I’ve gone back and forth about what should be the second post in my wedding series, everything just seems to be so important and if I’m going to be brutally honest, the initial stages seem to blur into one, well they did for me anyway. But I decided finding the perfect Wedding Venue is top of the list.

Now, don’t get me wrong you do need to think about budgets first and foremost we cannot all afford to splash that cash, money doesn't grow on trees after all but what you do need to remember is that you need to be open minded. Your budget will shift around, it will never be exactly what you initially planned unless you are exceptional thrifty, think of your ideal budget and then start looking into venues.

For me the venue should be the main priority before planning anything else, let's not be stupid you are going to have a look at wedding dresses and flowers etc but your venue sets the scene.

There's a hell of a lot of different style venues ranging from registry offices, castles, barns, beaches and hotels. The below points are what you need to look into when starting out the search

  • Location 
  • Style
  • Church
  • The Date 

Where do you see yourself getting married, not the venue but the location. We had two options; somewhere in Yorkshire as that's where we live or do we move it to Lancashire as that is where Martyn is from. Everyone has family who live all over the UK and maybe even abroad, so there is always going to be someone who needs to travel. 

Then do you want a church wedding or would you prefer to have it all in one place? If it is a yes to the church then you need to think logistics, is it going to be the local one you attend weekly or are you willing to choose a church close to the venue you want to hold the reception and evening do. You do not need to attend church regularly to have a church wedding but I believe there are some rules around having a church wedding (I'm not knowledgeable on this but I knew we qualified to have one).

From pinning down the location, this is where you then start looking into venues. I initially wanted a church wedding, even though I wanted to step away from traditions when it came to my reception and evening party it was important that I kept that old fashioned tradition of walking down the aisle in my local church. So for me I needed to find a venue that was no further than a 20 minute drive away, I needed to ensure those who needed to stay in a local hotel or air bnb were located in the middle of the two. Do you really want to waste your day driving around?! 

If you don't want to get married in the church, you need to find somewhere that has a licence to hold a wedding ceremony! 

In my head I knew I wanted my venue to be a little different, I love the industrial and urban style. For me a hotel was not going to cut it; don't get me wrong I have been to some beautiful weddings in the most dreamiest of hotels and manors but for me this isn't my style. I adore brick walls, bare concrete floors, piping running from floor to ceiling and cute industrial lighting with the filament bulbs. 

The first venue I came across that we were so close to booking is very different to the one we actually booked. It was an old mill/warehouse that had been turned into a party venue that also threw weddings; there was red pillows throughout the open plan room to keep the ceiling up, industrial lighting and those beaut banqueting tables. With this place, we had a humongous room that would need filling with decorations and obviously they needed to be a bit edgy to fit the style of the venue. The food choice would have been to the extreme and I would be getting married in the church. 

We hit a huge issue that I touched upon in my previous post, so we took a few steps back and had to start the search all over again. I am so thankful for my sister, she knew the style I was wanting and she had the patience and time to put together a list of around 10 venues that may be suitable for us. I would recommend accepting help; I'm a bit of a sucker for this and want to do it all myself but I was at the point of breaking. 

Once you have a list of places, email them to see when you can go and have a look around. Don't worry if you sound a little demanding, they need to cater to your schedule as well as their own. We could only do weekends or week nights after 6.30pm but we still managed to look around a few without any issues. A lot of venues also host wedding fairs; now these are good if you want to discover different suppliers etc but I personally didn't find them helpful as I knew what I wanted. 

From here, you will be able to get a better understanding of the style you like and hopefully finding the one. Do not give up like I almost did, if nothing takes your fancy from your first list of venues; have a look around for more, something will be out there! You might even realise that the style you have your heart set on might not be right and you might find something completely different that is perfect.

How do you know if it is the one?

That was a question I kept telling myself, each time we stepped foot in a venue (apart from one) I could see myself at our wedding reception, and I honestly believed they were the one. But there was always an issue that we could not find a compromise and we were back to square one again. However, as soon as we stepped foot in the venue we have booked we knew it was the ONE! I had waft of emotion running through me; there were goosebumps, butterflies and I wanted to cry through excitement. 

The only compromise we had to make was re budgeting as the venue was probably twice the amount we initially wanted to spend. This was due to the fact that it was not a packaged deal, we had to pay for the hire separately and then the food and drinks were both individual bookings through their retrospective companies. This is something else you need to take into account too, sometimes the hotel bookings include food and drinks and some don't so be aware of this!!

I hinted upon compromise earlier on and also on the previous blog post, but this played a huge part for us. I knew straight away that it wasn't going to be fee-sable to have a church wedding if I wanted that venue. But, the room where they conduct the ceremonies was and IS simply stunning, in fact it was that particular room that sold the venue to me and I knew I was happy to say goodbye to a church wedding. You will know if it is the right thing to do when it comes to a genuine compromise or even a simple decision. 

After we made the booking, we knew what was included and what wasn't but more importantly we knew what the price was for the hire. From here, we could get a solid idea of how much budget we had left and what we wanted it to go towards. 

We are extremely fortunate that we do not have to go crazy in terms of the decoration as the venue had it all, the fairy lights and candles. But some places are a blank canvas so you may need to pay that bit more or even hire a wedding designer to sort all of this out for you. 

Be in contact with the owners on a regular basis; not too many times but enough to build the relationship with them and also to put you at ease so you know you have the trust in them to make the day extra special. Ours are fantastic, I have been in contact with them so many times with a few questions that I simply couldn't find the answer to elsewhere and they have been amazing! 

Another compromise we made was the date of the wedding, we knew the time of the year when we wanted it but we were not set on a particular date. When we went to look around, they only had the one Saturday date left for 2019; I mean it could be a selling technique but we just knew we weren't going to risk it and booked it the following day. But you may need to change it to a week before or after if they don't have the specific date available. 

The most important thing is to enjoy the process, don't get too stressed over this as it isn't worth the hassle. Book where you two want to book not what others may want. 

I hope this helps you if you are currently looking for a venue. If you do have any questions, feel free to write them in the comments below or even send me an email :) 

Alice xxx

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