Choosing The Perfect Wedding Venue For You!

Diane from Diane Makepeace Photography tells us her top tips on picking your perfect wedding venue! While pretty much every aspect of your wedding…

Diane from Diane Makepeace Photography tells us her top tips on picking your perfect wedding venue!

While pretty much every aspect of your wedding is optional, from deciding your own wedding vows/promises, ditching the cake to skipping the speeches, there’s one thing you can’t skip: a venue! After all, you’ve got to have somewhere for your friends and family to celebrate your special day with you.

Selecting a wedding venue is one of the first (and important) decisions you’ll make as an engaged couple — it will influence your budget, location of your wedding, suppliers, décor, theme and even attire. I’ve decided to produce a blog to help break down everything you need to know when weighing up different options.

Estimate how many guests you’d like to invite to your big day

Make a guest list!  It is easier to break the numbers down into separate categories then you can amend your list quickly:

Bride’s Family, Bride’s Work Colleagues, Groom’s Family, Groom’s Work Colleagues and Friends!

Not all venues can accommodate a wide variety of wedding sizes – this will rule out some wedding venues.

Large Capacity Venue/Intimate Capacity Venue

Now you have an idea of the number of guests you want to invite, you will know if you need a large capacity venue or a smaller and more intimate venue. The size of the venue is important, too small for your number of guests and the room will feel stuffy and overcrowded, too big and guests will feel lost and the space will feel cold.

There is also the option of splitting your day by having an intimate service during the day and having a separate list for evening guests.


Now you have an approximate number of guests you can allocate a cost per head to determine a budget for your venue.  Guest numbers will also determine which venues will be suitable.

Choosing your wedding date

Peak months and bank holidays book up very quickly at popular venues and will generally be the most expensive.  If you can be flexible with your date and choose an off-season month, you’ll often be able to secure the venue of your dreams at a lower rate. For example, you’re likely to pay less for a Thursday wedding in February than you would for a Saturday in July. Time of year, day of the week, and your engagement length will all impact your negotiating leverage with venues.

Venues can have a very different look depending on the time of year!!  If you fall in love with summer images of a wedding venue but want to book a November wedding ensure you see ‘real wedding’ images for winter weddings before you go ahead!!

Viewing venues online!  Check out wedding planners’ and photographers’ blogs to see real wedding photos of venues rather than the generally staged images that wedding venues showcase

Viewing ‘real weddings’ will ensure you’re seeing images that aren’t staged and taken at promotional photography days!  Many venues show the bridal suite with staged bridal preparations but in reality the bridal suite isn’t available until the evening of your wedding day….definitely an important question to ask before you book.

You’ll get a much better idea of what things can (and really do) look like if you view photographs from actual weddings.   It can be especially helpful if you are unable to visit the venue during the season that you’ll be getting married in.

Themes and Styles

Deciding on a wedding venue isn’t easy as there are so many options to choose from!!  Whether it’s a rustic affair on a farm, a homely affair in a country manor full of character, a fairytale wedding in a grand mansion or a small intimate wedding at a country garden!  Whatever your dream scenario, there’ll be a venue out there that’s perfect for you.   Here are a few venue ideas to get you started:

Farms and Barns

Farms and Barns are becoming more and more popular and have a more rustic and natural feel.  Many now include elegant touches such as chandeliers, polished floors, outdoor fire pits, and twinkle lights strung between trees.

Manor Country Houses

If you’re looking for something a little different try looking at historic homes, country manors and estates.  They can provide a homely feel, lots of character, ornate details, style and beautiful grounds.

Grand Mansions

A fairytale wedding in a grand mansion with huge halls, staircases, history and grounds!!

Customer Service/Wedding Venue Team

Ask as many questions as you can think of before signing the Contract. Treat your questions as a test of the venues’ customer service levels. Make a list and ask as much as possible during initial contact.

Ask the questions again when you take your tour of the venue – maybe you’ll get a different answer the second time around!

It’s important that you’re confident the wedding co-ordinator at your chosen venue is professional, approachable and will deliver a flawless service for you.

See Diane Makepeace Photography on stand B10 at The North East Wedding Fair.