Styling a Barn Venue for Your Wedding Day

Wedding stylist Not Your Average I Do was called in to transform a working barn venue into the perfect summertime wedding location for Tom and Caroline – here’s how they did it…

Barn wedding reception Styling a Barn Venue for Your Wedding Day

Styling a Barn Venue for Your Wedding Day

Farm gate Styling a Barn Venue for Your Wedding DayCredit: D&J Photography.

Tom and Caroline chose a beautiful working farm in the heart of Lymington, New Forest, as the backdrop for their big day.

The Set Up

Farm barn garden Styling a Barn Venue for Your Wedding DayA blank canvas… Credit: D&J Photography

Tom and Caro asked the Not Your Average I Do[1] (NYA) team to work their magic and completely transform the sheep pen farmyard from its usual working order into a highly stylish backdrop for their day.

Barn wedding set-up Styling a Barn Venue for Your Wedding DayThe NYA team begin their set-up. Credit: D&J Photography

barn wedding drapes set-up Styling a Barn Venue for Your Wedding Day

There are always areas in a working barn that, rather than requiring beautiful decorations, just simply need to be covered up to ensure perfect wedding photographs! NYA opted for bespoke draped wall towards the back of the barn to hide those unsightly spots.

Barn wedding drapes Styling a Barn Venue for Your Wedding DayPreparing the draping. Credit: D&J Wedding Photography

When relying on an outside summer lawn to host your guests there are several things you want to think about to ensure the guests enjoy your day as much as you do: shade, seating, entertainment, lighting and warmth. Tom and Caroline ticked all these boxes, and then some!


Farm lawn wedding guests Styling a Barn Venue for Your Wedding DayThe farm lawn is transformed! Credit: Tom and Lizzie Redman Photography

Come rain or shine, cover from the elements is essential. Tom and Caroline opted for a stretch tent marquee as well as NYA’s barrel poseur tables with parasols to keep the guests (and their drinks) cool!


Farm lawn wedding guests Styling a Barn Venue for Your Wedding DayGuests enjoyed the chill-out area on the lawn. Credit: Tom and Lizzie Redman Photography

With over 100 guests, Tom and Caroline wanted to ensure that there would be adequate (and comfortable) seating for everyone. Dotting NYA’s deck chairs and bean bags about the grounds gave a chilled-out summer vibe. They added hay bales covered with blankets and cushions for added comfort.

Farm barn seating hay bales Styling a Barn Venue for Your Wedding DayStable door with hay bales. Credit: Tom and Lizzie Redman Photography


Barn wedding garden games Styling a Barn Venue for Your Wedding DayThe traditional wooden garden games were loved by all. Credit: Tom and Lizzie Redman Photography

The addition of NYA’s garden games brought fun for all ages!

Garden jenga Styling a Barn Venue for Your Wedding DayCredit: Tom and Lizzie Redman Photography Giant connect four Styling a Barn Venue for Your Wedding DayCredit: Tom and Lizzie Redman Photography

Using NYA’s ‘not so average’ moon arch and a bespoke polaroid photo frame created a unique backdrop to act as the couple’s photobooth.

Floral hoop photobooth Styling a Barn Venue for Your Wedding DayMoon arch photo booth. Credit: Tom and Lizzie Redman Photography Wedding photobooth guests Styling a Barn Venue for Your Wedding DayCredit: Tom and Lizzie Redman Photography


Barn fairy lights Styling a Barn Venue for Your Wedding DaySetting up the lighting in the barn. Credit: D&J Photography

For the wedding breakfast inside the barn, the happy couple chose a striking hanging table centre design, using NYA staggered festoon lighting covered in foliage and hanging glass baubles filled with candles and flowers.

Barn wedding reception tables Styling a Barn Venue for Your Wedding DayCredit: Tom and Lizzie Redman Photography Barn wedding reception details Styling a Barn Venue for Your Wedding DayCredit: Tom and Lizzie Redman Photography

NYA installed a stunning 30m fairy light wall which acted as an amazing backdrop for the wedding breakfast and those all-important wedding speeches.

