Wedding Planning Tips: Wedding Venue Hire.

This article is a part one in our wedding planning series and has some useful wedding tips on planning for your wedding ceremony, finding your wedding reception venue and other aspects. From finding a wedding venue to working with event specialists and planners to make sure your special day goes smoothly.

( To see our list of Wedding Venues for Hire please click here )

Wedding Venues.

Today�s wedding market is immeasurably different to that experienced by our parents or grandparents. Our increasingly homogenous and pan-cultural society means that in what was once a traditional field, populated by a decidedly repetitive formula (church or registry office + disco/dance) is now a fantastically flamboyant concoction of varying themes, unusual venues, ceremony types and creative individuality in all it�s forms.

However with increased choice comes increased requirement for planning and managing the big day. Wedding planning is one of the fastest growing industries in the UK with dozens of companies and freelance wedding planners opening shop each day. Many people, once the initial excitement has set-in, experience an all too common �where on earth do I start?� panic moment. For some, the first stop is to call in the professionals and whilst the decision to hire a wedding planner is certainly a sensible one; other people still want to plan as much as they can themselves. We�ve jotted down some of our wedding planning tips and advice to give you a head start on finding the right venue for your wedding.

1. One venue or two?

The first choice to be made is do you want to have the marriage ceremony and wedding reception in the same venue? If so, then your life will be made considerably easier as you will only have to scout around for one venue, deal with one set of suppliers and venue staff and you won�t have the considerable headache of shepherding your guests from one part of town to another (there is a very real risk of losing a few en route)

If you are opting for a traditional church wedding venue then you may find that you don�t have the space or facilities for the reception and livelier parts of your wedding planning such as the afternoon / evening party. Certainly both options have many pros and cons but with a bit of careful planning and plenty of time, wedding planning and venue finding doesn�t need to be an insurmountable ordeal.

Wedding Ceremony Venue

What kind of wedding venue are you looking for? A traditional church venue or registry office or something entirely different? A not uncommon site these days is couples tying the knot high above the skies of London in venues such as The Gherkin, London Eye, The Roof Gardens and others. Similarly more and more couples are getting hitched in galleries, museums, parks, beaches, stately homes, livery halls and many other types of venues. It is important to make sure you find a venue with a wedding license though and not to assume that the deed can be done just anywhere (though increasingly the options are opening up to even the most unusual wedding venues).

Our Free Wedding Venue Finder offers a directory of some of the finest wedding venues in London and is a useful tool for couple trying to hire a wedding venue.

It�s important to note that if you are considering a traditional venue such as a church, stately home, museum or other such places there may be certain rules you have to think about. Many venues for example won�t allow red wine to be consumed by people standing up for fear of spillage, some wedding venues in residential areas have numerous noise restrictions and so on. A good wedding venue in London or anywhere else will have a friendly and professional wedding planner or event manager who will be able to answer all of your questions and walk through your wedding plans with you. Don�t be afraid to ask even what may seem the most bizarre questions as the wedding planner will have almost certainly have heard them before!

Don�t settle on the first wedding venue that you find! Make a long list of at least 10 that you wish to visit and then whittle it down to about 3 or 4 serious contenders. Don�t be afraid to ask for a second visit or to take family or friends to see the venue. Once you�re ready to commit to the venue of your choice, have a final meeting with the wedding planner or event manager who will be responsible for looking after your event on the day. If it�s his or her day off when you happen to visit, reschedule!

Wedding Reception venue

If you�ve decided to have a separate wedding reception venue, then it�s best to accept from the start that the process of venue finding is going to be double and you will have a whole new category of venues to look at, staff to deal with and many decisions to make. However, there are a vast range of online tools, venue finders and venue agencies to help you find the perfect wedding reception venue. In some ways there aren�t as many constraints when choosing the reception venue as you don�t have to think about licensed wedding venues and such; rather there will be other decisions around wedding catering, floristry, wedding bands and music and so on. It�s fair to say that organising the reception is bigger job by far than organising the actual ceremony.

In many ways, your guests will be making the decisions for you as depending on how many people are coming and what type of people you are inviting will dictate which venues will and won�t be right for you. Again (and always!) think of your guests in groups. How many children, how many vegetarians or other dietary requirements? How many disabled people if any? Do you need a lot of car parking? Will people need a venue near a hotel or b&b? All of these questions should be asked to give you your �wedding planning briefing�. A good idea is to role-play with your spouse to be or a friend � pretend they are the venue manager and get them to ask you all of these questions. Once you�ve written down the answers you will know the following crucial information:

Wedding reception venue type

Reception venue location

Wedding venue capacity

Wedding catering requirements

Wedding reception entertainment / Band / DJ

Wedding reception flowers� And many other key facts.

