It all starts with this one major decision… the venue. You have probably already decided on a style of architecture (or perhaps none in the case of wanting a marquee site), the approximate number of guests, where in the World and then from some online research, your shortlisted wedding venue destinations. You’ve checked their availability and now it’s time to hit the road to view your contenders but aside from a general feeling how are you going to assess their suitability? Below are some things to consider and questions to ask when wedding venue viewing.
Just like house hunting you will get a vibe for the place and the events team. The wedding venue is going to be the backdrop to your whole day as well as one of the most expensive items on your shopping list so take your time.
– Walk around the venue as if you were a guest. How could you utilise the different venue space/s throughout the wedding day to take your guests on a journey. For example, is there an orangery that’s perfect for a ceremony, lawns for your drinks reception, a lounge for a comfy chill out space or photo booth? And then consider the capacities of each space
– Leading on from the above, if the weather happened to be poor do you have suitable indoor/ sheltered back up spaces?
– Consider the light. Is there a lot of natural daylight or do you need artificial light to brighten the space/s? And if so what options do you have for colour tones (dimmable lights) throughout the day and even party colours for the evening?
– Is there a particular colour scheme or design elements that you’d have to take into account with your wedding style? This could be a particularly bright patterned carpet, feature wall or artworks. However if you are viewing a room bare, remember that it will look very different once filled with furniture and people.
Exquisite collectibles contribute to making Aynhoe Park one of the most unique wedding venues in the UK. It’s always fun working here, this image from an editorial project captured by Jessica Withey Photography
– Are there any redecorations, renovations or in fact building works planned between now and your preferred wedding date?
– Does the venue host multiple events at any one time? Are there spa or hotel guests that could be present and if so, how do the venue cater to your privacy?
Quick fire here on logistical questions to ask when wedding venue viewing.
– What items can the venue provide/ are included in the wedding hire package?
– Do you need to work with any preferred suppliers such as caterers or florists?
– Can you bring your own drinks and if so, are there corkage charges to be considered?
– Are there any noise/ sound limitors you’d need to take into account for entertainment bookings?
– Are there any restrictions when it comes to decor (such as no candles, no hanging things on walls or beams and so forth)?
Beautiful heritage site at Wrest Park. Before the fun began with K+L’s wedding captured by The Reportage Company
– Are there multiple and easy to access electric sockets? Yawn, I know but it will be necessary when you start thinking about that DJ you really want or a slideshow you plan to show during the wedding breakfast.
– What are the access and clearance timings? Important particularly if you have to clear everything from the venue straight after the guests leave at midnight, you certainly won’t want to be doing it.
– Is there a storage area you can use for things such as drinks deliveries the day before or storing any personal items to collect the day after.
– Is there adequate parking for guests and your wedding team and is there disabled access? You’ll want to consider the comfort of all your wedding guests so other things to look for might be baby changing areas
MONEY MONEY MONEY
Yes you will have a guide price for venue hire or the wedding package but there can be some additional costs to budget for. So don’t forget these questions to ask when wedding venue viewing.
– Are there additional charges for a late night extension (if you don’t want the party to wrap up at midnight)? Or staff charges past a certain time? Other extras can be security, cloakroom and cleaning services so be sure to ask about all of these
– Does the package/ hire cost include VAT and gratuity (if applicable)?
– Do you have to take out any special insurances to host your wedding at the venue? Listed buildings for example may ask that you take out public liability insurance against any damages
– Take an abundance of photos as things are never exactly how you remember them. But also google images of weddings at the venue to see how a variety of professional photographers have captured the space at different times of year as well as different times of day.
Harriet & Matt were married with us last year. They chose a beautiful church wedding followed by fun, frivolity and celebration at The Great Barn. The full shebang was photographed by Will Stedman and we think he really did capture the true essence of the day.
The rain did not stop play, in fact, it actually made for some very beautiful photographs.
