What to look for in a Wedding Venue in 2023

When you set your heart on getting married, it’s exciting and nerve-wracking in equal measure and a lot hinges on the Wedding Venue. You don’t need to necessarily have the ceremony and wedding reception in the same location. But they should be close together for your invited guests to celebrate your nuptials with you.

There are many different types of wedding venues such as hotels, manor houses, and community halls. But choosing the right one can be an extensive and hard task for even the most organised couples, with flexibility likely the key to finding the perfect choice.

And in next year there are expected changes to wedding venue requirements, civil ceremonies in England and Wales used to be required to be indoors or within a permanent outdoor structure, but this was relaxed in lockdown and made permanent. Next year this is expected to extend to include public spaces and home weddings which will open up all sorts of ideas for 2023.

Here is an important list of things to think about and look for when deciding on the perfect wedding venue.

Talking to a Wedding Planner First

If you have the money, turn to a planner before you look at any wedding venues. Planners are far more knowledgeable and experienced about a space’s possibilities, its layout, and the materials and time required to truly convert it into something special on the big day. Your planner will be aware of any inventive ways to make it special or any peculiarities of the area that can make it challenging to realise your idea, and even have access to wedding packages.

Setting your Budget

Setting a clear budget for your location to get married is crucial. The worst-case scenario is if you fall in love with an expensive venue, which leaves some couples unhappy when they compare it to all other wedding venues.

The most memorable weddings are those that are energised with the personality of the couples throughout the venue. Consider choosing the venue as your blank canvas and all the other details that you would like to include will fall into place.

marquee wedding venue

A marquee is a good option for extra space for the evening meal and wedding dance

Choosing the Capacity

The first step in limiting your choice of wedding location is deciding if you want a wedding venue capable of a large capacity or if you’d prefer one smaller and more intimate. The size has a significant impact on your budget, and your guest’s enjoyment.

If the room is too tiny for the number of guests you are expecting, it will feel stuffy and crowded; if it is too big, people will feel disoriented, and the space will not feel inviting. And if an outdoor wedding venue, the Master of ceremonies and speech givers may struggle to command and project.

Make a rough guest list so you can eliminate choices that are too few or too many, and consider who is essential to be at the wedding ceremony. Just keep in mind that it’s simple to underestimate the number of guests you will end up inviting, and you might find you have more RSVPs than you can fit in.

It can be difficult to visualise how a space would appear while it is empty. Due to this, we always suggest seeing wedding reception venues while decorated to get a feel for the capabilities. Ask to see pictures if this isn’t possible; most locations should have an online slideshow or photo book.

Choosing the right location

Your wedding day is ultimately about you and what you want, but the location choice should also consider particular members of your guest list. For instance, you could want to focus your search if there are some people that you want by your side but who may find it challenging to travel to the other side of the country.

There are many reasons why people may or may not be able to travel to isolated wedding reception venues. So being considerate and reasonable in this regard will help guarantee that the people who matter most to you are present to share in your celebration.

There are also other pragmatic issues to think about, such as if there is enough local accommodation for overnight stays for a remote idyllic barn wedding venue. How far apart are the ceremony and reception venue sites if you’re picking separate ones? It’s crucial to take care of the individuals you’ll be celebrating with because they’ll play a significant role in making the day special for you.

And this applies to a mid week wedding. yes you might get you ideal wedding venue at a great price, but will everyone in the wedding party be able to make it?

Open air wedding venues promote airflow

Open air wedding venues can help keep the reception cool in summer and great for a drinks reception

Selecting the right theme

Consider whether the location complements and even improves your wedding theme. An outstanding rural country house or a magnificent mansion can be a great choice if you desire a glamorous look.  If you’re looking for a modern feel and live in a city, then a warehouse or an art gallery might be ideal. If you and your partner love the outdoors then you should consider a garden marquee, a castle with vast grounds and stunning gardens, or a location associated with a sport you both enjoy such as a golf club.

Even the wedding dress you choose can be influenced by the location. Take into account the venue’s formality, the impact of the weather, and the amenities. Squeezing into fancy portaloos in your dress or dragging it through mud might not be practical if you’re in a field.

Listing your non-negotiables

Before visiting any locations, sit down with your spouse and go over any non-negotiables because you probably have a vision of how your day will go, and the venue needs to be able to live up to this. These might consist of:

Budget – Is VAT included in the price, are staff gratuities included in the price and, if so, are they optional? Will the venue be able to meet all of your needs within your budget?

Catering – What type of food would you serve, and can the venue provide this?

Suppliers – Do you have pals that are creative who would like to prepare the dessert or snap the pictures? If so, find out if the venue will allow it or if you must use their preferred vendors.

Live music – Does the location allow for a band, if that’s what you want? Does the venue permit music outdoors if a string quartet is requested for the reception drinks?

Extra features & ideas. – If you have any other entertainment suggestions, make sure any potential wedding reception venues will let you use them.

A wedding venue decorated for a wedding

Visit wedding venues when decorated to get an idea of space

Choosing the right cuisine

The catering is one aspect of your special day that will be talked about for a very long time because everyone loves food. As a result, you must find out what options each location serves. To start, find out if they handle the catering in-house or if you need to hire someone elsewhere.

Ask for sample meals if they offer catering, and check reviews. You will be able to determine whether their catering is fit for your wedding if you can undertake a food sampling before you chose to use their catering team.

Check the wedding timings

It’s important to carefully consider the ceremony’s time. It might be challenging to estimate how long each component will take, but a seasoned wedding venue should be able to provide guidance. When creating your wedding day agenda, consider your guests’ experience too. Remember where the majority of attendees will be coming from and allow plenty of time for preparation and arrival. You should consider how many will need to take public transport back home and at what time the last train is coming.

Many wedding venues have a finish time, either by policy or as a result of licencing requirements. If your day begins at noon and carriages arrive at midnight, you could think that’s enough, but if you envision you and your friends staying up late to party, you might need to take this into account when searching.

Some venues charge a price for a later finish, while others can let any overnight visitors stay and continue in the lobby or another location. The day will be perfect if you know what option is best for your big day.

Is it the best venue for you?

You really must ask yourself if the wedding venue is perfect for you and your partner. When looking at a venue and visiting it, especially if this is the first stage in your wedding preparation, you should be able to imagine yourselves getting married there.

Your wedding day style and setting should be in harmony with your personality to make the right Wedding Venue shine. From the architecture to the décor, ambience, and your wedding style will be greatly influenced. One of the major steps in your wedding preparation will be choosing your venue, which will influence your date and location and have an impact on many of your other choices.

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About Author /

Emma is the editorial director and has been with the brand since 2021. She is is a writer and editor with over 5 years of experience covering Weddings, Fashion and beauty.

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