Father of the bride speech Styling a Barn Venue for Your Wedding DayStaggered festoon lighting and glass baubles. Credit: Tom and Lizzie Redman Photography Barn wedding bride Styling a Barn Venue for Your Wedding DayFairy-light backdrop. Credit: Tom and Lizzie Redman Photography barn wedding reception guests Styling a Barn Venue for Your Wedding DayCredit: Tom and Lizzie Redman Photography


Evening wedding guests fire pit Styling a Barn Venue for Your Wedding DayThe bride and her friends enjoying the warmth of the firepit. Credit: Tom and Lizzie Redman Photography

Extra blankets are a great way to keep you and your guests warm as the evening sun drops – patio heaters are a great addition too, as well as firepits for mood lighting and toasting marshmallows!

Finishing Touches

Wooden light-up table plan Styling a Barn Venue for Your Wedding DayBespoke light-up table plan. Credit: Tom and Lizzie Redman Photography

It’s the finishing touches that turn a blank canvas into a beautiful wedding venue. Tom and Caroline asked NYA to create a bespoke personalised light-up table plan. The couple’s floral hoops beautifully highlighted the brick wall of the barn.

Floral wedding hoops Styling a Barn Venue for Your Wedding DayFloral hoops. Credit: Tom and Lizzie Redman Photography

As dusk turned to evening, the barrel festoon lighting by NYA turned the yard into a functional and romantic space to snuggle by the fire, really giving it that WOW factor. What a perfect way to end a perfect day!

Evening wedding reception Styling a Barn Venue for Your Wedding DayBarrel festoon lighting. Credit: Tom and Lizzie Redman Photography

Contact book:
Set-up photography – D&J Wedding Photography
On-the-day photography – Tom and Lizzie Redman Photography
Styling, lighting, props and photobooth – Not Your Average I Do
Florist – Katherine Bly Flowers
Venue – Warborne Farm[2][3][4][5][6][7]


Read More:


  1. ^ Not Your Average I Do (
  2. ^ D&J Wedding Photography (
  3. ^ Tom and Lizzie Redman Photography (
  4. ^ Not Your Average I Do (
  5. ^ Katherine Bly Flowers (
  6. ^ Warborne Farm (
  7. ^ (

Wedding Trees: Dress Your Wedding With Artificial Trees

Do you envision your wedding with plenty of florals and greenery? Looking for vibrant cherry blossoms or a statement standalone tree? These things don’t just happen upon your venue (well, not typically) but thankfully artificial trees now look so good, your guests wouldn’t know the difference. Here’s how to dress your wedding with artificial trees.

Outdoor cherry blossoms arching over bride

How to Dress Your Wedding With Artificial Trees

“Adding trees into a large space immediately adds an intimacy.” Says Susie.

“Twilight Trees have a wonderful way of bringing the outside in. No waste, no mess and incredibly realistic, faux is the way to go.” 

We’ve also noticed a trend in brides taking a more environmentally conscious approach to their weddings. Incorporating artificial trees that look just as good as the real thing, works perfectly for the more conscientious.

The biggest trends in artificial trees at weddings are lots of greenery complimented with wooden elements. Popular for Twilight Trees[1] has been their TIG trees available in three varied sizes. They provide lots of green foliage to line your aisles, dress your venue and impress your guests

When speaking of the green collection, Susie says, “[it] is bold, natural, fresh and rustic all at the same time. It is a blank canvas and can be accessorised to fit with your own unique vision and colour scheme”.

 blossom trees lining outdoor wedding aisle dressing your wedding venue with artificial trees

Styling Trees in a Smaller Venue

“The beauty of using taller trees in a space with high ceilings is that whilst you have plenty of ‘air space’ you may still be restricted on floor space and our trees have a small footprint”, says Susie[2].

The prime example of using trees to fill a vast space would be the use of trees down the aisle as seen at The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding at Westminster Cathedral.

“The enormity of the space was immediately softened by the leaves and the solid lines of the cathedral echoed by the organic lines of the trunks,” Susie tells us.

Trees are also a fantastic way to create an aisle in an outdoor space and when using trees with dense leaves and blossom they can also draw in an open space and in effect, create boundaries.

cherry blossom centered in a wraparound bar dressing your wedding venue with artificial trees

Styling Trees at your Reception

Finally, we love the idea of having a show-stopper tree to add to the opulence of your wedding. If you’ve got the budget (£400 +VAT), a single, statement tree with a wraparound bar is a certified winner to impress your guests.

