Image by WOOKIE Photography.
Time for Part II of our A – Z of Wedding Venues!
The A – Z of Wedding Venues
Are you after a venue that will fit your number of guests or will your number of guests have to fit the venue…?
Yep, N is for numbers.
For us, we knew we’d have a fairly small wedding so our guest list came after we found the venue. But the larger your celebration becomes, the harder it can be to find a venue to fit your requirements. Most weddings will fall into our Party Capacity of around 60 – 150 guests, but anything larger and you may need to start to think about alternatives such as marquees and tents to accommodate your gang. You can view our venues that suit Grand and Epic weddings on our Venue Finder.
If you fancy a small wedding then you can check out our Elopement and Intimate wedding venues. Don’t be put off by the size or grandness of some of them; for example every room at the The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa is licensed so your nuptials can be a very private affair indeed, you can even marry in your own suite!
Some couples want a small ceremony with minimal fuss but luxe details and Ever After in Devon is one such venue that can provide you with everything you need for your elopement. Other faves include Crear and BoHo Cornwall – the latter only hosts up to 10 guests which I think is rather special.
Oh outdoor weddings… How I love thee.
From pretty garden receptions, ceremonies by a lake to magical tipis in woodland settings, the outdoor wedding is certainly a desirable on your venue wish list.
But planning an outdoor wedding can be a logistical mission! Whether you choose to have a tipi, yurt or marquee it doesn’t matter, all outdoor weddings need a little more planning and there are additional things to consider and think about such as hiring in toilets and generators.
Luckily for you one of our lovely venues, Sami Tipi, have written a book which covers all aspects of planning an outdoor wedding! You can read about the book here and you can buy direct from Amazon here.
Here’s 3 simple tips from Sami Tipi…
- An outdoor wedding, as some people may assume is not a budget option, so like with any wedding discuss what you are willing to spend on. Find out if family are going to help you and then get quotations for all of the different elements so you are going into your wedding planning (whatever style) with your eyes open.
- Having an outdoor wedding means you choose the team of suppliers you want to work worth, so surround yourself with good suppliers who you feel you can work with and will help you to pull together your outdoor wedding.
- Having an outdoor wedding couldn’t be more fun, it allows you to have the day that you want, not how someone tells you it should be so enjoy it and embrace everything including the weather!
P is for planning!
Most venues will have in-house planners or coordinators; they will be able to assist with all the logistics on the venue side and, as they understand how the venue works, they will help you get the most from the venue on the day. They can also give you guidance on which suppliers to contact, but it will be YOU contacting and negotiating with the suppliers rather than the coordinator.
If you’re looking for someone to assist with every aspect of the planning process – from working out budgets, searching for your venue, contacting and liaising with suppliers, helping you choose flowers, negotiating the logistics, writing and posting your invitations (and everything in between!) then my friend, you need to get yourself a wedding planner.
I know many in-house planners / coordinators that I would trust implicitly with the running of my wedding day so it’s all in the detail – do you need someone overseeing the venue aspect or do you need help with everything – start to finish…?
There’s a lot to consider when it comes to the wedding venue… Right…?
Well, to break down this somewhat daunting process I’ve come up with an A – Z of Wedding Venues; hopefully this will bust some myths, make you feel well-prepped for venue visits and of course settle those planning nerves.
This feature is broken into two digestible parts so swing back Wednesday for the next instalment and make sure you pin the bookmark image at the end for easy reference!
Let’s get started…
The A – Z of Wedding Venues
If you’re getting married, you’ll need accommodation of some description. Whether it’s for you and your family, guests travelling from afar or if you want a large bash with everyone you love under one roof.
If the latter is important to you, then hotels and large country estates will be the first place to start when searching for your wedding venue! For those needing accommodation in the area then have a chat with your venue to see if they can recommend some great local places to stay then include this info in your wedding stationery suites or on your wedding website – however do make sure they cover lots of different budgets.
Also, if you know there will be lot’s of guests using a particular hotel, then it’s always worth enquiring if there is a discounted rate for wedding guests.
Glamping-wise, you can find all venues who offer Glamping right here. But again, not all of you guests will feel comfortable with this so again make sure you’ve covered the local b&b/hotel options too.
Approx 10-15% of your overall budget will probably be spent on the venue. With the average wedding costing £21,000* then that means some couples will spend around £3,360 on a venue. But this is all “average” folks and it can be considerbaly more. So, to get your figures in check here are some tips to get you started;
Before you head off and start searching for venues, you probably need to get the budget in play. We have a full post on this which you can read here; but to help, here’s a quick breakdown for you!
- Make a spreadsheet.
- Decide who’s paying for the wedding – are you going alone or are family contributing…?
- Set a (rough) date – but remember to be flexible when you start the search!
- Work out how much you can save taking the above points into consideration.
- Allocate you budget – what’s important on your big day and what’s nice to have…?
- Get quotes.
- Give yourself a contingency fund – you’ll thank us later.
- Double check everything from the budget, to what you need to buy, to the suppliers you’ll need on board!
We’ve covered budget questions to ask your venue and things to consider when you’re searching in this article here.
