Earlier in the year I did a blog post about our ‘Wedding Ideas’ – I spent a lot of time on pinterest planning what kind of wedding we wanted to have (namely, country, rustic and barn-like). I really wanted to have a venue which matched our theme so I got straight online looking for barns in our local area.
We knew where we wanted to get married (Chris’ churches of choice) which limited the area in which we could look for a venue so I spent a lot of hours researching online and pulling together a ‘short list’ of venues. We then went through them and Chris gave his yes or no as to whether he wanted to go and visit them.
I personally think that it is super important to have two things whilst you are looking for venues, an idea of your budget but also an idea of your rough guest numbers. We knew roughly what we were looking in terms of both and it definitely helped us narrow down to the ones we actually wanted to look at. It would have been so easy to go to 100 open days, only to find out that it was too expensive, too small or even too big. I learnt my lesson when curiosity got the better of me and our second visited venue was not only out of our location ‘circle’ but our whole wedding budget five times over, for the venue only!
Because we knew kind of what we wanted in terms of décor (thanks Pinterest) we were able to enter a venue and think ooh we could put that there or do that here. It gave us a rough idea of how the venue could work for us so I think that is definitely something to think about before visiting your sites. Will it have space for the dance floor you want, the photobooth you want etc? Dependant upon the kind of wedding you are having, something to think of also might be is there rooms for people to stay, are there local places in the area where people from out of town can stay should they need to? Are you able to get married at the venue in a style you want?
I definitely think a venue can make or break the décor of a wedding, so whilst you could spend £100 or £10,000 as long as it fits in, I think that is the main thing. We could have had a super slick and modern wedding venue which would look amazing with some décor, but with our rustic and shabby chic theme would have been completely out of place.
I know this advise is all a bit wishy washy but it is so personal to you and your wedding that I don’t feel I can give definitive recommendations other than prep your budget, your rough guest list and your ideas of décor. The rest is all about how the venue makes you feel – are the staff attentive, have you tried the food / can you try the food, could you see it done up for another wedding perhaps? When we went to see our venue for the first time it had three long trestle tables and looked nothing like a wedding venue, but I was able to see past that with the ideas of décor I had in my mind. We then were able to pop back a couple of days later to see the venue done up for another wedding and my suspicions were confirmed – it was completed the right place for us!
We got married in a converted barn in Swithland, Leicestershire called The Old Stables. The Stables is behind a pub, but the wedding venue itself is blocked off and has its own bar and lounge area as well as the main room. I loved the exposed beams and the exposed brickwork of the building as well as it having a garden out back we would also use.
The staff were incredible, food was amazing and the venue fitted all the wants and needs that we had. I’ll be sharing a post on Tuesday about the décor so you’ll be able to see the whole place done up but I couldn’t have been happier. It was exactly what we wanted.
Do you have any tips for people trying to find their dream venue?
Where did you get married, want to get married or are getting married?
Photo above taken by the insanely talented Pete Hugo of Peter Hugo Photography