We love all the individual, personal touches – in particular the gin themed table plan! And if you want to see more of our lovely weddings and events, head on over to our gallery and treat yourself to a happy half hour scrolling through.
On the blog today is Hatty and Karen’s wedding at Southend Barns in West Sussex. I’m typing this on a cold and rainy January day, my Westie is asleep on my lap meaning I’m in the most awkward typing position right now. Honestly, I’m TYping Liike THIss EVery timE He moves.
I first met Hatty and Karen a couple of years ago in London to talk about their day and we made sure to keep in contact leading up to the wedding itself. They were both equally excited about the whole thing, their stream of updates was great to follow and I was really looking forward to their wedding.
For prep, Karen got ready at The Blacksmith’s about 5 minutes away while Hatty used the suite at Southend Barns before all their guests arrived. It was great to be able to fly between them both and tell their story from the very start.
Once Karen arrived they had their first look in the gardens before taking turns in walking down the aisle and saying their I do’s in an emotionally charged ceremony and it really felt like everyone there was getting married too. It was as if we were all together as one.
We then ventured outside for photos and the reception went into full swing. We headed out the front to the fields and found a meadow of yellow flowers which, as it was a blustery day, added a sense of movement to their pictures. They were so chilled it was as if I wasn’t even there with the camera!
Southend Barns, as always, looked beautiful that day, the lights above the tables and the intricate attention to detail they had put into things really paid off. The weather was well behaved most of the day and even though it rained that night, it kept everyone in and on the dancefloor. Good times.
This was a special wedding for me in that I’m a firm believer that love is equal across all. It knows no boundaries, fears nothing and really does win through. Hatty and Karen’s wedding was one I’d looked forward to for months and afterwards, became one of the best weddings of the year for me.
We’re still in touch and long may we be…and long may I have more days like this.
We love, love, love the personal, DIY touches from Zoe & Ollie’s wedding day. It’s not just about budgeting, it’s about creating things that are unique to you and that really show off your character and personality. And we are all for it at The Great Barn, with such a beautiful blank canvas to fill.
These images are from Roseanna Brown; the ‘in action’ bouquet toss, is a personal favourite!
Head over to our website gallery to see more of our couples. And if you would like to share your wedding day photos with us, on our website or our Facebook page, please email us to find out more details.
Who doesn’t love a bit of Alice in Wonderland as their inspiration for a themed wedding?! It can be full-on wacky Mad Hatters Tea Party-esq or subtle and pretty with sweet vintage detail, or, like today’s styled wedding shoot – whimsical and rustic! Words and images by Lisa Webb Photography.
The beauty, history, and romance of the City of Lights is the perfect inspiration for a wedding. And with a history as golden and promising as the famous Belle Époque era, it’s no wonder this team honed in on its romantic charms and artistic flair to create this breathtaking scene. Filled with lush, almost tropical florals and exquisite design details, it perfectly captures the elegance of the era, with a gentle balance between old-world romance and modernity……
Anne from Fete in France shared these words about the design, details and inspiration behind the shoot…. “With Paris as its muse, this styled shoot focuses on a very important time in the city’s history, known as “Belle Époque.” It was before WWI when Paris saw the arts flourish, producing many of the city’s architectural wonders like the Eiffel Tower, Grand Palais and the Paris Metro.
The sun sets on the Peninsula Hotel Paris, where the party begins and an art nouveau invitation suite sets the tone for the event. The bride’s bouquet features bright colors and unique blooms, such as lotus pods and small yellow filler flowers alongside pink roses. Inspired by the classic design of the Perrier-Jouët champagne bottle, the wedding cake features its signature flowers cascading down three tiers.
The bride’s gown features romantic sleeves, beaded embellishments, sweeping fabric, and an off-white color that is the perfect fusion of period fashion and modern style. She balances the design with a pair of studded Valentino heels. Her look is complete with a chic chignon hairstyle, floral hairpiece, and smoky eye.