When it comes to your ceremony, you’re rather spoilt for choice…
If you fancy a simple Civil Ceremony then the majority of our wedding venues hold a license, meaning your whole wedding can be under one roof. You’ll need to give notice and book your officiant via the County Council your venue sits in. A little tip; it’s always a good idea to enquire with the County Council and Registrar before securing your venue, just in case a Registrar isn’t available for the date/time slot you have in mind!
An alternative to the Civil Ceremony is the Humanist Ceremony. This kind of celebration can take place any where, at any time as a marriage license isn’t required. A Humanist ceremony is a non-religious blessing where couples can exchange their own meaningful words and symbolic gestures such as hand-fastening with ribbons. There’s no script, so it’s totally personal and flexible to the Bride & Groom. This kind of ceremony is perfect for couples looking at outdoor and woodland wedding venues.
Scotland is the only country in the UK that legally recognises a Humanist ceremony, so if marrying in England, Wales or Ireland then you’ll need to have a Civil Ceremony before or after the wedding day. You can find out more about Humanist ceremonies & celebrants here.
If you want to keep it traditional, then a whole host of wedding venues have beautiful Churches onsite.
Image courtesy of The Wood Norton.
You’ve booked the venue, found the dress, selected your colours and theme, and handpicked your bridal party – what next..? Your wedding breakfast of course! The Wood Norton’s Head Chef, Kieran Hunt boasts years of experience in catering for weddings and working closely with couples to create the perfect dish for their big day.
Check out his top tips below to help your create the perfect wedding breakfast that caters for all, and… win a five course dinner for two at The Wood Norton.
Keep reading folks!
Notes from The Wood Norton
Tip # 1
Think theme and style
Choosing food to match the theme and style of your wedding will really wow your guests and show that you have thought of each and every detail. For example, if you’re going for vintage a classy high tea may work better than a traditional sit down, and conversely if you’re planning on a more elegant theme then fine dining options would complement perfectly.
Tip # 2
A warming soup for starter in summer, and strawberries and Pimms during winter just doesn’t work, and wouldn’t be what guests are expecting. Think seasonal when it comes to creating your menu, making sure you take the time to ask your Chef or Caterer for different dish ideas using seasonal ingredients.
Image by Robbins Photographic.
Liz Linkleter Event Planning & Design offers a comprehensive wedding planning and bespoke design service… And we’re smitten! Never twee, never ostentatious and rarely traditional, their weddings are understated but always creative and individual, steering clear of Pinterest styling clichés and one-size-ﬁts-all design schemes.
No matter what your vision, Liz and her team will work closely with you to create something that speaks volumes about you as a couple. Known for creating weddings for discerning, style-conscious clients, they bring many years’ worth of experience working in the luxury fashion industry into everything they do.
So, if you need a little assistance with your planning and want to give your guests the party of a lifetime then read on my friends… You might also spot some of our gorgeous venues too!
Notes from Liz Linkleter
I founded Liz Linkleter Event Planning & Design following my own wedding – something a lot of wedding industry professionals say! Having amassed ten years’ experience in luxury fashion PR and event production, most recently at Alexander McQueen, I wanted to apply that style-conscious approach and sense of understated luxury to wedding planning and styling. I love nothing more than a party, and am constantly thinking of reasons to throw them – nothing makes me happier than seeing my friends going wild on the danceﬂoor. It’s an amazing feeling seeing my clients having the best day of their lives and knowing I have helped make that happen.
My passion is simple things when they are done well, seeking out the very best of beautiful, elegant design. I’m aware of trends, but I don’t feel compelled to follow them – in fact, I’ll help you navigate through all those Pinterest references your friends are copying, to create something truly stunning and timeless. Bringing together the meticulous organisation and production skills I’ve gathered through my career, and a creative ﬂair that the fashion industry has helped to develop, I love to create weddings that are atmospheric, fun-filled and unforgettable.
Images by Christopher Terry Photography.
If you’re considering an outdoor wedding or have started the hard task of planning an outdoor wedding, then this post is for you my friends! Jodie & Craig of Sami Tipi fame (a renowed tipi supplier based in and around the Midlands) have written a book all about this very topic!
This book, The Ultimate Guide to Planning an Outdoor Wedding, is jam-packed with tips and advice for couples designing an outdoor celebration and we have a copy to giveaway!
If however you want to get your mitts on this book ASAP (and who can blame you) then you can purchase the aforementioned read on Amazon here.
Over to Jodie & Craig for a little more info and their top 3 tips for Planning an Outdoor Wedding!
Notes from Sami Tipi
Jodie & Craig:
Sami Tipi was born for us in Dubai, we saw the tipis at a sporting event whilst we lived out there and came away knowing we wanted to work with them. With plans already in place to return home after 5 years in the Middle East we set to task in creating Sami Tipi.
The tipis are such a beautiful alternative to a traditional marquee that weddings really choose us. Helping a couple plan their own bespoke space, transforming a blank field to a celebration space is such an honour to do, and it is great to be a part of that, hearing their ideas and then eventually seeing them come together.
Every wedding is unique, we spend anywhere between 6 months and 2 years getting to know a couple and help them bring to life everything that they have planned for their big day. It is great to see the wedding photos afterwards too to see all the details of the day and this is often a tell tale sign of how much of a party they had!