While looking for that perfect place to say your vows it’s easy to get carried away and choose your venue on looks. Forgetting your priorities and more importantly your budget may mean compromising or making a costly mistake!

I’ve compiled some top tips for finding your perfect wedding venue…

Creating a checklist of all the important must-haves and keeping factors in mind such as location, size, guest accommodation as well as time and noise restrictions will help you find that perfect venue.

Points to remember when budgeting for your venue:

*Can you use your own caterers or are you restricted to their ‘recommended suppliers’ list.

*Remember VAT! You’ll see a price and think “perfect, I’ll go for it”, you get the bill and it’s completely different! This is usually because of value added tax. At the moment this will be 20% (as of Sept 2013) of your purchase price, so allow for this in your budget as it will add up!

*Extra costs charged to you by the venue could include decoration, extra staff, and things like corkage and marquee hire.

If they ask if you would like bunting in your marquee don’t assume it’s free, ask! Corkage is a killer if you are trying to cut costs by supplying your own alcohol. Your venue will most likely charge you a fee for serving something they aren’t supplying themselves. Make sure you do the maths and shop around. Prices vary so make sure that the price includes VAT as this will add even more cost. Corkage can be anything from £7 to £15 a bottle!

*Same goes for your wedding cake. If you have been gifted a wedding cake made for you by a relative to use as dessert at your wedding breakfast, think again! It could cost you around £5 per head to do this.

*If you are having a mid-week wedding venues are a lot cheaper to hire than at weekends, the hire charge for the marquee might be cheaper too. Ask if there is a wedding the weekend before your big day in which case they can leave the marquee in situ and save you money on costs to erect it.

Venue suppliers are not going to con you, they want you to enjoy your wedding day so just ask about extra costs you might not have thought of and they will advise you!

Great venues:

When planning a winter wedding lighting will be one of your big priorities. It gets darker a lot earlier so have an early ceremony and choose a well lit location such as The Dome Worthing.


If you want to splash the cash and ‘live it up’ celebrity style, you have to get married at Babington House. You won’t get a single bad photo with the amazing interiors.


If the outdoors is your priority then Waddesdon Manor could be for you. A stunning waterside ceremony pier has enough room for 60 guests with views of the lake and weeping willows.


Guest accommodation should be a consideration when inviting lots of friends and family and a venue with bags of space is Tonedale House in Wellington. It sleeps 31.


Looking for a more unusual style venue? How about a tree house!? The Alnwick Garden  has a wooden tree house licensed for ceremonies with up to 60 guests or use it for your wedding breakfast location for up to 85.

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