Weddings have come far since the days of simple church ceremonies and wedding breakfasts for a few select guests. Now, it's not unusual for brides and grooms to hire huge country houses for hundreds of guests or whole hotels for celebrations that last well into the early hours. But how to choose the wedding venue that's right for you?
First, you need to think about who you want to invite. If you're just looking for an intimate gathering of family and friends, it's best to choose a small venue to create a cosy atmosphere. A popular choice is to have the ceremony itself in a local church or registry office, then retire to a hotel for a reception. But you don't need to limit yourself to traditional choices – these days you can get married in a huge variety of places. Why not consider an outdoor ceremony in a romantic location like a ruined castle or a wooded glade? Or how about holding the reception in a favourite restaurant or pub to create a more homely atmosphere?
If you want a larger ceremony or reception, there are plenty of options available to you. Many hotels will offer a choice of function rooms of varying sizes so you can find the right one for your party. Or why not consider hiring a whole country house or boutique hotel? This is a great choice for creating a house party vibe that your guests will love.
It's also important to consider the atmosphere you want to create. Do you want your guests to enjoy an intimate dinner together, or would you like their to be a live band and lots of dancing? If you want both, a marquee in a beautiful location can be a great choice, giving you the flexibility to design the interior furnishings to suit your needs. Or, if you're lucky enough to be getting married in a hot country, why not do away with the venue altogether and enjoy getting married in the great outdoors?
Finally, remember to choose a venue that's simple and hassle-free. Nobody wants to be messing around with moving chairs or fixing leaky tents on their wedding day – so be sure whichever venue you choose has everything you need for your big day to run without any complications!