Getting Married? A guide to finding the perfect venue


front door

As we move into spring and slowly closer to summer there are many looking ahead to their Big Day, having worked for a while as a wedding photographer after graduating and having attended a variety of weddings I thought I would put together some things I learnt about what does and doesn't work.

Planning your wedding is an exciting time but there’s always a lot to organise for the Big Day. One of the first decisions you’ll have to take is where to get married. Your choice of venue will usually be determined by 3 key factors: 

What sort of ceremony are you hoping for? 

According to recent figures, just under a third of couples choose a religious ceremony so if you don’t want to get married in a church, you could have a civil, humanist or another type of ceremony or blessing. 

The format of the day will set the tone for the mood you want to create. Generally speaking, formal wedding receptions are better suited to hotels or country house settings, while a laid back party is perfect for a renovated barn or a vintage style wedding tent

Small & intimate or are you planning a grand celebration? 

Having a rough idea of numbers enables you to choose the right sized venue, but don’t forget that the location and accessibility of the venue will determine whether your guests can attend. A destination wedding in the Caribbean is likely to limit your wedding guests for reasons of logistics and finance, while a chic city venue may be unsuitable for guests with kids. 

wedding settings

What is your budget for the venue? 

It won’t come as a surprise to hear that weddings can be eye wateringly expensive (although they really don't have to be). The latest research has found that UK couples spend an average of £27,161 on their wedding, with the venue taking up the biggest chunk of the budget. 

Of course, not everyone wants to spend the equivalent of the deposit on a house on their wedding so set aside a realistic budget and stick to it.  Local village halls or a marquee in the garden that can be customised and decorated to your heart’s content can be just as romantic as the pricier wedding venues. 

Once you’ve agreed on the ground rules, it’s time to look at wedding venues in a little more detail. The wedding industry has mushroomed in recent years, with an unbelievable choice of venues on offer where you and your beloved can tie the knot in style. To help you make the right choice, let’s take a look at the main 4 categories.

wedding dress

Traditional Venue
If you’re after a classic wedding with a religious ceremony in front of all your family and friends, followed by a lavish reception, choose a traditional wedding venue near your home. Local hotels, restaurants or halls offered for weddings typically offer full facilities.

The venue will be able to accommodate a sizeable number of guests of all ages and provide everything you could possibly need. From a full sit-down Wedding Breakfast to ample space for dancing and celebrating, it’s a one-stop solution for your Big Day. Choose a hotel and have overnight accommodation on hand for the bride and groom and any guests who have come from far away.

Destination Wedding

If you fancy getting hitched in a far-flung venue, there’s no shortage of exotic wedding locations to choose from to give you the occasion of a lifetime. You may have a connection with your chosen place – perhaps it’s where you first met, were part of the family lives or a dream location you’ve always wanted to visit.

From Hawaii to Las Vegas, Tuscany or Thailand, many resorts now target the wedding market, offering all-inclusive weekend, midweek or full week packages for everything from a welcome cocktail to a farewell brunch. Check with the resort’s wedding planner to make sure all local marriage licence rules are complied with, then stay on for the honeymoon.

Quirky Location

If you want to put your own stamp on the proceedings, why not opt for a more unusual choice of wedding venue? Perhaps you fancy getting married in a modern art gallery, a picturesque barn, or organise an outdoor celebration in a botanical garden, festival teepee or anything the imagination can think of.

The location is sure to make for a unique event, giving you a blank canvas upon which to realise your vision of your perfect Wedding Day. Yes, it’s more work – chances are that you’ll have to organise the entire event from scratch, including the catering, entertainment, sound system and any licences and insurances required – but the result can be a truly spectacular reflection of your and your partner’s personalities.

overseas wedding


  1. These are great tips for those about to get married. We had a destination wedding and it was awesome!

    1. Oh wow how cool, I think destination weddings are some of the best

      Laura x

  2. I remember feeling so stressed trying to find a venue that was perfect for us! In the end, my Mum's garden was the only place I felt happy with and it was perfect for us - even if it did turn into a mud bath after a downpour!
    C x

    1. Oh a garden wedding is always so wonderful - more intimate and relaxing

      Laura x

  3. Those are great tips to find a venue. These days there are so many options that sometimes one gets confused and spoilt by choices available. But one can always find something unique and novel to go by

  4. This is such an important part of the wedding, I think everybody planning something would want to read this. :) And a garden wedding is something everybody would want. :)


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