When you are looking for a wedding reception venue in London or outside of London, take notes when you meet with the wedding planner or event manager for the reception venue. It�s useful to compare wedding venues once you�ve seen all the venues on your list. It�s amazing how something you were initially impressed with can seem underwhelming in comparison to the next three wedding venues you visit!

2. Wedding Transport

Wedding transport is an all-important element to consider if you are holding your wedding ceremony in a different area to the reception venue. You have to think about your guests in groups. How many non-drivers, children, elderly people, will people be unwilling to drive if there is no parking at the venue or they will have to abandon their car after drinking at the wedding reception? These are some of the main points you may want to consider and ultimately decide to offer an all-fitting transport solution to your guests. Nowadays there are many great, comfortable and affordable travel options such as hiring coaches, arranging ahead of time with a private wedding car company or wedding chauffeur service; or you may want to opt for something quirky such as hiring an old route master, a fleet of limousines or horse-drawn carriages. Remember that in each element of your wedding planning, you can display as much or as little of your own unique style as you want. It really is your big day to plan and enjoy as you have always imagined it! One couple even hired out a London Underground tube for themselves and their guests!

We can�t talk about wedding transport of course without mentioning your own stylish escort to your wedding ceremony venue, whether you�ve always wanted to be driven though town in an open-top �flashmobile� or the groom-to-be just won�t stop hinting about that sports car he�s always wanted to go in� no requests are impossible these days assuming of course you (or your wedding planner) are willing to invest the time, energy and inevitably money into tracking down and booking the right wedding transport or wedding chauffeur for you.

3. Wedding Accommodation

When you�re trying to find the perfect wedding reception venue you have to think about your guests and where they are coming from. If you have extensive family and friends spread across the globe then there is a good chance your guests will need to be near a hotel or B&B to retire to once the wedding reception is over. It is very likely that a large portion of the wedding reception venues for hire that you are looking at will be made up of hotels that have private wedding reception rooms or party suites, private dining rooms and similar arrangements for wedding venue hire. Holding the wedding reception at a hotel isn�t for everyone but it can provide a fantastic solution to the accommodation issue and certainly hotels have some of the best wedding venues for hire! Hotel wedding venue managers will be incredibly well versed in event planning and wedding arrangements so visit as many as you have time to and as ever, don�t be afraid to ask whatever questions come to mind! It�s also worth noting that often, hotels with wedding reception rooms and wedding spaces for hire will offer a significant discount if you also have your guests staying at the hotel. Many hotels will offer a decent wedding venue hire package that includes the wedding venue, wedding catering and guest�s accommodation.

Of course there are many other worthy and exciting alternatives to hiring a hotel for a wedding reception. London in particular is home to an amazing range of wedding venues for hire from historic landmarks to museums, livery halls, banqueting venues, dry hire spaces which you can decorate to create any theme you like right through to more contemporary concerns such as sustainable wedding venues and open spaces where you can construct your own wedding festival or other theme!

There are no magic solutions or special tricks for quickly finding the perfect wedding reception venue and it always pays to take time and visit many venues before committing. Simply remember the few basics:

Think of your guests in �groups or categories�

Take time looking at venues for hire

Always interview the venue manager or wedding planner

Make sure you have allowed for accommodation/ travel / diet requirements

If you prefer, hire a professional wedding planner or venue finder!

4. Wedding Catering

Planning your wedding catering is a whole category to itself and whilst it can be challenging, tiring and sometimes frustrating it can also be an incredibly rewarding and exciting experience. We�ll talk all about this in our next article in this Wedding Planning Series and will cover topics such as

Wedding caterer hire

Wedding catering Planning

Summer wedding catering / Winter Wedding Catering

Themed Wedding Catering

Special Dietary requirements for wedding catering

IN-house catering vs catering company for hire

We hope this article has been helpful in giving you some useful tips on how to find a wedding venue, how to book a wedding reception venue and overall work with the event manager and wedding planner to make your wedding planning a bit smoother.

Remember we�re always happy to help you with event management or wedding planning in London. If you�d like a free consultation, visit our website or contact our events team on 0207 377 1434 or email

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