How to choose your UK wedding venue…
One of the most important parts of your wedding planning is the venue. It sets the tone for a lot of your wedding: not only does it affect the vibe of the day and the aesthetic theme you’re going for, but it also dictates more logistical bits like timings and the number of guests you can have. But that also makes it one of the most exciting parts – once you find your venue, you can really start visualising the big day itself and piecing together the bits to make it happen!
There’s so many beautiful venue options that you’ll be sure to find the perfect one, but being faced with these options can be overwhelming. As the old adage goes, when it looks bleak think of Mr & Mrs Unique…no, but in all seriousness, we pride ourselves on having shit hot knowledge of the all of the coolest UK wedding venues, so we’ve compiled the different types you might be exploring below.
But before that, the first thing to do when looking for a venue is to complete this little checklist of initial questions about your wedding and your ideal venue, and then see what kind of venue matches up:
• How many guests do you have? You may not have an exact number yet and that’s fine, but have a minimum and a maximum in mind (a maximum is more important; you can always work with a space with less guests, but you can’t go over a venue’s maximum for fire regulations)
• Are you looking for a blank canvas, or a venue with its own personality and style already?
• Are you looking for somewhere you can hire for the whole weekend, or just the day?
• Do you want the ceremony and the reception in the same place?
• Do you want a legal ceremony on the same day as your wedding reception, or would you consider having that in a registry office a couple of days before and having a symbolic ceremony on ‘the day’?
• How close is accommodation for key members of friends and family?
• Do they have a wet weather plan you love just as much?
• Do they allow you to choose your own suppliers, or do you have to prescribe to their ‘preferred’ suppliers list?
Now you’ve got a better idea of what you’re looking for, here’s a handy list of some different wedding venue styles to get your cogs whirring and your fingers a’typing…
UK Wedding Venue types…
Manor/Country Houses & Estates
Manor Houses and Country Houses are full of charm and character, making them the perfect choice for couples looking to mix contemporary luxe with historic grandeur. They all boast wonderful views, space and options for ceremony and reception rooms as well as accommodation for your wedding party, meaning you won’t be cramped into a tiny room then shunted outside whilst they turn it around. We’re not talking stuffy, faded, dusty relics – we’re talking breath-taking, grand, lovingly restored or preserved gems nestled in the British countryside.
Farmhouses and Barns
For something a little more rustic but no less stunning, farmhouses and barns make beautiful venues. They are the perfect middle ground between being enough of a blank canvas that you can put your own mark on them, whilst still retaining their original charm. And if the beautiful dashed stone walls, acres of surrounding countryside and rural quirks won’t sway you, their focus on homegrown fun will. For example, it’s kind of part and parcel of the heritage of a farmhouse wedding venue that they need to serve incredible food, and River Cottage do that (you can even get married in their vegetable garden!). Upton Barn is filled with the work and restoration of local craftspeople, and H-Coo Events @ the Grange also offer a family run B&B on site.
If food is your focus, why not have your wedding reception in a restaurant? Paris House Reception is a Michelin recommended restaurant which can offer you bespoke seasonal menus in a beautifully private setting in divine grounds. Restaurants are the perfect choice for intimate weddings. Also do check out Hampton Manor situated in the heart of England. Not only are the interiors off the hook; their menus are inspired by Michelin-starred, four AA-rosette Peel’s.
Fields and festival weddings
Yurt and marquee weddings are perfect for all types of celebration – they’re even great for winter, when you can really turn those Scandi wedding vibes up – but to put a tent up, you first need some ground to put it on. Idyllic countryside locations with acres of space are perfect, especially when they’re run by expert teams who can deal with the logistical side of erection and deliveries for you. (Remember how hard it was to put your pop up tent up at Glasto last year? It’s like that, on steroids.)
Woodland wedding venues
When venues say you’re getting married in the forest, they often mean there’s quite a lot of tress onsite, but all three of Greenacres’ locations are nestled in the heart of the actual woods. Dense canopies of trees and wildflower meadows surround their beautiful wooden buildings to allow you to celebrate truly at one with nature.
To check out all the coolest UK wedding venues, head to our directory for the lowdown!