Chivari chairs are paired with a sage-green covered table. The tablescape features tall centerpieces inspired by the mix of colors and textures often seen in Belle Époque décor. Delicate china, pearl flatware and dainty vintage crystal stemware outfit each guest’s place setting.Tall pink taper candles in silver candleholders and bowls of fruit complete the table’s accents.
In this shoot, the bride spends the sunset hours at the iconic Pont Neuf in an ethereal gown and veil by Sibo Designs.”
Oh this makes me yearn to see Paris again! Don’t you just love it?? A huge thankyou to the whole creative team (listed below) behind this beautiful editorial, but especially to Bon Photage who captured it all so perfectly. If you would like to see more of their work do take a moment to pop and visit their website at www.bonphotage.com. And of course be sure to find and follow them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest for daily doses of gorgeousness!
Or if its the the idea of escaping to Paris that has you swooning, you should take a look at these romantic Paris elopements from Lara Lam, both capturing the beauty of the city, one with a pretty blush palette in glorious sunshine, and the other in gorgeous shades of slate grey that mirror the roof tops), proving that Paris truly is always a good idea – even when it rains!
You’d be forgiven for thinking an entire garden had gone into the creation of today’s styled shoot. The frothy floral creations bursting with abundant rich greenery brought together by our wonderful Sponsor Leafy Couture, plus the most wonderful sweet treats gracing the dessert table (and the cute little tomatillos on the place settings), are enough to turn our eyes heart-shaped!
The shoot was orchestrated by florist extraordinaire Sarah of Leafy Couture, who runs flower classes, including DIY wedding flower classes for beginners and hen party flower crown tutorials – great options for our crafty brides-to-be out there!
It’s fair to say we are totally blown away by this shoot as there is so much beauty to feast your eyes on and gorgeous inspiration to take note of. As such, we’ll hand over the blog to the lovely Sarah, so she can fill us in on the all-important details…
sarah says: Castle Farm Barn in Knaresborough, is a beautiful space in a gorgeous setting; the perfect blank canvas. The inspiration for our styled shoot was the fact we really wanted to show how to make the tables stand out and add interest to a barn space. We wanted to portray a luxury feel while keeping a country vibe, using textured foliage and seasonal-inspired tones. Small details were added, such as autumn fruits and velvet ribbons, to complement the linen and tableware. Bridal P.A. styled the shoot, assisted by L27 Weddings.
In the bouquet, we used beautiful seasonal flowers, including antirrhinums, avalanche roses, eryngium, eucalyptus parvifolia, wax flower, succulents, astilbe and prunus. In the frame, we used succulents, wax flower, eryngium, tuberose, astilbe, moss and ranunculus. The buttonholes comprised an avalanche rose, euc parvi, wax flower and succulent, while the wrist cuff showcased a succulent, wax flower and viburnum tinus. We were assisted in the floristry by The Mindful Florist, Inspirations 288 and Sandra’s Flower Studio.
For the styling, we used gold icon vases, antique gold candelabras and floral hoops to make use of the roof space within the barn. Extra details were added with votives, candlelight and fresh petals, all creating an opulent feel.
Our models, Phoebe and Eve, wore amazing wedding dresses designed and supplied by Charlotte Balbier and bridesmaid dresses by ASOS. The wedding gowns had an elegant, timeless look with a touch of 1940’s/50’s Hollywood glamour. The makeup by Smink Make-up Artistry (who also styled the hair) was natural with an understated feel, yet achieved a glamorous look with berried tones.
Taking into consideration the country setting, we wanted to add a natural feel yet cover every luxurious aspect of wedding styling. From a berried lip to the most over-the-top, amazing dessert table by The Whimsical Cake Company, we wanted to showcase how much beauty you can bring to a rustic setting. The hanging florals show off the season’s foliage and demonstrate how nature can be incorporated into your wedding setting.
