How to choose your wedding venue

Bride walking across black and white chequered floor with bridesmaids
© Photographed by John Knight

When you start planning your wedding, one of the first things you’ll need to do is decide on your venue. You may already have your ideal venue in mind, but this may change depending on your guest list, your budget, your chosen theme/style, the time of year you want to get married and the venue’s availability.

Some of the things that you will want to think about before viewing any venues are: - Do you want the ceremony and reception at the same venue, or different ones? - If your budget is an issue, would you consider having a small ceremony with a larger reception? Could your venue accommodate this, or would you need two venues? - Do you want an indoor or outdoor wedding? Or do you want any outdoor space? - What theme are you having, and does the venue suit it? - Do you need accommodation onsite or nearby? - Would you prefer a dry-hire venue, where you can often have the day before to set up and the day after to take everything down? When you’re viewing venues you’ll want to bear these things in mind: - Do they have in-house catering? - Can you use your own suppliers, or do you have to use their preferred/recommended suppliers? - Does the venue offer a package with everything included, such a cake, photographer and décor? - What exactly is included in the price? - Will the venue let you decorate it yourself, or do they require you to have insurance? - Does the venue allow live music? - Are fireworks permitted? - Is there parking? - Logistically, how does the venue run on the day (including timings)? This is especially important if you’re having the ceremony and reception at the same venue, and they require time to turn the room around. - What is the back-up plan in the case of adverse weather? - Will a member of staff be present on the day? If so, who? Can you meet them? Also, don’t forget to check the finer details, such as: - Can the suppliers set up the day before? - Can you use real candles? - Does the venue allow confetti?

Your guest list and budget will be the biggest deciding factors when choosing your venue, but there are so many different venues in Kent available for weddings, including churches, castles, stately homes, hotels, woodlands, tipis, barns, marquees, seaside venues, contemporary, traditional and historic venues, that you are sure to find something that will become the setting for your perfect day.

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