spa hotel could be the solution. Maybe a dry hire venue is perfect for you, this is where the venue is essentially a shell, and you book absolutely everything from tables and chairs, lighting and decor, down to cutlery and napkins. 

Wedition Hot Tip: If you are big foodies or perhaps have special dietary needs, for example you need a Kosher wedding, a venue that insists you use their own in house catering team might not work out for you, take a look at venues where you can choose your own caterer, this will also give you more flexibility with your budget.

Pennyhill Park, dream wedding venue

Venue: Pennyhill Park, photo credit: Juliet McKee

Consider your budget for your dream wedding venue

There are so many venues to choose from these days, you really are spoilt for choice! Think about how much you are prepared to spend and look at the venues that fit within this budget. Marquee weddings and dry hire venues can often seem extremely affordable on the surface but by the time you’ve hired everything you need, they can often be the same as a purpose built wedding venue or even more.

Wedition Hot Tip: If your dream venue is out of your financial reach, consider getting married there on a weekday or out of season, perhaps in April or October, the rates are often heavily reduced outside of the summer months.

Ramster Hall, dream wedding venue

Wedition couple R&A at their venue: Ramster Hall photo credit: Fresh Shoot Studies

Your dream wedding venue's location

It’s all very well booking your dream wedding in Seville or Ibiza, but will enough of your family and friends be able to get there? You may like to think about distances that yourself and your partner need to travel to the venue, as well as the key members of your wedding party. The venue may not have overnight accommodation, in which case take a look at hotel options and how easy it will be for guests to take taxis or drive there after the wedding.

The Elvetham, dream wedding venue

Venue: The Elvetham

The guest list at your dream wedding venue

You may find it helpful to put together a rough guest list before you start searching your venue, you may be surprised by how long your list is, in this case you will need to look at larger wedding venues with greater capacity. On the other hand, if you are having a much smaller guest list, or even a micro wedding, you’ll not want to feel overwhelmed by being in a venue that is too large for your needs.

Wotton House Hotel, dream wedding venue

Venue: Wotton House, photo credit: Hayley B Weddings

Reviews are really helpful when searching for your dream wedding venue

Take look at the online review of a venue, don’t just rely on the ones on the venue's website as they will have picked the best ones to showcase. You could join a wedding related Facebook group and get people’s opinion there too, or maybe take a scroll through the venue’s Instagram page and see what previous couple’s are commenting on their images.

Rivervale Barn, dream wedding venue

Venue: Rivervale Barn, photo credit: Senior Mac

Throw in a wild card whilst searching for your dream wedding venue

I think it’s really fun to throw in a wild card, a venue that doesn’t match any of your criteria but one that still makes your heart sing, go and take a look, after all, wedding planning is something you will only do once and you may learn something from the wild card wedding venue that you realise is super important to have at your chosen venue.

The Aviator, Aviator Weddings, dream wedding venue

Venue: The Aviator

Visit more than one venue whilst planning for your dream wedding

I’m not saying go crazy and visit dozens of wedding venues, but I think it would be good to visit at least three. You’ll be glad that you can compare them to each other and by visiting more than one you will really refine your ‘must have’ list. 

Wedition Top Tip: if you are undecided about which venues to start looking at, go with three that are all very different, for example go to one hotel wedding venue, one historical wedding venue and one purpose built wedding venue.

The Ravenswood, dream wedding venue

Wedition couple S&G at their venue: The Ravenswood, photo credit: Balance Photography

Wait for the feeling - you know you've found your dream wedding venue!

As you are looking around a wedding venue, if you feel excited and have butterflies in your stomach than you are surely on the right track. If you can easily picture yourself getting married there - then I think you have found the one! Congratulations!

Liz Gatherer

Liz Gatherer (company owner of Wedition) on her wedding day with 'the feeling' at her venue: Farnham Castle, photographer: Ideal Imaging by Alistair Jones

Share the story of your dream wedding venue with Wedition

Lots of our couples love to include the story of their dream wedding venue inside Wedition, their personalised wedding magazine. It might be the story of how they found the venue, for example, wedition bride Natasha drove past her wedding venue Warbrook House every day on the way to work, and she dreamed that one day she would be married their, her dream came true! Some of our couples are all about the history, they love to include and article detailing the history of their dream wedding venue.

If you would like a personalised wedding magazine to be given to your guests on your wedding day, then please do get in touch and Liz can get to work on this incredible table talker.

dream wedding venue, personalised wedding magazine, Wedition