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Reception venues

Choosing a suitable wedding venue will be the biggest decision in your wedding planning, and finding the right wedding reception venue to suit your budget and style can be a challenge. Many people are looking for something unusual, different, or unique, but finding the right venue to match the vision can often be difficult. A good place to start is online where you can look at photos of local wedding venues, and get a feel for what is in your area.  Different parts of the UK have their own unique range of unusual and historic wedding venues, castles and old rustic barns as well as modern hotels, manor houses and stately homes. Most couples want an exclusive venue, without anyone there but their own guests. The cost to take over the complete wedding venue can be high if it had a lot of bedrooms that you are unable to full, and those venues with a very popular restaurant open to the public would need a very large wedding reception booking to justify closing. The same tends to apply to golf clubs and country clubs with private members; they will be reluctant to hire out their entire venue for weddings on bank holidays and popular dates. If you have carried out your wedding legalities in a church or a Registry Office, your choice of wedding reception venues is unlimited as you won’t need it to be licensed for weddings. This can also keep the cost down as these venues tend to be less busy so offer great wedding packages to encourage you to book.  

Civil venues

Civil wedding venues enable you to hold both the legal wedding ceremony and the reception in the same hotel, barn, stately home or castle. These complete wedding venues have one or more rooms licensed for civil ceremonies, and there is usually a charge of around £500 to use the room, plus the cost of the Registrars attending. Although this seems expensive for room hire for just an hour or two it is comparable with the cost of a church wedding and it can reduce other costs such as traveling- so can be perfect if you are having a budget wedding!  

Unusual venues

Move away from the big chain hotels who are inevitably aiming for the mass appeal, and you will find a great array of unusual wedding venues. Almost by definition they are harder to find, but with time and patience you will find the perfect place to get married. Couples opting for a spiritual or humanist ceremony, which is not legally binding, will usually choose an outside wedding venue, but for legal ceremonies the licensed room must have permanent walls and a roof - although the definition varies and many gazebos have been licensed as long as they are classed as a permanent building, so you can’t just buy a pop up tent from Argos!. It is also worth considering historic wedding venues, for example a castle, which could provide a stunning place for you to tie the knot, will be incredibly atmospheric and has a bit of historic interest for guests.
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