guests at a middleton lodge wedding at the Fig House

How to Choose the Perfect Wedding Venue


Finding your ideal venue

You’re marrying the love of your life. Congratulations – you’re in for an amazing time! You’re now ready to choose a wedding venue where you will marry and celebrate.

What information will help you find your ideal wedding venue whether it’s in Yorkshire, the Lake District, Cornwall or anywhere else?

Whether you have yet to decide where to marry or even if your heart is set on your perfect venue before the proposal, this article will help you get it right from the start of your planning adventure. Finding the ideal place for your wedding can initially feel overwhelming, especially if you both have different ideas about where or how to celebrate at the beginning (like we did!).

With new venues springing up now and then, it’s great that there are so many varied choices. This is why it can feel like there’s too much to think of and consider. Even your dream wedding venue may involve some limitations or compromise.

natural romantic wedding photograph of a couple on the Yorkshire moors
Set on your ideal wedding venue but still want far-reaching views for your couple wedding portraits?

Compatibility Rocks – Aligning Your Visions & Style

Let’s say you both have slightly different ideas at the beginning.  Ask yourselves these questions at an early stage because you’ll know the answers to these more or less straight away so each of you will quickly see where your ideas and vision meet.

Church wedding, civil or humanist ceremony is probably the first step to agree on. Then, what’s your style? Are you more in favour of a romantic castle full of history, a delighful country garden or an impressive country manor? Or are you more city or boutique chic than urban cool?  Do you fancy somewhere quirky or contemporary or is the seaside more your thang?  How bothered are you about views or would you be happy to be inside somewhere splendid all the while? It makes sense to see if you and your fiancĂ©/ fiancĂ©e are thinking along the same lines.

Read on to see what you should consider, and remember that a great wedding planner will also be able to answer how to choose a wedding venue that’s right for you.

unusual wedding venue in yorkshire harrogate
A quirky venue like The Chapel in Harrogate offers unique style. It has 5 rooms of  luxurious accommodation too. There are plenty of options for transport and guest accommodation nearby.

Where Do You Begin – Big Wedding, Little Wedding?

A good starting point is to think about number of guests. Your guest number will mean that some places are not suitable. Once you have an approximate number of the people you want to invite, your wedding venue search will become more relevant.

How many can a venue you might be considering comfortably accommodate? If too big or if there are many rooms to wander about in, then it could mean that your main wedding room rarely looks full. On the other hand, no-one wants to feel cramped in just one room most of the day.

guests at a middleton lodge wedding at the Fig House
Good outside spaces help you and your guests get the most from your day. You can add lawn games for adults and children. 

Location, Location, Location

Geographic location comes next, quickly followed by logistics

At this stage, you should also consider location and how easily your guests, especially any who are elderly or infirm, can reach it. It might be a deal breaker if your grandparents can’t get there. There are special people in life that you just can’t imagine getting married without.

How far will you and the majority of your guests need to travel? Will elderly guests manage a long journey and narrow country roads to the Yorkshire Dales, for example, with an overnight stay that’s not at your venue? You might find that there are people so close to your heart that having them see you marry becomes more important than the location of your dreams.

Not all wedding priorities are the same. One of my friends originally wanted to have a destination wedding, then realised that she would have to put her pets in a cattery because the family that usually looked after them were going to be with at her wedding abroad. She couldn’t bear to do this because her long-time pets had never experienced being out of their home, so she happily married in North Yorkshire instead.


Do you want your marriage ceremony at your reception venue, at a church or even outdoors? If your ceremony is away from your venue,  think about the length and ease of the journey between the two, especially if you’re having a winter wedding.  Falling snow is magical but travelling in it really isn’t.

Is it easy for your guests to get taxis or can you hire transport for everyone to save worry about guests getting lost?

Are you a couple who prefer to choose your own caterers and food or would you prefer to choose from the options available at your venue? As well as finding out what your catering options are, it’s also worth finding out about things like confetti and candles, sparklers and fireworks. Some couples prefer to style their own wedding too.

