Choosing a Wedding Venue

As a wedding photographer, I’ve been to a whole load of various wedding venues, both in Yorkshire and beyond.

The wedding venue is usually the first thing to be booked when planning a wedding. Here are a few considerations, which may prove helpful;

What kind of wedding did you have in mind?

This year alone, I’ve photographed church weddings, stately home weddings, castle weddings, pub weddings, barn weddings, outdoor weddings, farm weddings, marquee weddings, teepee weddings…..there is so much choice now when it comes to places in which you can tie the knot’.

Church or civil ceremony?

If you are wanting a church wedding, consider the travelling distance between your chosen church and the possible wedding reception venues. If however you are planning a civil ceremony, most wedding reception venues are licensed for this too. Another alternative is to have the ’legals’ done before the wedding day, and instead have a blessing or a celebrant led ceremony, which can be held almost anywhere! Find out more about celebrant led ceremonies here.

Venue capacity?

This can have a big influence on which wedding venue you choose. Most venues will have a maximum headcount, that is often imposed not only to ensure that your guests are comfortably accommodated, but also for insurance purposes. Draw up a list before you shortlist venues to visit :-)


Where will your guests stay on the night of the wedding? Some venues have on site accommodation, but if not its likely that they have recommended hotels or B&Bs in close proximity (as well as recommended taxi companies). ‘Air B&B’ bookings also work really well, particularly in more rural areas. I’ve also known guests to club together to rent a cottage/house for the weekend, to make a short holiday out of the wedding weekend.

Flexibility in choosing your own wedding suppliers?

Many venues have recommended suppliers that they know and trust, which can be a great starting point. But do check whether you are obligated to choose suppliers from that list. I’ve met some fantastic wedding suppliers, who love what they do and do it brilliantly. Wedding florists, wedding stylists, bridal boutiques, hair and make-up artists, wedding planners, wedding cake specialists, wedding stationary designers…..there is a ‘big wide world’ of wedding professionals, using their talents to bring peoples visions to life. It’s great if you have the choice here.

Party time!

Do the venue allow DJs / live music? Is there a stipulation as to when live music can be played until? Do the venue stipulate a time for ‘last orders?

A few more handy questions

  • Do you allow confetti? In designated areas?

  • Exclusive use of the venue on the wedding day?

  • When do we get access to the venue? Handy to have access the day before, if you are doing some of the decorating yourselves