What's Your Venue Style?
Choosing your wedding venue is one of the first things to do in the planning process; without the venue booked you don't have a guaranteed date to work towards which means there is little else you can do. Not only that but the rest of your wedding planning decisions are likely to centre around your choice of venue; such as styling and your dress!
To help you decide on the right type of venue for the wedding that you're dreaming of I've put together a list of the most popular wedding styles:
The WOW Factor
If your perfect wedding involves creating a real wow-factor that captivates your guests then you need a grand Country Estate or Manor House; these venues are often in the centre of sprawling countryside with stunning views (and excellent backdrops for your photographs). This style is ideal for anyone wanting a quintessentially English wedding.
In general, this type of venue usually requires quite a generous budget, however on the positive side country manors require very little dressing, as the decor speaks for itself. Just bear in mind, the interiors do tend to be a little old fashioned; whilst filled with character this is not to everybody's taste so if you want a contemporary wedding then this style perhaps is not for you.
Relaxed and Family Orientated
As a couple, you're relaxed in day-to-day life and, whilst you want a sophisticated wedding day, you also want a great party? If this sounds like you then consider a barn wedding; if I were to compare wedding venues to fashion then a barn is definitely the 'smart/casual' choice. When dressed, they are formal enough for a wedding but casual enough that you can all relax and have fun; they're particularly well suited if you have several children to factor into your wedding day.
The best thing about getting married in a barn is that you start with a blank canvas, meaning you can really put your stamp on it when decorating.
Chic & Modern
If you've always wanted a formal, beautifully elegant wedding but in a slightly more modern setting then the City is the right choice for you. I would suggest a hotel; London in particular offers endless options. Both sophisticated and luxurious with the added benefit of on-site accommodation for your guests.
If you're a traditional girl then you probably have your heart set on a church wedding; there are several considerations with religious ceremonies so make sure you do your research in case you need to attend church in the months prior to you wedding. Churches can be really beautiful, particularly for Winter weddings with gorgeous floral displays and giant candles. My one recommendation would be to be aware of the size of the church and the number of guests you intend on inviting...Churches are sometimes quite spacious, combined with tall ceilings the venue can seem a little quiet if you're not careful.
Quirky & Unique
You know that you want something special, but can't quite find anything you like? The chances are you're hoping for a venue with a difference; these can be tricky to find and you may need to be willing to compromise by having a blessing or symbolic ceremony instead but with a bit of research there are plenty of unique wedding venues out there, for example, in Brighton we have the striking Bandstand or the historic Pavilion. Start by thinking about the things you like, any places which are special to you as a couple and the overall feel you'd like for the day, this will help you get some ideas about where to try...vintage tea rooms, local ballrooms, a lighthouse or even an ice rink. You'd be surprised with what you come across.
The Great Outdoors
Outdoor weddings are not for everybody; you have to be a relaxed, 'go with the flow' type bride if you're planning a wedding outside, especially in the UK as we all know what the Great British weather is like. That said, getting married abroad is no guarantee of a sunny day either, so if you would like an outdoor ceremony then make sure you have a Plan B that you're equally happy with and be prepared to change at the last minute. Most venues which offer outdoor ceremonies will have a 'back up' room if required so this is easily done but treat this room as you would a preferred choice.
Now that I have the negatives out of the way...an outdoor ceremony can be really special; there are several options available, the most popular of which is probably the beach, but in the UK we have some really lovely hidden gardens out there too so see what you can find!
If you're still in doubt then hire a wedding planner - I'm familiar with a range of wedding venues and would be able to suggest options based on your requirements and preferences.