A Destination for Celebration – Choosing your Perfect Wedding Venue

Your wedding day should be as joyous, momentous and memorable as you wish it to be; a day of celebration and happiness. Careful planning will help to ensure that your wedding day runs as smoothly as possible for you and your guests, and one of the most important choices is that of your wedding venue. If you’ve opted for a church wedding – still the most popular choice for the majority of couples – you’re effectively considering two venues; one for the ceremony itself and one for the reception. If this is the case due consideration should be given to the logistics of getting yourselves and your guests from one place to the other with the minimum of fuss.

If you’ve chosen a civil ceremony rather than marriage in church, transport may become less of an issue. Many suitable wedding venues are licensed to conduct civil wedding ceremonies which enable couples to host their wedding and reception in the same place. Irrespective of which type of wedding you’re planning, the perfect wedding venue still needs to fulfil a number of important criteria. As you consider the options, these are some of the factors that might influence your choice:

The number of guests at your wedding and reception

It’s wise to ensure that your wedding venue can accommodate all of your invited guests and have room to spare just in case.

The type of reception you’d like

Do you require a formal meal at table? A buffet? A disco or a live band for entertainment? If you require additional space or you’d like an al fresco reception, can your preferred wedding venue supply a marquee and seating? Don’t forget to consider menu choices and arrangements for guests with special dietary requirements.

The suitability of the venue for wedding photos

If you’re planning a church wedding it’s likely that you’ll have at least some of your wedding photos taken on the steps of the church or in its immediate vicinity. However, choosing a venue for your civil ceremony and/or reception that is set in an unspoilt natural location or that has beautiful formal gardens can provide outstanding wedding photo opportunities.

The provision of general amenities

It’s the most obvious things that can be easily overlooked. It could be a problem when a hundred guests arrive at your perfect wedding venue to find that there are only a dozen car parking spaces. Also consider facilities such as the number of available toilets, provision for disabled guests and the availability of venue staff should you need them.

Guest accommodation

It’s possible that some of your guests will have travelled a long way in order to attend your big day. Is there somewhere suitable for them to stay within easy reach of your wedding venue?

If all of these wedding venue considerations seem a little daunting, don’t panic. It’s possible to satisfy all of them by choosing a country hotel as your wedding venue. Many country hotels are splendid historic buildings set in their own grounds or landscaped gardens and provide a beautiful setting for a wedding or reception at any time of year. It isn’t difficult to find a country hotel that has its own chapel and is licensed to conduct civil marriage ceremonies and if this is the type of wedding you’ve opted for, the issue of transport between the ceremony and the reception is automatically resolved.

It’s not uncommon for country hotels to be opulently furnished and decorated in keeping with their heritage, and these luxurious and prestigious surroundings can lend an air of elegance and exclusivity to your special day. An abundance of dining choices ranging from finger buffets to full-blown banquets is likely to be offered by a country hotel that is accustomed to catering for weddings, and it is not uncommon for cost-effective fixed-price catering packages to be available which can significantly ease the burden of arranging the reception meal.

Accommodating entertainment is rarely a problem for country hotels and with a little prior research it should be easy to confirm that all of the required amenities such as ample parking spaces and facilities for disabled guests are available. Furthermore, if you choose a country hotel as your desired wedding venue you can discount the headache of finding suitable overnight accommodation for your guests.

Finding your perfect wedding venue is a fundamental aspect of planning your big day. There’s a lot to consider, but placing your arrangements in the sympathetic and experienced hands of a prestigious country hotel could not only relieve some of the inevitable pressure of wedding planning but also provide you and your guests a spectacular and unforgettable wedding day.

John is a guest blogger who wrote this post for Elite Hotels who offer some of the best Sussex wedding venues and wedding venues in Bedfordshire if you’re planning a wedding in the UK