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Finding the perfect venue/wedding venue is likely to be at the top of any newly engaged couple’s list. With the venue playing a vital role in the success of your day, it’s the big decision you really need to get right.

Just like viewing a new property it is easy to become overexcited and fall in love with a place without checking the venue can cater to your requirements. The venue you pick will determine the number of guests you can invite, your decor, your vendors, your wedding date and have a big impact on your wedding budget, so it’s important to get it right!

Much like finding your wedding dress, it is true for some brides that when you find the one, you’ll just know it. You’ll be able to picture yourself there on the day and the style of the building, both exterior and interior, will work with the theme of your wedding. But there are still some very important criteria that you must keep in mind when looking around venues.

Deciding whether you want a large capacity or you’d prefer a smaller and more intimate wedding venue is the first step to narrowing down your choice of wedding venue. The size of the venue is incredibly important and will impact on budget and the enjoyment of your guests. Too small for your number of guests and the room will feel stuffy and overcrowded, but too big and guests will feel lost and the space will feel cold.

Make a rough guest list so you can immediately get rid of options that are too small or big. Just remember it’s easy to underestimate how many people you (or your parents!) will end up inviting and you can suddenly find you’ve got too many RSVPs for your space.

When a venue is empty it is hard to imagine how it will look when filled with tables. For this reason we would always advise viewing a venue when it is set up for a wedding. If this is not possible, ask to see photographs; most places should have a photo book or slideshow.

Another tip is to ask for a seating plan of the room at capacity, this will give you a good idea of how much space there is and how comfortably your guests numbers will fit.

Where will your guests be coming from? If they are not local, choosing a venue that is easily accessible, has accommodation on site or hotels in close proximity is desirable. If you have guests coming from abroad how far is the closest international airport? These factors should play a role in your decision making; your guests’ comfort and experience is important.

Think about whether the venue works with and even enhances your wedding aesthetic. If you want glamorous, an impressive country house or a stunning mansion might work. Do you want modern? In which case a warehouse or art gallery could be perfect. Do you and partner love the outdoors? Think about a garden marquee, or castles with large grounds, or a venue connected to a sport you both love.

The place can even influence your choice of wedding dress. Consider the formality of the venue, how the weather will affect it, and the facilities. If you’re in a field then squeezing into posh portaloos in huge meringue dress or dragging it through mud might not be sensible! Read our advice on finding a wedding dress that perfectly suits your venue.

Have a look at selected venues we work with Aerospace Bristol, Armada HouseArnolfiniAshton Gate Stadium, Aztec Hotel & Spa, Bannatyne Charlton House Spa Hotel, Bawa ClubBerkeley Castle, Berwick Lodge, Bristol Aquarium, Bristol Grammar School, Bristol Harbour Hotel, Bristol Marriott Hotel City Centre, Bristol Marriott Royal Hotel, Bristol Museum and Art GalleryBristol Zoo, City Hall, Clevedon Hall, Colston HallCoombe Lodge, Doubletree by Hilton Bristol City Centre, Doubletree by Hilton Bristol North, Doubletree by Hilton Cadbury House, Eastwood Park, Engine Shed, Future Inns Bristol Cabot Circus HotelGuildhall Bath, Hotel Du Vin Bristol City Centre, Kendleshire Golf Club, Kingscote BarnKings Weston House, Leigh Court, Mercure Bristol Holland House Hotel and SpaMercure Grand Hotel, M Shed, NovotelOld Down Manor, PaintworksPriston Mill, Racks Bar and KitchenRoman Baths, RWA Royal west of England AcademySS Great Britain, St George’s BristolThe Assembly Rooms, The Avon Gorge Hotel, The Bristol, The Bristol PavillionThe Great Tythe Barn, The Lord Mayor’s Mansion House, The Manor House – Castle Coombe, The Passenger ShedThe Pump Rooms Bath, The Square, The Station, Thornbury Castle, Thornbury Leisure Centre, Tobacco Factory TheatresTortworth CourtTracy Park Hotel & Golf Club, University of Bristol, University of the West of England (UWE)Watershed, We The Curious Conferencing, Weston Pier/Grand Pier and Wick Farm.

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