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Wedding ideas

Most popular wedding venue types:

  • outdoor venues (who needs lavish decorations when a pretty garden, lush lawn or amber sunset can serve as your backdrop?)

  • venues with a view (are you after a riverside venue with views over the Thames or a rooftop terrace that’s perfect for taking in London’s iconic skyline?)

  • industrial-chic venues (renovated railway arches, warehouses with exposed brick, and airy New York-style lofts are all on trend)

  • charming country houses (from rustic farmhouses to elegant manor houses)

  • hotels (traditional hotel ballrooms, stylish banqueting halls and modern bistros are great options, especially because many hotels offer wedding packages that include free honeymoon stays)

  • luxury wedding venues (grand or lavish spaces are guaranteed to wow your guests)

  • restaurants (from fine dining restaurants to romantic private dining rooms)

  • unusual or alternative venues (unique venues, like museums, zoos or libraries, allow you to stamp your own style on your event)

  • cheap wedding venues (think dry hire venues, church halls and function rooms)

  • marquee wedding venues (tents and marquees are blank canvases for you to get creative with)

 

There’s no doubt that searching for a wedding ceremony venue is an exciting process. But before you set your heart on a space, there are a few key things you should consider.

 

Tips and tricks for finding your dream wedding ceremony venue:

  • write your guest list early to help you create a budget and find the right-sized venue (a space for under 100 guests, 200 guests, 500 guests, etc.)

  • decide on a wedding date (or several potential dates) before you start looking for a venue

  • consider where you’d like the venue to be located (central London, east London, south London, somewhere on the city’s outskirts, etc.)

  • think about the type of space that would best suit your event (a child-friendly, venue with camping facilities, a large wedding venue that allows fireworks, etc.)

  • keep in mind all the spaces you’ll need for the different parts of your day (ceremony, cocktails, dinner and dancing)

  • make a rain plan if you intend to hold an outdoor wedding

  • choose a venue that reflects who you are as a couple

 

Once you have your date and you’ve narrowed down a shortlist of venues that meet your criteria, it’s time to organise a handful of viewings. Visit your preferred venues at the time of day your wedding will be, and pay attention to the lighting (good lighting makes for better photos).

 

When it comes to choosing a wedding venue, there’s no replacement for seeing a space in real life – after all, when you hire a building and its facilities, you also hire the people working there and the service they provide. A venue inspection is a great chance for you to sit down with a venue manager and hash out all of the nitty-gritty details.

 

Things to ask about when viewing a wedding venue:

  • who will be your go-to person at the venue on the day

  • whether there are public transport connections and parking facilities

  • if you’ll have exclusive use of the venue (and if not, how many other weddings will be booked that day)

  • if you’ll be required to decorate yourself

  • whether you must use suppliers of the venue’s choosing (i.e. does the venue allow outside catering?)

  • how long you’ll have access to the venue before your ceremony or reception is scheduled to begin

  • how quickly you’ll need to be packed up and out of the venue at the end of your wedding

  • if you can do a menu tasting and whether the in-house catering team can accommodate special dietary requirements

  • whether there are restrictions for the photographer in terms of flash usage

  • what is and isn’t included (what furniture and equipment you can use, as well as who’ll supply the linen, cutlery and service staff)

  • if there are any vendor restrictions (some venues may have noise or decor restrictions, or penalise you if the clean up is unsatisfactory)

  • whether there are any additional costs (civil ceremony fee, corkage fee, cake-cutting fee, late licence fee, cleaning fee, insurance-fee waiver, etc.) and if VAT is included

  • whether the venue has any partnerships with nearby hotels

  • whether the venue manager anticipates any changes to the venue before your wedding day

 

Weddings are expensive, but that doesn’t mean you have to toss your budget out the window or take on a massive debt. When it comes to wedding planning, there are a host of clever ways to cut costs and still have the day of your dreams.

 

Tips and tricks for planning a wedding on a tight budget:

  • save on venue hire by having a morning or mid-week wedding, or by booking an off-season date

  • alternatively, book a dry hire venue (this is a great option if your wedding doesn’t require much catering or you’ve got a cheap catering deal elsewhere)

  • have your ceremony and reception at the same location (it will cut travel time for suppliers you pay by the hour and reduce transportation costs)

  • if you’re planning an outdoor wedding, save on seating rental by having a standing ceremony

  • go DIY (make your own stationery, menu cards, decorations, photo booth, favours, cake, etc.)

  • seat guests at bigger tables so you need fewer centerpieces and tablecloths

  • buy flowers that are in season, stick to one or two types of flowers and/or use more greenery than flowers

  • offer beer, wine and a signature cocktail, rather than a full bar

  • try to negotiate a lower price for children’s meals with your caterer or opt for on-trend finger food or a buffet

  • order a small one or two-tiered cake and supplement it with a larger sheet cake (that you’ve got tucked away in the kitchen)

  • reuse ceremony flowers for the cake table

  • hire a band or a DJ who can play at both the ceremony and the reception

  • research budget weddings online (and make sure to check out these creative wedding tips)

 

A wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime event, so it’s no surprise that planning one is a lot to take on. From choosing the right venue and creating a guest list, to coordinating transport and organising a honeymoon, there are so many decisions to make. Here’s a heads-up about some of the biggest wedding planning blunders, so you can avoid them from the outset.

 

Most common wedding planning mistakes:

  • not establishing your budget priorities from the beginning

  • making key decisions before having your guest list sorted (you don’t want to put down a non-refundable deposit on a small wedding venue if you’re not quite sure about numbers)

  • inviting guests that aren’t on your wedding guest list to your engagement party or bridal shower

  • not booking your venue early enough (aim to book your space at least nine months to a year before your wedding)

  • setting your heart on specific types of flowers (try to think in terms of colours and shapes instead)

  • not accounting for travel time (or selecting venues that are too far apart)

  • not scheduling enough time for hair and makeup and/or photography and videography

  • not considering your guests (not letting them know how to get to your venue, leaving a huge time gap between your ceremony and reception, not providing enough seating, etc.)

  • not having a plan for bad weather

  • not telling the hotel that it’s your wedding night (after all, there’s a chance they’ll give you an upgrade or free amenities)

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Every bride-to-be wants an unforgettable wedding day. Here at #tagvenue we know it’s not always easy to stand out from the pack – that’s why our selection of London’s most popular wedding venues is sure to make planning your big day that little bit easier. Whether you’re after something attention-seeking, effortlessly chic or hopelessly romantic, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at what you can find here in the capital. Dreaming of a secret rooftop garden, atmospheric vaulted cellar or traditional inner city hotel? #tagvenue can point you in the right direction. And the best part? It’s quick and easy to search, so you can find a unique wedding venue in a snap.