Seven things to look for in the perfect wedding venue

The choice of venue is perhaps the most important decision you have to make when planning your wedding – that’s because it sets the tone for the entire event.  So what are some of the key things to consider when comparing the different options? Atmosphere.  Does it have enough character?  There is nothing worse than a venue which is soulless, as no amount of decoration and effort on your part will disguise the fact that it is bland and dull.  You want somewhere with sufficient grandeur and majesty to immediately create a sense of occasion.  And yet at the same time it’s important to that there’s a certain warmth and homeliness so that everyone feels comfortable and at ease.  What’s more, your wedding is a historic occasion, so it’s nice to hold it in a setting which has a bit of history itself.

Photography.  It’s vital to pick somewhere that’s going to provide a suitably romantic and picturesque setting for the photographs.  Weddings are about many things but one of the most important aspects is about making memories.  The photographs capture and shape these so you need to make sure the venue provides a range of ready-made backdrops and scenes, both indoors and out, for pictures you and your family can treasure for a lifetime.

Space.  Is it big enough to accommodate all your guests?  You don’t want to choose somewhere then find, when you’ve agreed the guest list, that the venue is going to struggle to squeeze everyone in – the last thing you want is somewhere that cramps your style.  By the same token you don’t want somewhere so large that you rattle around in it, or which intimidates people.  It’s not just about the building as a whole, but about the proportion of the individual rooms that you will be using for welcoming guests, for the ceremony itself, for the wedding breakfast, for partying and dancing in the evening, as well as quieter and more intimate spaces where people can relax and chat.  You need to think about how you’ll be using the different spaces during the course of the day and night and consider how well they are going to work.

Gardens.  This is an especially important consideration if you are planning a wedding in the warmer months.  You don’t want your guests cooped up inside if it’s a gorgeous day - so pick somewhere that provides the opportunity for drinks on the lawn, photographs in the gazebo, for kids to run around and let off steam and for guests to stroll and stretch their legs.  Having said that, even in the colder seasons we often get gorgeous days and if your wedding is fortunate to be blessed with one of those you’ll be delighted you had the foresight to pick a venue that allows you to make the most of your good luck.

Cuisine.  The wining and dining experience is incredibly important as wedding celebrations have traditionally revolved around some kind of feast.  In many ways we’ve become a foodie nation and guests’ expectations are much higher than in years gone by.  You not only need to provide a magnificent multi-course formal dinner but canapes and snacks at various different stages throughout the day and on into the evening.   Perhaps you fancy a barbecue or hog roast, street food or a garden party tea service?  It’s important to find a venue capable of carrying this off with aplomb.

Whatever you decide to do in the way of food everything must taste fresh and delicious.  However, the presentation is equally important.  On the one hand a wedding celebration is a theatrical occasion and the food plays a huge role, while on the other we taste food with our eyes before it passes our lips – so it has to look dramatic and tasty at the same time!

The drinks offering is equally important so you need a venue that can provide everything from vintage champagnes to fruity cocktails and fine wines to exciting mojitos, martinis and pina coladas.

Accommodation.  Ideally you want a venue that provides accommodation for the bride and groom, as well as the most important family and friends.  What’s more, the rooms need to be to the same standard as the rest of the venue.  You want your wedding night to be totally romantic and utterly magical – so the room must be grand yet cosy, impressive yet homely.  Equally, you want those who are staying with you to feel really special, and so their accommodation needs to suitably luxurious.  A further consideration is the availability of ample local accommodation for other guests – you don’t want to pick a venue out in the middle of nowhere where they’ll have a long taxi journey before getting to bed.

Wedding planning.  There’s so much to think about and organise that you want to pick a venue that employs experienced staff who can genuinely give you all the advice, help and support you need.  Ideally you want somewhere that is not so busy that those helping don’t have time to really get into the spirit of the unique event you have planned.  You want people who are as excited about the day as you are and who can make it even better by sharing their wealth of knowledge, contacts and ideas.

If you’d like to see just how well Clevedon Hall ticks all the right boxes arrange a time for a visit - it will be our pleasure to hear your plans and discuss how we can help create the most magical day possible!