Finding the perfect venue in London
Location, location, location! We’re all familiar with that real estate mantra, but it also applies to wedding venues, particularly in London! There is such a wide range of choice, from manor houses just on the outskirts of town to trendy boutique hotels off Kensington High Street.
Getting married in London is definitely not run of the mill, but you need to choose your venue wisely. July is traditionally a busy month for weddings and I have two on my books for London. So how did I help my clients choose the ideal location for their big day?
Wedding budget and guests determine venue
As a general rule I advise couples to finalise their wedding budget and guest list before starting the search for a venue, these are critical factors!
Now, if you opt for a “no expenses spared” champagne and canapés affair for a limited number of guests, I would recommend the iconic Dorchester Hotel, overlooking Hyde Park. Rolling Stone guitarist Ronnie Wood celebrated his second nuptials there in 2012. It’s pricey, but the perfect combination of tradition and chic!
If you’re on a tighter budget, with a host of relatives and friends whom you can’t leave off the guest list, then my tip would be to look into one of the many private clubs which open their doors for wedding celebrations. My favourite is the Caledonian Club, and not just because of my Scottish connections! Fully licensed to conduct civil weddings, the club caters for receptions for up to 200 people.
London fringe venue options
If you want to escape the big city hub, but still with a London address, then I recommend the ‘London Fringe’ area, which includes Surrey, Buckinghamshire and West Sussex. My favourite is Surrey where you can find several small hotels as well as country houses which specialise in providing fairy-tale wedding receptions.
When choosing a “country” venue, make sure to bear in mind two things. The first is its accessibility. Can your guests get there easily? Organise transport for those who prefer to leave their car at home. The second is its compatibility with all kinds of weather. Select a location with a rainy day in mind, given the inclemency of the English weather, even in the summer! Make sure you can hire a marquee for the reception if needed.
Once you’ve booked your venue, congratulations are in order. You’ve completed one of the biggest wedding tasks!