For the dresses, we went for all-out timeless glamour with stunning detailing and bold bridesmaid tones. The photography by Laura Calderwood was natural, light and airy without a heavy filter to really capture all the tones and details of the day. The aim was to embrace timeless glamour with lots of seasonal detailing and I feel we went above and beyond that, which shines through in the images.
It was a really fantastic day; it was a great space to work in. Rebecca of Castle Farm Barn granted us access to her farm-grown cut flowers and foliage, which enhanced the seasonal colours and the look we wanted to achieve. It was a great experience to work at an up-and-coming wedding venue and with such talented, passionate suppliers.
It’s peak time in wedding planning season, so of course you’ll be thinking about all things wedding. If you have yet to find and book all of your wedding suppliers, then look no further. Our Supplier Love wedding directory is the definitive vendor guide you can certainly trust. We only accept the best and most creative wedding businesses onto our pages, who are all short-listed thanks to their reviews, service and product.
Hi! I’m Rebecca and I have been photographing weddings for over 10 years now and with each season I love capturing those special days even more. I feel so incredibly lucky to connect with such amazing couples and get to photograph so many beautiful events, I truly love my job!
My approach is always friendly, warm and authentic. I aim to make you feel as comfortable as possible and I always take pride and care with every single event and set of photographs I create.
For my photographic style I like to shoot with dreamy warm and vibrant tones, with a natural, relaxed and fun feel. I especially like to capture moments as they happen, but I am also very happy to direct posed photographs allowing for an honest relaxed lifestyle look.
I’m Ben, a filmmaker and photographer living in south west London. I make timeless wedding films, capturing the quiet and honest moments of your day discreetly and maybe enjoying a few canapés along the way! I love making alternative and cinematic films that capture the essence of your wedding day and ultimately, you as a couple.
Filming your day as it unfolds, I use small, unobtrusive cameras and make careful use of natural lighting, composition and framing. Instead of relying upon elaborate staging, I prefer to capture the natural feel of your day and let you enjoy your wedding as it happens.
There’s much more to your wedding than a white dress. It’s the intangible story of you that brings together the outfits, the venue, the flowers, the food, and this is what I make visible.
Hi, my name is Danielle and I LOVE weddings. My style is really relaxed and I aim to have as much fun as possible to make having your picture taken less scary and more exciting and fun. I’m about enjoying the day and capturing those natural beautiful shots and emotions of the day.
I love to travel all over the UK and abroad to capture couples’ special day. My aim is to take pictures that reflect the love you have for one another in a very natural and relaxed way. I love to capture the real you and avoid shots that are over-posed or intrusive and concentrate on the fun, laughter and happiness the day brings.
I have a laid back approach and want your photos to tell the story of the day that you can look back on in many years to come.
Bands For Hire represent a broad and diverse range of wedding bands throughout the UK, from Swing, Rock ’n’ Roll and Soul to Indie, Pop and Rock, there’s something for the whole family. As well as bands for evening entertainment we also work with String Quartets, Harpists, Jazz Bands and Solo performers suitable for Ceremony and Drinks Reception background music.
Hi there! I’m Katie of Hand-Drawn by Katie and I create beautiful personalised, illustrated wedding stationery that’s eye-catching and fun!
When I got married in 2015 I really enjoyed taking a hands-on, creative approach to organising our wedding and I particularly enjoyed being able to use my illustration skills when creating our wedding stationery.
We wanted save the dates and invitations that would capture us as a couple and reflect the style of our wedding so I took matters into my own hands and set about illustrating designs that were simple, fun and personal to us – just like the day itself. I loved the process so much that I decided to establish Hand-Drawn by Katie!
My days are now spent designing, talking to couples and playing with our Golden Retriever puppy Molly who has provided us endless opportunities to get out into the countryside and find inspiration for my designs.
I believe that wedding stationery should be unique and special.
You can either choose one of my ‘Existing Designs’ that can be customised for your wedding or you can go Bespoke and I will create one-of-a-kind stationery just for you.
