From which questions to ask a wedding venue to what to expect, this month we explore how to choose your perfect wedding venue.

The Orangery at Ettington Park Hotel 

Choosing a wedding venue might be the biggest decision you will need to make when planning your special day. The ideal one should provide a perfect yet personal setting whilst ticking quite a few practical boxes too. 

With our collection of stunning hotels and houses all licensed for weddings, we have some thoughts and questions you might want to consider when making your own choice, and so here is our wedding venue checklist:

1. Be practical

Stanbrook Abbey Callow Great Hall

Ask the all-important questions about licence, dates, cost, and capacity first so you can dismiss unsuitable venues straight away. Whilst you might dream about that huge romantic castle if you can’t make it add-up on paper it will only make you miserable.

2. Be realistic

Crathorne Hall Hotel Grounds

Is the venue really suited to what you want? If you’re both keen on a simple country wedding, then a grand edifice in the city centre isn’t going to create that for you. 

3. Be honest

Chilston Park Hotel Manor House

Write a clear list of ‘must-haves’ and ‘don’t-wants’ that sum up the wedding day you both wish to have, and then stick to it! For example: if exclusivity is important to you confirm no other events are booked for your date. The complete collection of Hand Picked Hotels wedding venues can be booked exclusively. 

4. The venue capacity

Rhinefield House Hotel Doric Temple Ceremony

Check the venue capacity against your invite list. That bijou space won’t work if you’re already in the 100s. Some spaces maybe flexible; if you’re intent on an intimate affair but in love with a larger venue ask if they have a smaller room that won’t swamp your pared down party. 

5. Choose your theme

The Orangery at Buxted Park Hotel

Whether you’re going vintage or rock ‘n’ roll think of your theme as you view. The perfect venue should inspire you but also present enough of a blank canvas that you can envisage your own very personal wedding there. But do take setting and colours into account, does the venue match or support your ideal scheme?

6. Where will your guests sleep?

Wood Hall Hotel and Spa

Would you like family members to stay in the same venue? Check there are enough rooms so nobody feels left out and do ask about stairs and access if elderly or disabled guests will be attending. And is there plenty of guest accommodation nearby? 

7. Added extras

The Bride's Manor Parlour Room at Stanbrook Abbey

Is there a honeymoon suite? Can you arrange for Champagne in the wedding party bedrooms? Do they have their own in-house wedding planner? What about a folly in the garden or a room that can be used by children? Make sure you’re getting the most from your venue; but confirm there aren’t any hidden charges attached. 

8. Preferred suppliers

Some venues like to work with specific florists, DJs or caterers so ask if they have an approved list. It helps you if your band or photographer is already familiar with the venue. 

9. The all-important photos

Fawsley Hall Hotel and Spa

Hopefully you’ll be looking at them for years to come and so they need to be worth looking at. Your venue should ideally offer opportunities for both indoor and outdoor photography; ask to see their location suggestions for group shots and more solitary romantic ones. 

10. Refreshments

After the joy of the ceremony everyone looks hungrily towards the food and drink. Ask if a tasting could be arranged in advance so you can test out possible dishes and ensure any dietary requirements are catered for. 

11. The after-party

Fawsley Hall Hotel and Spa

If you’re planning on carrying on until the small hours your venue will need a late licence for music and alcohol. And do they actually allow confetti and fireworks? 

12. Go with your gut

You need to feel comfortable and supported. Are the staff as engaged and enthusiastic about your wedding as you are? Does the venue seem to ‘flow’ happily around your ideas and schedule? Are your family and friends excited by it? 

13. Love it

Audleys Wood Hotel

Lastly, you just need to love it. If you can you imagine you and your new spouse happily falling into bed after a successful day at your chosen place, then you might just have found your wedding venue. Congratulations!


Why not visit one of our wedding fayre or showcase events to explore how a Hand Picked wedding venue can provide you with your perfect day.