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How to choose your wedding venue, by 16 real-life brides

How to choose your wedding venue, by 16 real-life brides


Written by Katie Byrne

Our readers reveal the moment they knew they'd found the perfect location for their nuptials...

 

Everything we wanted 

"It had everything we wanted for our celebration: quirky guest rooms and beautiful reception rooms (with gorgeous exposed beam and brick areas), as well as the option to hire the whole venue for the day. Plus, the venue is family-run; this appealed to us as it added to the relaxed and personal atmosphere we wanted to create." - Claudia

how to choose your wedding venueImage: Rachel Joyce Photography

The perfect feel

"We chose a pub setting as we wanted a warm and cosy feel to our day. The garden room was perfect for our wedding breakfast and dancing, while the spacious bar area and garden were ideal for our guests as they could mingle." - Juliet

Grand designs

"Our venue impressed both of us thanks to the staff and the rooms that the ceremonies would take place in. We’re both from design backgrounds, so the character of the rooms really mattered to us – and the beautiful peacocks that live on the estate were also a bonus!" - Riya

how to choose your wedding venueImage: Lemonade Pictures 

The drama of a church wedding

"We wanted a big country wedding but after having done some alarming research into the cost of our dream locations we realized it wasn’t going to be possible. So we decided to stay in London and to try to bring that country charm to the city. Apart from the location, which is a five-minute walk from where we had our first date, it’s one of the most beautiful buildings in London. It’s no longer a functioning church as it was taken over by squatters for years until St Stephen’s Trust raised funds from local residents to rescue it. It’s now a Grade I-listed building, with a wedding license. We wanted the drama of a church wedding, but as neither of us are religious, St Stephen's fit the bill perfectly." - Melanie

Wow-factor

"The château just had that wow-factor; it was revealed behind the trees as soon as you pulled into the drive. It had that rustic French charm, with a glamorous and cosmopolitan feel thanks to the beautifully manicured gardens, bedrooms and pool area." - Charlotte

how to choose your wedding venueImage: Amy Faith Photography

Simply magical

"Our venue was the first we visited, and we both fell in love with its beauty and magical atmosphere. It was everything we had hoped for. The ceremony room was captivating with high beams and the breathtaking view from the glassed doors and we knew that it was the perfect place to share our wedding with all our guests." - Michelle

how to choose your wedding venueImage: VLA Photography

London calling

"Although we loved the idea of a countryside wedding, many of our guests came from outside the UK and were keen to visit London. We were thrilled to find Fulham Palace, with its huge lawns it makes you feel like you’re miles away from the hustle and bustle of the city." - Rebecca

A fine romance

"I loved the romantic feel: I felt like the turrets made it like something straight out of a fairytale. Paddy loved the historical aspects of the venue, which dates back to the 14th century. The fact that the chateau has its very own vineyard, which produces beautiful wine, was an added bonus!" - Sinead

how to choose your wedding venueImage: Darek Smietana

The right atmosphere

"After visiting several large venues, we realised they didn’t really suit us, as we wanted a more relaxed day in an English garden pub with lots of fairy lights, bunting and flowers. We had viewed a very grand venue in the village of Exton and the owner suggested the Fox and Hounds for lunch. It was strange, we had seen quite a few large venues and nothing felt right, but the moment we walked through the door, we knew this pretty and homely pub was for us." - Lucy

The great outdoors

"We chose our venue because of the wonderful outdoors feel and nature surrounding the grounds. The beautiful green gardens have amazing flowers and vines that spill gracefully into the walls of the reception room, which is flooded with sunlight." - Tosin

Home sweet home

"We chose to get married in my childhood home – there were memories everywhere. The space wasn’t just striking – it was exquisite. We felt like we were in a very comfortable paradise." - Bianca

how to choose your wedding venuePhotography: Fiona Clair

A modern character

"We chose our venue as it was modern, yet maintained so much character. We had exclusive use of the private country house too, so we could entertain our guests all night long if we wanted!" - Katherine

Location, location

"I did a lot of research before we chose our wedding venue. The size of the guest-list and the fact we wanted it to be in Surrey helped to narrow down the options - and I also wanted it to be somewhere that was light! The venue we chose was stunningly beautiful and made me cry when we drove down the driveway – which I always take to be a good sign." - Lauren

how to choose your wedding venuePhotographer: Harley Evans and Susie Barker from BarkerEvans

A relaxed feel

"I couldn't believe our luck when we stumbled across our stunning wedding venue. The orangery was the most perfect location for our service and the relaxed feel of the venue and staff just added to our dream day." - Kerry

Cosy and intimate

"We knew we loved our venue as soon as we arrived. The Barn is stunning and the gardens are beautiful. As it happened, the great British summer treated us to torrential rain from start to finish, so although we couldn’t enjoy the grounds, the barn felt cosy and intimate." - Rebecca

No need to travel

"The moment we drove through the gates at our venue, it felt incredibly homely. It's a cliché but it had everything we wanted, including a lovely church - meaning our guests didn't have to travel between the ceremony and the reception." - Joanne 

how to choose your wedding venuePhotographer: Simon Gough

Top image: Fiona Clair


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