I would describe my wedding photography as natural and genuine, as well as colourful and contemporary. I have a friendly approach which is unobtrusive, rather fun, a bit quirky, and always laid back. I’m a storyteller on the lookout for real moments that you will look back on with a smile. So if you’re looking for documentary wedding photography combined with a few relaxed and beautiful portraits then I may just be your girl.
Welcome to Daisy Foster Wedding Stationery. A small studio set in the heart of the Somerset Levels. Daisy specialises in creating beautifully illustrated watercolour stationery and personalised prints.
Each stationery suite is illustrated by Daisy, with carefully chosen typography or hand-lettered calligraphy to perfectly complement each design. You can also customise each collection to match your colour scheme, should you wish.
Whether you are looking for a simple, modern style, or a more whimsical, ethereal affair, our charming collection of designs will definitely have something to suit you and your style.
Daisy also offers a complete bespoke service, should you want to create something truly unique.
‘Weddings are perhaps one of my absolute favourite things, so I feel very lucky that I am able to work with so many couples, sharing in their joy of planning their big day.’
Lovingly restored, the 16th century Thatch Barn is licensed for civil ceremonies with features including the original oak beams and barn doors, a magnificent open fire and ambient lighting.
Dining and dancing take place in the contemporary Orchard Barn, bathed in light from its floor-to-ceiling windows and doors and featuring a stylish bar and helical staircase, impressive dining space and mezzanine ‘chill out’ area.
Galloping Gourmet are the in-house catering and events team at Blackwell Grange, working with you to create an exceptional wedding breakfast that is unique to your special day. Delicious, fun and theatrical, we want this to be the most spectacular family meal you have ever enjoyed. Your dedicated planners will be on hand to help you create your perfect day. Whether you would like advice on local cake designers or suggestions on how to make the very best of this wonderful venue, we will be there, working together with you to turn your dreams into reality.
The design influence behind Bridget’s Flowers is Megan, a young, enthusiastic team leader who spends her free time getting involved in styled shoots, keeping active and pottering around the garden.
Along with her team, she is passionate about flowers and oozes unusual, natural and modern vibes. We are so in love with creating natural, contemporary and fascinating bouquets, floral creations and much more. To sum up our style of work ‘wild romance’ comes to mind.
All the beautiful blooms used in our creations are lovingly grown, tendered and picked from our army of local farmers/growers. When necessary we are able to source from further afield however we love the idea of supporting local and tend to forage locally to support and maximise our designs as much as possible.
Mix Bridal is an online boutique that offers a highly curated selection of designer dresses at the most reasonable prices. With our headquarters based in UK, we’ve also recently opened our branch offices in Australia, United States and Canada. Mix Bridal pursues excellence in design and irreproachable craftsmanship before choosing to sell any designer dresses. And our extensive collection of bridesmaids dresses, wedding dresses, flower girl dresses, ties/pocket squares for groomsmen, and our tons of colour options make it easy to shop for the entire bridal party in your perfect palette. Our goal is to make shopping for your wedding becomes easy, fun and most importantly, stress-free – the way it should be, not just another task to check off your list. This belief is at the heart of everything we do at Mix Bridal, and we hope to be the final solution to your wedding party fashion!
Just a short drive from the quaint town centre of Tetbury, The Hare & Hounds Hotel can be found in good company located between the Royal Highgrove Estate and The National Arboretum. The Hotel itself also boasts acres of gardens and woodland too – making for a collection of dreamy wedding photos!
Inside the hotel, one wing of the hotel can be reserved exclusively for wedding parties including a collection of beautiful rooms (to host the ceremony, breakfast and party), a dedicated entrance for guests to arrive in style and a private bar. Guests will also have direct access to the gardens, which are beautifully manicured with immaculate lawns, hidden pathways and beds of wild flowers. Not only this, but they are also home to the timber-framed Breeze House – perfect for al fresco ceremonies of up to 120 guests.
