Things to know before booking your wedding venue

My cousin Tom finally popped the question to his long-time girlfriend Amanda and they hosted a fun engagement party last week. As we opened the champagne and sang “For They Are Jolly Good Fellows”, Amanda asked me for venue suggestions for the big day – a loaded question, because there are so many factors to consider!

Along with the caterer, one of the biggest chunks of any wedding budget will quite possibly go towards the venue. So it’s important for any bride and groom-to-be to have a clear idea of how they want to tie the knot. An early word of advice: your wedding day is about what YOU want and not what your parents or other relatives think is best. Don’t give in to family pressure, particularly on your venue choice!


A one-stop shop for ceremony and reception

Having agreed to meet with Amanda and Tom to talk about venues, I prepared a list of questions to help them decide:

  • Do you plan to have a church or a civil wedding and will you be moving on to somewhere else for the reception? In that case, ease of transport from the service will be a key factor for guests.
  • Do you prefer to have the ceremony and the party under the one roof? If so, do you want a city location or a country venue? A traditional or boutique hotel, or an elegant manor house?


Once you’ve got the answer to these basic questions, I find the rest of the day tends to fall into place! Manor houses have become increasingly popular wedding locations over the last decade -and even castles are an option if you’ve got a big enough budget! Look at Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s May nuptials in a 16th century fortress in Florence; that’s what fairy tales are made of!


Kim Kardashian Wedding

Kim Kardashian Wedding

Photo opportunities a priority

Tom and Amanda have decided to book a champagne wedding reception at a Sussex manor house.  After a civil ceremony indoors, the guests will move outside to a marquee set amid beautiful gardens. It’s not a cheap option. But, as I pointed out, this way they can control the catering and save money by providing the champagne. More importantly, this location will provide wonderful photo opportunities for the happy couple and their guests.


I look forward to seeing the wedding album guys!

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