Find out the time you are allowed to arrive at your venue to get ready and when your guests can start arriving too. Also when the partying has to stop, and when you need to vacate in the morning after your wedding.

Think also about parking and the enjoyment value of outside space for everyone.

colour photograph taken at Bamburgh beach of a couple in Bohemian wedding outfits
Having your heart set on a celebration by the beach means you need to make sure you know what your bad weather options are.

Guest Experience & Children

Would you prefer your venue to have onsite accommodation and are there enough places for your out-of-area guests to stay nearby if they want to? If you have family and close friends travelling from afar, you might want to consider a wedding venue that you can hire for more than one day or even a weekend.

Maybe glamping is an option for some of your guests, with luxury and convenience for others?

Would you prefer exclusive use? It’s important to consider if you would be OK if there was another wedding in another part of your venue or on the same grounds?  Or would you prefer it enclosed and private? Could you see yourself enjoying your day if it was at a place where the members of the public would also be wishing you well as they walked nearby?

How about hiring a venue for the whole weekend if you have the budget – why start celebrating on a Saturday when you can have the Friday and Sunday as well?

Time of Year

The time of year or seasonal choice is usually an easy one. Love spring? How would your venue look in the springtime?  If it’s the soft pink and white cherry blossom that delights your eyes, then look for a wedding venue with these wonders of spring.

Usually those who really love a particular season or those who are wanting a spring or summer wedding like somewhere outdoors to enjoy and for some of their wedding photographs.

Snow is very romantic and it really does look magical but think about travel and access to your venue for your guests and your wedding suppliers if you’re planning a winter wedding.

winter wedding photograph of a couple leaving their ceremony in the snow
Snow can make a winter wedding magical but also brings challenges for your guests and suppliers.

Mood, Aesthetic & Design

How do you want your wedding day to look and feel? How do you want your wedding photographs to look in terms of light and mood? Is your general preference for light, spacious rooms with pale floors, subtle colours and big windows or are you more about a rich, cosy space with a nightclub or restaurant feel in the evening.

When you go for venue viewings think about how many places it offers for the kind of photographs that you want. If you prefer lighter looking photographs, a darker venue will result in darker photographs.

Are the views from the venue important to you?

Maybe you already love somewhere in the Yorkshire countryside where you go every summer or have a favourite, fine restaurant that’s super stylish and rather decadent? It’s a time unlike any other after all

Would you prefer grand and friendly or very relaxed with the option of selecting some of your own creative wedding suppliers and decorations? Maybe you are a fashion buyer or an interior or theatre design whizz and want to style everything yourself or you simply want to enjoy the ride and employ creative professionals from the start to when you hang up your dancing shoes.

My top tip is for each of you to separately write down the answers to these, read each other’s, then see where where you might have to compromise or start your ideal venue search afresh. We ended up learning quite a lot more about each other in the year we were engaged!

contemporary wedding photography in yorkshire
A cool urban interior suits this retro white wedding look.

Weather Proofing

With no guarantees of how the weather might be on your wedding day, it makes sense to check if there is actually any available space for your photographs inside if it’s stormy or pouring down outside.

Does your venue have spacious rooms you can use if you have to spend a lot of your day indoors, if the weather is poor? Is there good, photogenic space for your photography if we can’t go outside?

Lastly – Wedding Insurance

OK, amidst all the getting married excitement, it’s not sexy but should the unexpected happen you will be so relieved you had this. Sometimes weddings have to be postponed or arrangements changed for unforeseen reasons. Last year a wedding had to be postponed because the guests couldn’t reach the wedding venue due to road flooding. As it’s one of the most expensive celebrations most of us have, please do look into wedding  insurance and terms and conditions carefully to select the right policy for your wedding.

So it begins!

You’re welcome to give me a call on 07973 266 393 if you’d like to talk through your ideas for the right wedding venue for you and your wedding day.

Getting married in Yorkshire? Then you need to read this guide to some of Yorkshire’s most romantic, stylish or just simply lovely venues! From Castles to Teepees – Here’s What Your Yorkshire Wedding Photographs Could Look Like