First and foremost, decide on the type of wedding you want. Next, set a budget with careful consideration as to how much you can afford for your dream venue. You should also discuss with your partner whether exclusivity is important to you – if it is, this might make it more costly.

Have you dreamt about this day for your whole life, and can’t imagine getting married without everyone you know watching it? If so, then start looking at country house-style venues with large capacities. If you’d prefer a wedding more intimate and low-key just surrounded by close friends and family, then perhaps a garden marquee is more your thing? Once you know what best suits you as a couple, you can then start writing your guest list and begin searching for places to suit your requirements.

When to book

It’s perfectly normal for couples to book their chosen wedding venue 12-18 months before their wedding date, giving them plenty of time to plan their perfect day. That said, if you are planning a wedding in just a few months, there’s plenty of last-minute bargains to be had!

The big popular wedding venues up and down the country get booked up a long time in advance during the peak summer wedding season, so we advise you book as soon as you’ve found ‘the one’. If you’re planning a wedding in just a few months you might get lucky and be able to book a date at the last minute due to a cancellation or last-minute availability. Once your wedding date is secured and you’ve paid the deposit you can then move on to considering how you’ll style it.

Pick a theme

The theme or styling of your wedding day will be directly influenced by the wedding venue you’ve chosen. For example – you’re not going to have a rustic, country-garden style interior if your venue is by the seaside! Think of your wedding and venue as part of the bigger picture, and go with a venue that’s in keeping with the theme that you want. For glamorous, glittering modern big days, we recommend boutique hotels.

If it’s a country, rustic, cider-filled wedding you’re dreaming of, then we suggest you check out your nearest barn venues. Whereas if you fancy yourself as a bit of an Elizabeth Bennett marrying her Mr Darcy then a country house will be more your thing. And if you want a little bit of everything we’ve just mentioned, pop a marquee up in the grounds of a country house, and you’ve got a little bit of them all!

Location, location

Whether you plan on getting married in a church and transferring your guests to a separate reception venue or having the ceremony and evening party all in the same place, it’ll need to be in a suitable location. When considering a location, most couples pick somewhere that is either near to where they currently live or a place where either the bride or groom grew up.

This is especially important to remember if you want a church wedding because you will need to either still be living within the Parish or have maintained a family connection to that church. You should also bear in mind how long it takes to get to either venue (church or reception) because this might have an impact on your day.