What’s more, there’ll be no need for carriages at midnight at there are 42 stylish bedrooms for your guests to stay the night. For the bride and groom, we recommend a stay in Game Keeper’s Cottage with its striking four-poster bed, luxurious bathrooms and private garden with hot tub!
All of our wedding suppliers just LOVE Whimsical Wonderland Weddings readers and they cannot wait to hear from you. So be sure to get in touch really quickly to secure your wedding date before they get booked up xo Lou
You know you’ve done the right thing when family & friends who learn of your recent elopement say “that’s so you” Plus the fact that you’ve always dreamed of climbing the mountains just you and your beau saying I do in an intimate ceremony.
James Frost Photography takes us on the journey with our adorable couple Ruth & Aengus, capturing all the wonders of the Faroe Islands, just North of Scotland, as well as all those off the cart adorable moments by the happy couple.
From the first look, to the warm embraces, get ready for your heart to swell.
Ruth the Bride: I have never wanted a white wedding, and luckily, I found a husband that felt the same. After we announced that we eloped with little postcards crafted by Aengus (he is a graphic designer) and the perfect photograph by James, we got the same response over and over: ‘That’s so you’.
My uncle remembers me announcing as a young teenager that if I ever got married, I’d probably run away somewhere and do it on a cliff top and you’ll hear about it after. That was my dream.
After eight years together (we met in a small art school in Limerick, Ireland and we’ve basically been inseparable since the day we met) Aengus ‘proposed’ to me on a little row boat in central park, NYC. I put proposed in quotation marks, because although the setting was romantic, and I found out later that he was nervous as hell, we had said for years that we’ll get married, and I didn’t want an engagement ring (it would be a dead give away for the elopement!) so he asked me to marry him and I said yes of course, you know I will, and we went back to our normal conversation. Only later back in Ireland with a glass of whiskey in hand, did we start really planning.
We are lucky that we have families that are supportive of us both, and our decision to do something a little different. We decided to tell our immediate families straight away that we were putting the plans in motion to get married, just the two of us, and wait for everyone else to be surprised after we came home as husband and wife. (If there was a hint from either of our families that they weren’t ok with it, we would have done something different.) Aengus’ parents got married in a ceremony just the two of them, and I was the third of three girls who had beautiful white weddings, so being the third – I got away with sneaking off.
So, we knew we wanted to elope. We always wanted to go to the Faroe Islands because they looked like the most magical place on earth, (turns out they were even better than we could have imagined) with almost no one around, so we thought lets do this.
As a photographer myself, I had followed the work of James online for years and absolutely adored his epic landscapes, and the way he told love stories, and so I dared to dream that he was free to do our wedding (I say he was free – if he wasn’t free we would have changed the date! It’s not like we had much other things to change)
I had read a lot of blogs and articles on elopements – would we regret it? Would we miss our loved ones? Would we feel lonely? But we have both agreed since, that it was easily the best day of our lives. I did my own hair and makeup, and we started the day with a nice flat white getting ready together in our air bnb, and from there the day was perfect. We exchanged handwritten vows on a cliff top, we laughed, we cried, we took photographs around the island with a photographer who turned out to be just like a friend to us, we got caught in the rain, we came home and had our first dance together in our apartment, and cried again, and we went for the most romantic meal with delicious food and the best red wine we’ve ever tasted (we’ve since wondered if we were just that happy that anything would have been the best wine ever tasted).
After coming home we had a little party to celebrate, with no fuss, just friends family and beers, and a slideshow of photographs by James to show the magic, and it was absolutely perfect.
Are you feeling the chill of winter and madly day-dreaming about that magical summer holiday in Europe you took that was just perfect? Well, have I got a little treat in store for you lovelies with the wedding of Jade, senior events executive at the Tower of London, and Gary, site project manager for his dad’s construction […]