You’ve probably been told that your wedding venue search should be at the top of your priority list when planning your wedding day. There’s a very good reason for this: your wedding venue will inform when and where you get married, your guest list and maybe even the style of your wedding.

Lainston House, Hampshire

Lainston House

Whether you want to host a house party for 200 or throw a simple afternoon tea for a handful of your closest family and friends, finding the right venue for your celebration is imperative. And with choices ranging from traditional manor houses to treehouses, a bride-to-be’s options have never been great. Here are our must-ask questions when it comes to choosing your wedding venue:

sopley mill brides of winchester

Sopley Mill. Photo by Helen Rushton

Where in the world do you want to get married?

The days of having to get married in your hometown in the local parish church are long gone. The world is literally your oyster. Do you have a place that is special to you both? Do you want somewhere equidistant between your two families? Would you rather take a handful of people to some sun-kissed foreign shore?

new york

Central Park, New York Wedding


Can you hold your ceremony and reception in the same venue?

A church wedding followed by your wedding reception elsewhere and finished off with a night in a neighbouring hotel will suit many people, whereas for others they will want to minimize the transit time and keep everything in once place. If you have separate venues, you need to organise transport between the two, and if so, you need to discuss logistics, for example, are there separate spaces for both celebrations?

Church wedding

Photo by Nigel Moores

Guest Numbers

Firm up guest numbers before you visit anywhere. Nobody wants to have their heart set on an castle only to discover there’s only enough seating for half their wedding party.

Ascertain whether your venue can accommodate your style of celebration.

Most venues offer flexibility when it comes to dining options, eg. seating, standing, outside, in, and most can accommodate live bands and extras like fireworks. But not all venues can offer everything, particularly the older venues, so if there are any restrictions, it’s better to find out now.

Suzanne Neville grosvenor wedding gown

Photo by Hayley Savage

Does your venue include on-site accommodation? 

If so, for how many and at what cost? If not, what accommodation is there locally?

cain_manor_wedding_photography_by_helen_rushton_photography-332 web

Cain Manor. Photo by Helen Rushton


Does your preferred venue have availability at the time of year you would like to get married?

Obviously wedding venues get booked up quite quickly for the peak months during the summer season, so it’s worth having a couple of dates in mind if possible to give you more flexibility.

Bucklers Hard. Photo by Alex Wallace

Bucklers Hard. Photo by Alex Wallace

Good luck and happy venue hunting!

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