Top tips to help choose your perfect wedding venue including Berkshire Wedding Venues.

As a Berkshire Wedding Planner I know choosing a wedding venue can be difficult but I’m here to help you find the perfect location for your dream wedding whether it is a Berkshire Wedding Venue or further afield.

Apart from saying Yes to the Will you Marry Me question, deciding on your wedding venue will most likely be the first major decision for your wedding that you will make.

You may be getting married at home in a garden marquee and if are considering a marquee wedding then read my blog piece for advice on selecting the right marquee for your wedding celebration https://honourandpop.co.uk/what-to-consider-when-deciding-on-a-wedding-marquee/

But how do you narrow down the search and find the one that’s right for your big day?

Here are my top tips to help you begin your search for your wedding venue.

1. First things First

Taking the time to do some research will make your search for a wedding venue much easier. To help you narrow down your search, look at wedding magazines, online directories, and ask for recommendations from family and friends.  Also ask a Wedding Planner.  I can help with small elements of your wedding planning such as venue finding as well as helping you throughout the whole journey.

Once you have a venue in mind, it’s always worth reading reviews from previous clients to see if they had a good experience.  Industry awards and accolades can also be a good indicator of quality and good customer service, especially those voted for by members of the public.

2. What style of wedding do you want?

Are you planning a formal, elegant affair with a country house as a back drop or a rural and rustic bash in a barn? The theme and style you choose will be a determining factor when choosing your venue.  Think about whether you want a traditional venue or something a little different. 

3. Location, location, location

When it comes to choosing your perfect wedding venue, location is a key consideration as this can have a big impact on the rest of your wedding plans. Think about how easy it is to get to the venue especially f you have guests travelling far or who will be using public transport.  Does the venue have overnight accommodation or nearby accommodation.  If not, you may need to put on buses to transport guests at the end of the night to hotels.  Finally, don’t forget to look at the venue’s setting. Is it in the middle of the countryside, or on the edge of a town.  Does it have a peaceful vibe? How private is the location?

Bluebell Woods at Welford Park Berkshire Wedding Venue

4. Consider your budget

The all-important budget.  The venue and catering will take up a large proportion of your wedding budget, so before you start your venue hunt, it’s essential to work out your wedding budget and decide how much you are happy to spend.   For help on Budget Planning follow the link to https://honourandpop.co.uk/ten-steps-for-creating-a-wedding-budget-with-berkshire-wedding-planner/

Once you have your “venue budget” in mind, you can then start looking at venues that fit inside your price bracket.  

A Top Tip…Don’t forget that some venues may offer discounts for mid-week or off-season weddings, so if you can be a flexible you will often find that your budget stretches a little further.

5. Be practical – work out your guest numbers first.

When looking at potential venues, it’s easy to get carried away by the romance and excitement of it all but, as boring as it may sound, it’s important to think practically.  

Compile a rough guest list first as this will give you an idea of the number of friends and family you would like with you on your magical day.  Also consider if you are having any additional guests in the evening.  

There is no point viewing a potential wedding venue that only accommodates a maximum of 100 guests seated when your guest list stands at 200!  After all, there’s nothing more disappointing than falling in love with a venue only to realise that you’d have to cut your guest list by half!

6. What will your day look like?

When looking at venues factor in the different spaces you will need.  You probably already know if you are wishing to have a church service or civil wedding ceremony.

Some venues have a church on site but many do not, so consider the logistics of guests moving from church to venue.

If you are planning a civil ceremony, then ensure the venues you view are appropriately licensed.

What about the celebration after the marriage?  Will you have a drinks reception, a sit down dinner or a stand up brunch?  Do you want dancing… with a live band or DJ?  What space do you need?  Think about how your day will flow from one part to the next.  Ideally, you should aim for a seamless flow from one section to the next.

7. Do you want exclusive use?

This is a really important one to consider.  Exclusive use guarantees you your privacy for the duration of your wedding day.  It means that you can be sure that you are not going to bump into or see anyone on the day that isn’t one of your friends or family.

8. Do you want dry hire?

The term ‘dry hire’ refers to a venue space that is provided without any additional features available. A blank canvas space for you to host your wedding but without catering, bar, furniture, entertainment.

Dry hire does provide greater control for your wedding style but you will need a more suppliers and help to set everything up.

9. Accommodation

Would you like your wedding venue to have accommodation?  Are you thinking of making a full weekend of your celebrations and therefore will need space for guest to stay and relax in.  Maybe you would only like accommodation for you as a couple and guests stay elsewhere.

10. Now what…

So you think you have found your potential wedding venue… what now!

Take time to look through their website very carefully.  Download their brochure and read as much as possible about them. Read any testimonials and reviews.  You quickly know whether a wedding venue is what you are looking for or not.

Draw up a shortlist of possible venues and contact them all to make an appointment.  During this current pandemic many venues have virtual tours that you may be able to access from their website. Others you may need to register for and be sent.

A top tip…never turn up at a wedding venue without an appointment.  Venues may be conducting weddings with exclusive use and obviously will not be able to show you around.  Take the time to call venues first and you can use this time to check with them in advance about potential availability.

Another top tip…..Do not view more than 3 wedding venues in one day.  Venues will being to blend into each other and you will become overwhelmed trying to remember who offered what and which one had which feature!  Take plenty of photographs and notes to remind you.

Happy hunting for your dream wedding venue. If you would like any further advice or help however large or small please do not hesitate to contact me through my contact me page https://honourandpop.co.uk/contact/ or instgram.https://www.instagram.com/honour_and_pop/

Featured Berkshire Wedding Venues

Wasing Park – A quintessentially English setting, full of sophistication and elegance, with lovingly restored traditional farm buildings for a truly special Berkshire Wedding Venue – https://www.wasing.co.uk/weddings

The Old Rectory – A country house Berkshire Wedding Venue – https://www.theoldrectoryberkshire.co.uk/

Sheepdrove Farm – A Sustainable, eco, orangic farm providing a unique Berkshire Wedding Venue – https://www.sheepdrove.com/weddings

Welford Park – A natural wilderness sites for receptions in parkland, woodlands and a walled garden providing a private Berkshire Wedding Venue – https://www.welfordpark.co.uk/wedding-location

Donnington Grove Hotel – With stunning grounds, enchanting views and a quirky, unique character, a Berkshire Wedding Venue providing a truly magical setting – https://www.donnington-grove.com/weddings-berkshire

Templars Wedding Barn – A rustic and private Barn and paddocks for rural Berkshire Wedding Venue – https://templarsweddings.com/

Combe Manor Barns – Set in a valley of outstanding beauty an idyllic and romantic Berkshire Wedding Venue – https://www.combemanor.com/

The Vineyard Hotel – A luxurious hotel in stunning surroundings offering first class service for a romantic Berkshire Wedding Venue – https://www.the-vineyard.co.uk/weddings/

North Hidden Barn – A rural rustic barn in beautiful countryside offering a private and quiet Berkshire Wedding Venue –https://www.facebook.com/North-Hidden-Barn-172351846157260/

Photo credits – Annabel Farley – https://www.annabelfarleyphotography.co.uk/ and venues.