What’s more, there are natural looking LED trees to really light up the evening event beautifully and create the perfect atmosphere.


  1. ^ Twilight Trees (
  2. ^ Susie (

12 Days of Wedding Planning: Find Your Venue

Now your budget is in the bag, you know what you’ve got to spend on your ceremony and reception space. It’s time to get searching and we’re here to help you find your venue.

12 Days of Wedding Planning: Find Your Venue

12 Days of Wedding Planning: Find Your Venue

You can draw up your venue shortlist with these tips, then get visiting to help you make the final decision. Don’t forget to scroll through our venue finder[1] for some options near you.

Home or Away

Some couples instinctively know they want to head for their hometown to get married. Others prefer to tie the knot where they live currently, where they first met, where they love to go on holiday. It’s easy to forget that you have all of these options. Begin by deciding where in the world you actually want to get married. It’ll make short-listing and visiting venues much simpler.

Marrying at home can make things easier because you don’t have to transport lots of things abroad[2], but destination weddings can often save you money[3]. Which will be right for you?


Numbers Count

That’s both in terms of the cost and size of your wedding. You’ve set a budget[4], so make sure your chosen venue comes within it. If it doesn’t, make sure you have an alternative plan in place to cover the cost or cut back elsewhere before you book.

The number of people you invite should also be at the forefront of your mind. Can your venue cope with the number of guests you want to attend? How much will it cost you per head? The more people you invite, the more expensive booking your venue will likely be.

Seasons change

If you have your heart set on an outdoor wedding, then keep the seasons in mind on the hunt to find your venue. Even summer weddings don’t bring guaranteed sunshine, so we would always recommend choosing a venue that can offer you a backup plan. Rain on your wedding day needn’t be a disaster. In fact, you can get some pretty stunning photos. However, having a Plan B is always a good idea.

Seasons will also bring different price tags from many venues. Peak wedding season runs through spring, summer and even early autumn in some cases. Booking these dates will mean paying a premium, so try the shoulder months like October or March to make your money go further.

All in one

This will depend in part on whether you want a religious or civil ceremony. If religious, you’ll need to factor in booking both a church and reception venue. If not, explore what options your venue has for your ceremony and reception. Often different rooms will be better suited to the different elements of your wedding day, so make sure you’re happy with them all before booking.

Also, if you’ve set your heart on a venue that doesn’t have a marriage license, what then? Get the official part done at a registry office either before or afterwards, then celebrate with a blessing before all your family and friends instead.

Think themes

On your search to find your venue, bear in mind your theme might dictate the venue. Any which way, make sure these two dreams align. Your venue and décor should complement each other, not clash. Check with your venue what is allowed. Can you hang things? Can you add different chairs? Can you use real candles? If your décor is a deal breaker you need to know that your venue can accommodate your plans.

It’s also worth taking into account how large the spaces are and how many rooms you’ll need to decorate. This will impact on the cost of buying your decorations and flowers and could easily become an unwelcome forgotten cost.


Want more wedding information and inspiration? Just hit ‘Like’ on our Wedding Ideas Facebook page[5], and ‘Follow’ on our @wimagazine Twitter account[6] to join in the conversation.


  1. ^ our venue finder (
  2. ^ transport lots of things abroad (
  3. ^ save you money (
  4. ^ set a budget (
  5. ^ Wedding Ideas Facebook page (
  6. ^ @wimagazine Twitter account (

10 budget-friendly wedding venues

There’s only one thing that makes finding an incredible wedding venue even better – finding an incredible venue with a great offer to boot! These budget-friendly venues wedding venues from Country House Wedding Venues can all be yours for a great price, so take a look and see if you can find ‘the one’…

Bassmead Manor Barns, Cambridgeshire

Bassmead Manor BarnsCredit: Tom Halliday Photography      

With its unique blend of rustic and contemporary style, this beautiful barn offers an unmissable setting in the heart of the country. Book any remaining 2019 wedding date and you can save on the venue fee and renowned wedding food too. See the offer![1]

