Finding the right Wedding Venue

What Are You Looking For?

In the world of wedding planning, they say the biggest hurdle is finding your venue. After that, it’s all just detail. Having been there, I wouldn’t entirely disagree, although personally found the ‘detail’ element challenging in itself. But more on that another time.

The scope for wedding venues seems to be getting broader and broader by the day. Unique wedding venues, such as Barns, Castle wedding venues and Stately Home wedding venues plus unusual wedding venues like Papakatas,  Train Platforms & Zoos. Pretty much, you name it, you can get married in/on it! So it’s no wonder betrothed couples have such a job selecting the right venue, never mind agreeing on it.

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Lake & Formal Gardens at Capesthorne Hall 

For one who typically dreamt of her wedding day from a young age, the venue wasn’t actually something I had spent much time thinking about. I dreamed up the ceremony, the music, the flowers, but couldn’t imagine the reception. My husband also hadn’t a clue what he wanted in a venue to begin with. Living in arguably the Wedding County of the UK we were literally spoilt for choice and tried to consider all avenues.

Being a Creative, free-spirit, it was important to me to be able to envisage decorative possibilities at a venue. Therefore I was put off by pre-dressed venues. I didn’t want to be dictated to and preferred places that allowed scope for plenty of ‘detail’ (hence why choosing the venue wasn’t the biggest hurdle for us after all). However I have come to learn that a large number of couples don’t want the fuss of a million and one creative details. They don’t have flamboyant tastes and they don’t have the time or inclination to spend hours dressing their venue. Or, they may not have the budget. This may be why more and more couples are choosing to marry abroad or outdoors, as the setting is already done for you. Indeed, we personally found it difficult to find a venue that offered a blank canvas that we could either do a great deal with or nothing at all and it still be perfect.

That’s the difficulty you see – opt for a function room in a hotel and more often than not it is crying out for decorative embellishments to make the environment more appropriate to a wedding and less like a clinical conference room. Opt for a historical castle or stately home and you are stuck with the furnishings, centuries old and quite likely not to everyone’s personal taste. Opt for a Barn and everyone expects a ‘Rustic’ wedding. Of course the latter may be exactly what some people look for, but my point is that we live in a society that likes to tick boxes and pigeonhole. But it’s your wedding and your marriage and you ought not to feel limited by anything or anyone.

To me, a truly Great wedding venue will try and cater to as broad a spectrum as possible and be open to ideas. A space (and the people who manage it) needs to be able to welcome couples (like us) who have a zillion ideas, from paper lanterns to crates filled with flowers, but also couples who for one reason or another don’t want a zillion details but the space is still great as it is. It’s a tough call to expect that of a venue but, in my opinion, it should be absolutely possible. In fact, a venue should make all things at least seem possible for a couple.

It doesn’t surprise me that so many people flee the country to carry out their nuptials, but I do think it’s a shame when we live in such a beautiful one ourselves. In my view, expectations placed on weddings is the death of a couple’s dream and we could all do to support those getting married in whatever way we can to help fulfil their hopes.