How to choose the perfect venue for your dream wedding

Whether you’ve dreamed about your wedding day since you were young or you only started planning when you got engaged, everyone has a clear idea of how they want their big day to be. From magical fairy tale weddings, complete with horse drawn carriages and princess dresses, to traditional country dos, and from sleek and stylish modern celebrations to large, classic events featuring full bridal parties, sit down banquets and string quartets, a wedding can be anything that you want it to be.

If you’ve already decided on a theme or aesthetic for your big day, the first thing you need to do in order for your look to work is to find a venue that perfectly complements your chosen style. As the backdrop of the day and the centrepiece of the celebration, the venue will have a huge impact on the look and feel of both the ceremony and reception.

To help ensure you find the venue that’s just right, take a look at our guide to picking the perfect wedding location.

Fairy tale wedding

Thanks to pretty much every Disney film we saw growing up, thousands of women around the world dream of that perfect fairy tale wedding. If you’re finally getting hitched to your Prince Charming and are looking for a venue that will set the scene for a truly magical day, it’s hard to beat an authentic fairy tale castle when it comes to romance, atmosphere and beauty.

With its crenelated towers, battlements and sweeping driveway, Clearwell Castle in Gloucestershire is one of the most enchanting castles in the UK. Voted ‘Best Wedding Venue’ in 2010 and 2012 by Wedding Ideas Magazine, the castle is the perfect choice for the fairy tale celebration of your dreams.

As you’d expect from a castle of this calibre, everything at Clearwell is pristine. The marriage room boasts an elegant 75ft aisle, the beautifully manicured lawns are perfect for post ceremony drinks and the stunning bridal suite gives you the perfect place to retire to after your spectacular day.

Complete the fairy tale theme with a horse and carriage to convey you to the ceremony and opt for a classic princess style dress to ensure you look the part on the big day.

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The Portcullis at Clearwell Castle

Country wedding

With its charming aesthetics rooted in the best of British tradition, the country wedding is another popular choice for couples planning an unforgettable event. Hold your ceremony in the grounds of a captivating stately home and enjoy landscaped gardens, picturesque scenery and a truly stunning backdrop.

As country weddings give guests plenty of space to socialise, relax and explore, they’re fantastic if you’ve invited guests with children or if you want to include traditional British games in the entertainment on the day. Whether you hold the event in a country house or in a marquee in the grounds, your guests will love the elegant aesthetic and traditional feel of the day.

The Beautiful Tower at Leez Priory
The Beautiful Tower at Leez Priory

For the ultimate country wedding, hold your marriage at the spectacular Leez Priory in Chelmsford, Essex. One of the most impressive stately homes in the country, this magnificent Tudor manor is surrounded by parkland and set in 40 acres of gardens. The perfect place to escape the modern world and get lost in your own romantic story, this country house can be enhanced with your own personal touches, allowing you to create your dream wedding.

Add to the country feel of your wedding with a few traditional fete games like ‘Splat the Rat’, croquet, coconut shies and three legged races. You can even give out wedding favours as prizes to all the guests that take part in the festivities.

Coastal wedding

Rugged cliffs, secluded coves, sweeping bays and wild weather – there’s just something so effortlessly romantic about the sea.

If you and your other half love being by the water, a coastal wedding could suit you perfectly. Allowing you to use the majestic ocean as a backdrop to your big day, a seaside wedding will give you than chance to make your marriage unforgettable.

St Audries Park, Somerset
St Audries Park, Somerset

With its location just a few miles from the stunning Somerset Coast, and idyllic setting surrounded by some of the West Country’s most beautiful countryside, St Audries Park is one of the best coastal venues around. Sea views are available from many parts of the house, giving you and your guests endless breathtaking vistas to enjoy.

Thanks to the wide choice of rooms on offer at the venue, a large number of your friends and family can stay the night at St Audries following your reception, allowing everyone to relax, let their hair down and celebrate your wedding in style. The morning after the festivities, you, your new spouse and your guests can enjoy bracing walks along the nearby Somerset Coast or explore the 100-acre deer park that surrounds the house.

Classic wedding

Sometimes there’s nothing better than a stylish and sophisticated classic British wedding, complete with large bridal parties, elegant dining halls, traditional décor and all the trimmings of a traditional do.

If you’re searching for the perfect venue for a heritage wedding of your own, look no further than Gosfield Hall in Essex. A spectacular stately home with royal connections, the hall boasts a breathtaking ballroom, a picturesque location and an imposing façade. Get married in Queen Charlotte’s oak panelled gallery with its 120ft aisle, relax in the beautiful grounds and celebrate the wedding of your dreams in this magnificent setting.

The Rococco Suite at Gosfield Hall
The Rococco Suite at Gosfield Hall

Add the finishing touches to your classic wedding by hiring a vintage car to take you to the ceremony, arranging a string quartet or harpist to play you down the aisle and by having your groom and his groomsmen in tops and tails.

With so many outstanding venues to choose from, finding the perfect location for your dream wedding is easy. Once you’ve got an unbeatable setting sorted for your ceremony and reception, you’ll be free to focus on the details of your big day and ensure everything goes perfectly.

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