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Choosing the perfect wedding venue

Published: 10 Sep 14, 10:20am  |  Author: DG Music

Planning a wedding is full of big decisions but probably one of the most significant is choosing a venue.

While it might be every little girl’s dream to marry her prince in a big fairytale castle, it’s important not to get too swept along with the romance. Sadly, there are lots of practical considerations too.

The first challenge is to set your priorities as a couple – is it more important to have your dream location or your dream guest list? Should your venue dictate who you invite or should you only choose a location after you’ve decided on your guests? 

It’s a matter of personal preference, and while you don’t have to decide instantly whether to invite the cousins you never see or the children of all your friends, it’s important to have a rough idea of numbers before booking your venue. Your needs will vary greatly depending on whether you have 50 or 200 guests. 

And while you’re thinking of numbers, it’s important to consider the pounds too. Wedding costs can easily spiral out of control so try to set yourself a realistic budget before you start looking at venues. It will be devastating to visit your dream location only to find out that it’s way beyond what you can afford.

But with budgets set and an idea of size in mind, the fun bit can begin.

Here are some of the most important factors to consider when choosing a venue.

Church service or civil ceremony

If you plan to marry in church, you should try to find a reception venue no more than a 20-minute drive away. Guests who are attending all day won’t want to travel too far after the ceremony and any traffic delays could hold up your plans for the rest of the day.


Big country houses set in rural locations have a definite charm, but they could present problems for your guests. Long distance travel and the cost of taxi fares or accommodation could put some people off coming, so it might be best to find somewhere close to where the majority of your guests live. If you do want an out-of-town location, you could consider providing a coach to transport your guests to and from the venue?

Tone / theme of the day

Are you hoping for a Disney princess wedding set in a big castle with a gospel choir and trumpet fanfares, or something more understated? Or maybe you are planning a themed event? More and more venues have been granted licences to hold civil ceremonies so there are lots of options depending on the atmosphere you want to create. Rural romance – how about an old barn? Cheap but cheerful – try your local community halls. Luxurious elegance – a stately home perhaps?


The time of year when you’re getting married might make a difference to your choice of venue. Weddings held in the middle of winter may not be best suited to a marquee on a lawn, for example, and you will need to think about where you are going to have your photos taken if the weather isn’t too kind.

Availability may also be an issue. Summer is the most popular season for weddings and popular venues are often booked up years in advance, so plan ahead and consider whether the venue or the date is more important as you may need to compromise.

What does your venue booking include?

The level of service a venue offers can vary greatly. Some will come with their own wedding planner who will handle every tiny detail of your day. With smaller venues, you might just be paying to have a roof over your head.

Both options are fine, as long as you are clear about how much of the planning you want to do yourself and are sure of what your booking includes.

Important questions to ask your venue

·      How many guests can I invite?

·      Will we have exclusive use of the venue?

·      Do you have a wedding planner?

·      What equipment is included (eg. chairs, linen)?

·      Do you have a caterer? Can we choose our own?

·      What input can I have with the menus?

·      Do you have separate rooms for the ceremony, wedding breakfast and reception?

·      Can we provide our own alcohol?

·      What evening entertainment is allowed?

·      Do you use a noise limiter? (Some bands won’t perform with one in place)

·      How late can we stay?

·      Is there any on-site accommodation and are there any discounts for guests?

·      What is the total cost? Is there a cancellation fee?

At DG Music we work closely with a number of great venues across the whole of the UK, so why not start your search with us and check out our recommendations for wedding venues?

As we are based in the Midlands we work particularly closely with wedding venues in Leicestershire and our home county of Rutland. We can highly recommend the following venues:

Barnsdale Lodge

A converted farmhouse set in beautiful countryside with a dedicated party planner to help make your occasion the best it can be.

Belvoir Castle

The family home of the Duke and Duchess of Rutland, this is the perfect setting for a grand fairtytale wedding. Knowledgeable staff are on hand to help with every detail.

Hothorpe Hall

Choose from the magnificent Georgian manor house or the newly built function room, The Woodlands, which is nestled away to offer rustic charm.

Ladywood Estate

An idyllic country retreat on the Rutland and Leicestershire border. Ladywood is a breathtaking setting with staff who will go above and beyond to make your day perfect.

Normanton Park Hotel

A beautiful hotel set in five acres of gardens on the shores of Rutland Water. Normanton offers outstanding food and service.

Rockingham Castle

An amazing setting for fairytale weddings with excusive use of the castle and grounds during your event. Rockingham has historic charm and dedicated staff who work hard to make your day perfect.

We can also recommend some great wedding venues in Lincolnshire including the following:

Burghley House

An extravagant Elizabethan property with a choice of three rooms for your event. Burghley House is a stunning venue for your wedding set in beautiful parkland for those perfect pictures.

Doddington Hall

An impressive Elizabethan property with a romantic atmopshere for your big day. 

Stoke Rochford Hall

Set in 28 acres of parkland, this Victorian mansion offers a spectacular setting with service to match. There are a range of options to suit anything from 12 to 200 guests.

Our working relationship even extends to wedding venues in Northamptonshire,Warwickshire, Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Cambridgeshire and Shropshire.

Booking one of these great wedding venues also comes with an added bonus – us! DG Music has supplied bands and musicians at all of our listed venues many times so we’ve got a great knowledge of what works best.

If you choose to book one of these magnificent venues, your next stop should definitely be with us so we can help you hire a wedding band or and take the stress out of another key part of your day.

About DG Music

DG Music is a professional Music Agency providing bands and musicians for private events and public performances.

The business has been operating since 2004 and is proud of the professional and friendly service it provides.

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