January 12, 2024

My Top Tips For Choosing a Wedding Venue

Posted in: Wedding Day Tips & Advice

Planning a wedding is an exciting and sometimes overwhelming experience. From choosing the perfect outfit to creating a guest list, there are many decisions to be made.

One of the most important choices you will make for your wedding day is the venue. As a documentary-style wedding photographer, I have seen firsthand how the venue can play a crucial role in the overall look and feel of a wedding.

That’s why I’m sharing my top tips for choosing a wedding venue that will not only be beautiful in person but also provide the perfect backdrop for your wedding photographs.

So, let’s grab a cup of tea and dive into the world of wedding venues from behind the lens!

The bride and groom standing outside of their wedding venue in Somerset

Choosing a Wedding Venue

The bride and groom inside of their wedding venue in Somerset capturing portraits

The Magic of Backdrops: Don’t Expect a Photoshop Wizard

When it comes to choosing a wedding venue, it’s important to remember that what you see is what you get and that is why it is important to follow these tips in choosing the ideal venue.

So, before you start envisioning a picture-perfect backdrop, make sure the venue itself is already a masterpiece because you can’t expect your photographer to photoshop every single detail.

Think about the elements you want in your wedding photos. Do you dream of saying your vows against a breathtaking mountain range or in a rustic barn adorned with fairy lights? 

Well, it’s time to find a venue that ticks those boxes. Remember, there’s only so much that can be done in post-production, and it’s always best to start with a beautiful canvas.

So, as you embark on your venue hunt, keep in mind that the backdrop is more than just a pretty picture. It sets the tone for your entire wedding day and will be forever immortalised in your cherished photos.

There are so many incredible wedding venues in Somerset that I recommend!

Don’t rely on a Photoshop miracle – find a venue that speaks to your vision and makes your heart skip a beat. As your photographer, I will thank you (and you will thank yourself!), and your photos will be nothing short of magical.

The bride and groom standing outside of their wedding venue in Somerset

Spaces Galore: Finding the Perfect Nooks for Your Photos 

Ah, the quest for the perfect space! As a photographer, I can’t stress enough how important it is to have plenty of interesting spaces for your images.

No, I’m not talking about squeezing everyone into a tiny corner or using a cramped bathroom as a backdrop. I’m talking about finding those hidden gems in your wedding venue that will make your photos truly stand out.

Picture a grand staircase leading up to a ballroom, where you share a first dance surrounded by chandeliers and fairy lights. Or imagine a charming garden with a beautiful gazebo, where you and your partner steal a kiss under a canopy of flowers – these are the nooks that make our hearts sing.

So, when you’re choosing a wedding venue, keep your eyes peeled for those special spots that will add that extra touch of magic to your photos. Look for unique architectural features, lovely gardens, or even quirky little corners that reflect your personality as a couple.

But remember, finding the right spaces isn’t just about impressing your photographer. It’s about creating memories and capturing the essence of your love story.

Comfy Corners: Ensuring Your Guests Kick Back in Style

So, you’ve found the venue you envision. But what about your guests? Whilst it’s important to create a beautiful and memorable experience for yourself, don’t forget about ensuring your guests can relax too.

Now, I’m not saying you need to go all-out and turn your wedding venue into a five-star resort (although that would be pretty cool). But choosing a wedding venue that allows you to provide a few comfy corners for your guests to relax and take a break from all the dancing and celebrating is a must.

Think cosy seating areas with plush sofas and armchairs where your loved ones can catch their breath and recharge. Add some cushions and throws for extra comfort and style. And don’t forget the little details – a coffee table with a selection of board games can keep your guests entertained and help them feel right at home.

You could also consider creating a dedicated chill-out zone outdoors. Image a garden with a canopy of fairy lights, adorned with hammocks and bean bags. Your guests can soak up the atmosphere, have a drink, and chat under the stars.

It’s a guaranteed way to keep your guests happy and ensure they remember your wedding as a day of comfort, relaxation, and fun.

Your guests will thank you, and they will have the energy to party all night long. Plus, it’s a great way to show them just how much you appreciate their presence on your wedding day.

The Importance of Lighting: Enhancing Your Wedding Day Photos

Ah, lighting! The unsung hero of wedding photography. Let me tell you, lighting can make or break your photos faster than you can say “I do.”

So, let’s talk about how to make sure your wedding day photos are beautifully lit and worthy of framing.

First things first, natural light is your best friend. There’s just something magical about the soft, warm glow of the sun that can’t be replicated. So, when choosing a wedding venue, look for spaces that have plenty of windows and natural light pouring in. 

But what about those evening receptions, you ask? Don’t worry! That’s where artificial lighting comes in. Whether it’s the twinkle of fairy lights, the warm glow of candlelight, or the dramatic spotlight on the dance floor, don’t underestimate the power of well-placed lighting to create the perfect ambience.

And let’s not forget about those pesky shadows. A skilled and experienced photographer, like me, knows how to use shadows to their advantage, but it’s always best to avoid harsh, unflattering shadows whenever possible.

So, when you’re scoping out potential venues, keep an eye out for spaces with diffused lighting or areas where you can strategically place additional lighting sources.

Lighting can make all the difference in your wedding day photos.

The bride and groom inside of their wedding venue in Somerset during a portrait session

Scheduling Your Venue Visits: Tips to Ensure the Perfect Timing

Let’s face it, choosing a wedding venue is no easy task.

When it comes to visiting potential venues, timing is everything. So, grab your notebooks and let’s dive into some tips to ensure the perfect timing for your venue visits.

First things first, start early. Like, really early. Wedding venues book up fast, especially during peak wedding season. So, if you want to have your first pick, start your venue hunt at least a year in advance. 

Next, be prepared for a tight schedule. Venue visits can be time-consuming, especially if you’re touring multiple venues in one day. So, make sure you allocate enough time for each visit and factor in travel time between venues. You don’t want to be rushing through your visits and end up missing out on all the important details.

Lastly, trust your gut. As you visit each venue, pay attention to how it makes you feel. Does it give you butterflies in your stomach? Do you envision yourself saying your vows there? If a venue doesn’t feel right, no amount of perfect timing can change that. So, listen to your instincts and choose a venue that speaks to your heart.

Remember, timing is everything when it comes to scheduling your venue visits. So, start early, be prepared and trust your gut.

With a little bit of luck and good timing, you will find that choosing a wedding venue will be a breeze and will make your wedding day truly magical.

The bride and groom outside of their wedding venue walking hand in hand

Ready to Find Your Venue?

Now you know my top tips for choosing a wedding venue you can go away and start your search! Take these tips along with you to ensure you pick a venue that aligns with your vision.

I am a wedding photographer based in Somerset but cover areas further afield too. Get in touch today and let’s arrange a chat to see if I am the right photographer to capture your wedding story!

Let's connect: @petiterosecaptures