Choosing a Wedding Venue

By: tell the bride  0 Comments

Church Wedding or Civil Ceremony?

If you'd like a church wedding (religious ceremony) with a different venue for your reception, it's better to choose a reception venue reasonably near to the church, making travel between them easier for you and your guests.

A civil wedding ceremony & reception are usually held at the same venue. This minimises travelling and everyone can relax and enjoy the day once they've arrived. The venue where you want to be married must be licensed for marriage ceremonies, though the reception can be anywhere you like. Licensed Wedding Venues in my area

Wynyard Hall Tees ValleySunningdale Park Ascot

A third option is a humanist wedding ceremony. This can be held in front of your family and friends virtually anywhere e.g. at home, on a beach, in a hot air balloon . . . though for the marriage to be legally binding (in England & Wales) you'll need to have a civil wedding in a registry office too. However, humanist marriage ceremonies conducted in Scotland by celebrants of the Humanist Society of Scotland have full legal status.

What type of Wedding Venue?

There are over 3000 licensed civil venues in England and Wales. As well as popular choices like castles and country house hotels, you can get married in a more unusual venue such as a zoo, museum or art gallery.

To view our selection of venues by type, click on any of the following links:-

All Wedding Venues, Castles, Mansions & Stately Homes, Country House Hotels, Boutique & Luxury Hotels, Barns, Large Hotels, Historical Buildings, Museums & Art Galleries, Sports Venues, Small Hotels & Venues, Hotels, Outdoor Venues, Town Halls & Village Halls, Churches, Registry Offices

If you're still looking for inspiration, try our Ideas Walls for Wedding Venues and Marquees, Tents & Tipis. You can select images of the one's you like and add them to your own MoodBoard.


Venue Capacity

The ceremony and reception venue(s) should be large enough to accommodate your guests and entertainment (e.g. DJ/Disco or band and dancefloor) and be able to allow for additional last minute guests. Beware though, a small wedding party might look lost in a huge room.

Remember, if you're having a formal seated meal you'll need more space than for a stand-up buffet.


Mid week and low season charges are often discounted. The difference can be significant when compared to a Saturday in summer at the same venue. Don't book a mid-week wedding before checking that your VIP guests will be able to attend on that date! Wedding Venue Offers in my area

Most wedding venues allow you to provisionally book 14 days before committing.

Wedding venues will usually quote a cost per guest for food and drink, venue hire and any additional charges such as for entertainment, chair covers etc. Some also offer all inclusive wedding packages.

Wedding Packages

All inclusive wedding packages are usually less expensive and time consuming than organising things separately. They give a good idea on how much you need to budget for your wedding reception. They're quoted either as an all inclusive cost per guest, or as a total cost for say 100 guests. What's included in the cost of wedding packages will vary between wedding venues - some are wedding breakfast only, others include an evening reception. Most include a drinks reception and toast drinks. Room hire may or may not be included. Bridal party flowers, venue decorations, wedding cake, wedding car and wedding photography are sometimes included too. Most venues are flexible if there are things you'd like to add or remove from a package. Wedding Venue Packages in my area

Exclusive Use

Some venues only hold one wedding per day, others hold multiple ceremonies. This can leave everyone feeling rushed and you might not be able to decorate the room the way you wanted. If being the only wedding party is important to you, make sure the wedding venue only does one wedding a day, or at least offers exclusive use for the room(s) that you will be using. If more than one ceremony takes place on the same day, find out how long they allow between each one.

You may want exclusive use of the whole venue, including accommodation. This is offered at a number of wedding venues though comes at a higher cost.


Popular venues can be booked up a year or two in advance, particularly on summer Saturdays. If you can't compromise on a summer Saturday date, you might need to book much earlier than you've planned. Weddings can be arranged at short notice but your choice of venue will be more limited, but you may pick up a bargain as a result. Wedding Venues with Late Availability

Wedding Breakfast and / or Evening Reception?

Having both will obviously be more expensive than just having one. If you have a tight budget consider inviting fewer guests to your wedding breakfast then having a big party in the evening for everyone, or have your wedding ceremony later in the afternoon followed by an evening buffet.


Food & Drinks

There's an endless choice of cuisine available for your wedding reception; canapés on arrival, a formal 3, 4 or 5+ course meal, a fork buffet (allowing guests to choose their food then sit at a formal table setting to eat), a finger buffet (with some seating to allow guests to mingle while they eat), a hog roast, a BBQ, a picnic, or afternoon tea in the garden.

Choose food that most of your guests will enjoy. If any of your guests are children, vegetarian or vegan or have special dietary requirements such as gluten free, nut free etc. make sure there are alternatives available for them

It's best to allow 2 glasses or half a bottle of wine per guest during their meal plus a glass of fizz for the toast and a welcome drink on arrival. Also, have non-alcoholic alternatives such as water and juice available.


Consider having some children's entertainment and access to areas where they can run around and burn off excess energy.


If your chosen venue is difficult to find, some of your guests might be late or could even miss your wedding! Extra attention will need to be given on how to direct your guests.


Getting Married and the Law

For UK Marriages and Civil Partnerships, information can be found about your legal obligations here.


We've put together a Wedding Venue Checklist to help you get your wedding venue organised.

Useful Links

Find a Wedding Venue, Wedding Venues with late availability, Wedding Venue Offers & Deals,
Wedding Venue Packages, Inspire me