The Ultimate Guide to Choosing Your Wedding Venue

Crowne Plaza Gerrards Cross Wedding

When it comes to getting married, the place you choose to do it is just as important as the dress, your guest list and even the rings you choose. As well as being the backdrop to all of your photographs, the venue of the ceremony should represent you and your partner’s personalities.

With this in mind, you need to get your wedding venue right. Fortunately, with a bit of foresight and some careful planning you’ll find yourself tying the knot in your dream location. Follow the checklist below to get it right:

Early Preparations

Before you do anything, go stationery shopping. Not for invitations or favours, but for lined A4 paper, a ring-bound folder and divider. They will help to keep your thoughts organised and in one place – and remove the stress of keeping all of your plans in your head.

There are a number of early preparations you need to make before you get started:

Guest list

At the end of the day, it’s the people around you that make your wedding special, so you need to make sure your venue can accommodate them, above all else. Sit down together and make a list of the family and friends you’d like at the service, who you’d like to be there on the day, and create a separate list of people you’d like at the night time. Check your total and double check them again. You will then have the numbers you need to work with – a smaller party for the day time, and a maximum for the evening.


Budget dictates a great deal when it comes to booking your wedding venue, so you really need a good grip on your finances before you start planning. You’ll need to work out how much you have to spend on your venue. The venue that you select will affect all of the following factors:

  • How many guests you can invite — do you want a country house that can cater to a large capacity or a garden marquee that will make for a low-key and intimate setting?

  • The theme of your wedding — does a glamorous boutique hotel sound appealing to you or would you feel more comfortable tying the knot in a rustic country manor?

  • The style — after all, guests in stilettos and gowns will look out of place at a more casual affair.


The weather will only play a major part in your wedding if you have elements of your day outdoors. The safest option is to host the ceremony, main meal and evening celebration indoors, helping to keep you and your guests warm and dry!

Want part or all of your wedding outdoors? There are a couple of vital factors to consider.

First, make sure that you a select a canopy that can shield guests against the rain in case the weather takes a turn.

Consider the date of your wedding too. While it is impossible to fully predict the British weather, a little bit of research will give you an indication of what conditions are typically like at certain points of the year.


While this is your big day, the location of your wedding should consider your guest too. Consider these important questions:

  • Do you want a traditional church wedding? Bear in mind that either you or your partner will still need to be living within the Parish, or at least have a family connection to the church in order for the ceremony to take place. You may need to provide transport to the reception venue too, which can be an additional cost to consider.

  • Is the venue off the beaten track? Make sure that your guests can easily find it so that they don’t get lost and end up missing a vital part of your ceremony. Look into the options for guest accommodation and let everyone know what is available well in advance.

Drawing up a shortlist

Now that you’ve got the early preparations out of the way, you should have a location in mind as well as a list of guests that you’d like to invite and a budget that you’d hope to stick to.

With the wheels in motion for your big day, the next step is to draw up a shortlist so that the venue you choose perfectly suits your requirements. Here’s a couple of important aspects to consider:

Desired features

Everyone will have different wants for their wedding, but there are some features which will be seen at the majority of occasions.

Once you’ve made your vows and had your main meal, you will want to make sure you have entertainment and music to thrill your guests long into the night. The question is should you book a professional wedding entertainer for plenty of laughs or select a DJ who will be playing all of those classic wedding hits back-to-back?

A wedding photographer is part and parcel of most weddings. You can help make their day a lot easier by paying close attention to the lighting of your desired venue.

Choose a location that is dark and even the most skilled of photographers will struggle to capture every little detail that you have worked so hard to create.

Enquire with the venue to see if they can accommodate additional lighting services. Intelligent lighting arrays, uplighting and projected in-house gobos will all brighten up a location and allow every bit of your big day to be captured perfectly.


There are so many themes to choose from for a wedding, from those which are centred on an historical era (a 1920s-style Gatsby occasion anyone?) to those based on classic ideas — think floral and rustic set-ups.

With countless themes to choose from, it is a good idea to pick a style early on and then work on how to perfect it ahead of the big day.

Colour is another important aspect of a wedding, with the chosen tone for your big day working its way into everything from bridesmaid dresses to bouquets. Choose wisely and remember to keep it unified!

We hope by now you have a picture of your perfect wedding clearly in your mind. Now it’s time to transform your dream day into a magnificent reality!

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