After the initial excitement of your engagement, your thoughts turn to wedding planning and the first decision to make is where to tie the knot closely followed by where to hold your wedding reception. And, if you’re here, you have made the decision to get married in the UK, which is absolutely fantastic! And the second of course is to find your dream country house wedding venues for your big day!
To find and book the right country house wedding venues (for your ceremony and wedding reception) is the first important step towards turning your dream of getting married in the UK into reality. Get this
right and everything else will fall nicely into place from here on.
It’s important to ask the right questions and check that all the details you need for your country house wedding venues are included and covered before you book. Your wedding venues are important to your wedding and you want to do it armed with as much information as you possibly can.
So, here are my top tips of details you need to know and questions to ask to help you find your dream country house wedding venues for your big day especially before you sign the venue contract!
How to find your dream country house wedding venues
Do you want a civil or religious wedding ceremony? Where do you want to have the said ceremony? For civil ceremonies, ensure that the wedding or ceremony venue is a licensed for weddings. (Civil ceremonies within the UK can only be performed at licensed wedding venues.)
Guests Come First
Before you start the search for your country house wedding venues, first decide the approximate number of guests you plan to invite. (Do you have family in the UK? will they attend? Or are all your guests coming along with you from abroad?)
Once you have an idea of your guest numbers, work out the amount of floor space you need per guest for both your ceremony and reception before you start to approach wedding venues. Usually, venues will tell you their room capacities i.e. this room can take up to 130 people seated. However, the 130 capacity might see guests packed in like sardines so better to go with calculating the square feet per guest before you approach them.
In your calculations, allow 25 to 30 square feet per guest. That may sound a lot, but this is what you will need when you factor in tables, waiting staff, the band, the dance floor, the chairs for the ceremony etc.
What is your wedding style?
Decide on your wedding style. Is it understated elegance or boho chic? Indoor or outdoors? This will certainly help when it comes to finding your dream country house wedding venue. If you’re struggling to find your wedding style, then check out my post on how to determine your wedding style.
Investigate Wedding Blackout Dates
Check the events calendar of the local authority where you want to get married in to know ahead of time if your wedding date falls on the same day as a trade conference, charity walk, or other local events, that could affect traffic and hotel room availability.
Contingencies and Backup Plans
If you intend to get married outdoors or on the luscious grounds of a country house wedding venue, ask for their wet-weather plan (the UK is prone to rain and wet weather even at the best of summer months (part of the UK charm! :)) so it’s always good to be prepared). Check if your venue has alternative indoor areas for taking photographs if, for example, it rains on the day. Make sure you are happy with the alternate plans they offer before signing on the dotted line.
Check for proximity to local transport links
Use the google maps to check if your venues shortlists are close to good transport links. If not, will you hire a private coach to pick up and drop off your guests on arrival? Are there train stations (or airport) nearby? Is there onsite car parking facilities at the venue? If so, what is the capacity?
Check the hidden details
- What else is included in the venue hire – i.e is it exclusive use or do you have to share it with another group?
- Does the venue have on-site parking?
- Are food and drinks included as part of the hire package?
- Can they do dry hire if you preferred?
- What are their policies for outside catering if you want to have a fusion menu?
Entertainment and Electricity requirements
Check the electricity, amplifier, and voltage for the music system. What are the maximum voltage and sound modulation the venue can allow? (You will need to let your music entertainer know about this ahead of time so they can plan accordingly.) What is their (venue’s) cut-off point for entertainment. e.g can you party till dawn?
Check for restrictions at your venue. Can you hang things on the wall? What about candles – are open flames allowed? (some venues allow this, others don’t) What’s the minimum spend on food and drinks? Ask if you can bring your own drinks if you intend to (venues usually don’t allow this but it’s always good to ask)
Consider your decor
When choosing your wedding venue, key factors to consider are the time of year, number of guests and location. But equally, the amount of decor that you will need to make the space fit with your wedding vision is important because it can significantly affect the overall cost. The more aesthetically pleasing your venue is, the less you will spend on decor.
As you look for your dream country house wedding venues, remember that the look and feel you want to convey with your wedding starts with your wedding venue so best to get it right from the off. (Also, check out types of english countryside wedding venues for more insight on wedding venues)
I hope these guidelines help to make your venue search easier as you look for your dream country house wedding venues, for your idyllic destination wedding in the UK!
Work with me
Sometimes, finding your dream country house wedding venues can be a time-consuming affair. I offer a wedding venue search service that helps you to find the wedding venues that’s right for you. Do check it out and get in touch, let’s discuss your requirements, I’d love to help!
Header Image | Claire Graham Photography