Does that sound like you?
The venue search is one of the very first steps of wedding planning and it’s often the point at which you feel those first stressful ‘planning’ moments where it seems the venue of your dreams just doesn’t exist. The wish list that some couples are armed with prior to the search can be, let’s say, optimistic.
The crushing reality is that there is no such thing as a ‘perfect’ venue but I can say with confidence that you will always find the right venue that gives you all the feels and connects with your big day plans. Whenever I tell a newly engaged bride-to-be to relax, breathe and enjoy the venue search journey I really mean it. It’s a wonderfully romantic part of the planning process and shouldn’t be rushed.
Couple’s will visit on average 4 locations before they find ‘the one’ and it can take about 3 months to confirm their choice. A relaxed affair with family and friends is still the top priority for wedding days, so couples are wanting to find a venue they feel at home in – warm, welcoming and super friendly.
So what kind of venues do we have on our 2018 radar?
Botanical has been a strong wedding style game for a couple of years now and let’s be frank, it isn’t going anywhere. But, there’s a serious injection of romance for this trend – think Eastern influences, wabi-sabi florals and the softest pinks. Any venue with a glass house, botanical gardens or Chinoiserie wallpaper is a winner!
It’s the mix of old and new, heritage with contemporary touches that makes my heart sing. If you’re looking for the ultimate venue example for Romantic Botanical then it must be Wilderness Reserve at Sibton Park. There’s even a Millennium pink cottage onsite! SOLD.
We’re also pretty smitten with Sezincote Estate, but as they only host a very small number of weddings a year this is a super exclusive place to marry. Pictured above is the Japan Room at St Giles House, their stunning bridal prep room. If you’re a Chinoiserie fiend then Sandon Hall has a pretty epic bridal suite too.
Glass & Clear Marquees
I think the ‘Pippa effect’ goes beyond the Giles Deacon dress and small traditional bouquet. Quite frankly my attention was on the incredible Glass Marquee which held the reception party.
Orangeries & Glass Houses have been a very popular venue choice, but those wanting a marquee wedding can now have the best of both worlds with a stunning clear marquee! There is no denying the WOW-factor with these tents and they allow you to maximize your venue’s vista. You and your guests can also party into the night whilst the stars twinkle above – pretty magical if you ask me.
Our favourite way to decorate a clear or glass marquee – all the foliage! It’s the perfect space to bring the outside in. You might want to refer to Romantic Botanical for some décor inspo.
Last year we had Hygge and now one of the new buzz words is Lagom, a Swedish word meaning “just the right amount”.
Think elegant rooms with chic detailing and minimal schemes; we adore One Marylebone for this style and of course Brinkburn Northumberland with their yummy white ceremony space. Also keep an eye on The White Space, a new venue with some serious cool factor. Perfectly different examples of this modern take on the blank canvas venue.
Back in 2016 I predicted the elopement would be a serious option for couples. Well I can only see the intimate wedding continuing for 2018. Indeed our ‘Intimate’ capacity is one of the most searched criteria on our Venue Finder.
The trend for micro nuptials with maximum style is HOT and the expert in this area is Ever After in Devon. They’ve put together everything a couple might need for a luxury micro wedding including the venue, the bouquet, the photographer, the champagne and canapés and the wedding breakfast prepared by a private chef, plus overnight accommodation in their 18th Century honeymoon cottage!
The Weekend Wedding rules! We’re not just talking about getting married on a Saturday, nope we’re talking about a 2-3 day extravaganza.
Wedding Planner Helen from Pudding Bridge explains; “I love a good wedding and in the industry, we are seeing more and more couples who want not one day but an entire weekend celebration. Extending your wedding means that you get to spend so much more time with your guests and really enjoy every minute.” Helen continues “The most common comment from couples after their big day is that it that the day went way too fast! By hiring a venue from Friday until Sunday you can fully maximize your time celebrating.”
One of our favourite new additions is Warmwell House in Dorset where their focus is extended wedding weekends. Warmwell suggests a wedding weekend starting with an intimate dinner for close friends and family on Friday; have the wedding on Saturday, either in the 13th Century church at the end of the drive or at the house. Have the wedding party in a marquee in the gardens, for around 100, and then maybe have a brunch by the pool on Sunday.
Sounds pretty good right…?
Our couples have been, and will continue to, avoid venues where they feel like their wedding is just part of a conveyer-belt business. You want to feel special, unique and like your wedding venue is a home-from-home. We get it, we felt like that too.
Gone are the days of the Wedding Package, everything needs to be (and should be) bespoke to – from food, to cocktails, to throwing away the traditional order of the day.
That’s not to say you don’t want an easy planning journey – you absolutely do! If you’re a time-conscious couple then you may not have the hours to spend pouring over suppliers, so look at the key relationships your venue has with fabulous suppliers, they’re bound to make your wedding day (and venue) rock.
If you need a little help with the suppliers then we have a gorgeous bunch of our faves over on our Suppliers We Love Page. Plus we have our handy experts under the Plan section of the website.
So what venues are tickling your fancy? Still undecided? Then perhaps head over to our Venue Search Tips to get started.
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