Morden Hall, London

Morden HallCredit: Storyett

Stylish, secluded and right in the heart of London, Morden Hall is truly one of a kind. Its chic décor, stunning grounds and surrounding National Trust parkland make it an unbelievable place to marry. See the offer![2]

Wasing Park, Berkshire

Wasing Park weddingCredit: Studio Rouge

This exquisite estate holds everything you need and more for an unforgettable wedding. Acres of rolling parkland contains a choice of ceremony spaces, characterful reception rooms and a wealth of luxurious accommodation for you and your guests. See the offer![3]

Curradine Barns, Worcestershire

Curradine Barns weddingCredit: Sarah Horton Photography

If it’s a country wedding you’re after, you couldn’t ask for a more enchanting location than Curradine Barns. Atmospheric, authentic and full of charm, every part of this rural venue is tailored to provide the most magical day. Save money on your venue fee and wedding food when pick any remaining 2019 date. See the offer![4]

Blackwell Grange, Warwickshire

Blackwell Grange weddingCredit: We Are The Clarkes

At this breathtaking venue in the Cotswolds, centuries-old barns sit alongside purpose-built reception spaces to create something truly special. With an elegant style, idyllic country views and the most amazing food and drink, Blackwell Grange is like nowhere else. See the offer![5]

Gaynes Park, Essex

Gaynes Park weddingCredit: Fiona Kelly Photography

Gaynes Park and its exquisite gardens are what dreams are made of! Glorious gardens are surrounded by lush fields, giving your day a spectacular backdrop while the rustic reception spaces are ideal for a country-themed day. See the offer![6]

Combermere Abbey, Cheshire

Combermere AbbeyCredit: The Crawleys

For a real treat in rural Cheshire, Combermere Abbey is just the place. This unique and unforgettable setting is home to an incredible fruit tree maze, charming Glasshouse and contemporary Pavilion, giving you plenty of space to enjoy your special day. Book soon and you can take advantage of their midweek offer. See the offer![7]

Rivervale Barn, Hampshire

Riverdale BarnCredit: Studio Rouge

The enchanting Rivervale Barn, with its exposed beams and delightful gardens, makes the most amazing setting for a country celebration. With the new outdoor ceremony location, it’s one you definitely won’t want to miss and now it can be yours for even less. See the offer[8]!

Swynford Manor, Cambridgeshire

Swynford Manor weddingCredit: Dottie Photography

Glamorous, stylish and striking, Swynford Manor is truly one of a kind! Enjoy exclusive use of this elegant manor house and treat your guests to the utmost luxury. See the offer[9]!

Oxnead Hall, Norfolk

Oxnead HallCredit: James Killcoin Photography

The breathtaking Oxnead Hall is as peaceful and picturesque as they come. Sat overlooking a private lake, this characterful venue offers plenty of space to spend time with your guests, while the manicured gardens are perfect for enjoying the sun. See the offer![10]

For even more stunning savings, take a look at all Country House Wedding Venues’ wedding offers for all the best deals![11]


Want more wedding information and inspiration? Just hit ‘Like’ on our Wedding Ideas Facebook page[12], and ‘Follow’ on our @wimagazine Twitter account[13] to join in the conversation.


  1. ^ See the offer! (
  2. ^ See the offer! (
  3. ^ See the offer! (
  4. ^ See the offer! (
  5. ^ See the offer! (
  6. ^ See the offer! (
  7. ^ See the offer! (
  8. ^ See the offer (
  9. ^ See the offer (
  10. ^ See the offer! (
  11. ^ For even more stunning savings, take a look at all Country House Wedding Venues’ wedding offers for all the best deals! (
  12. ^ Wedding Ideas Facebook page (
  13. ^ @wimagazine Twitter account (

The best secret hidden gem wedding venues

We’ve scoured the country far and wide to find the most exquisite hidden gem wedding venues for a day with a difference

The Swan Inn, Gloucestershire

The Swan, Gloucestershire

Located on the enchanting banks of the River Coln in the heart of Bibury, near Cirencester, The Swan is full of country character. You can wed in The Signet Room, enjoy an intimate wedding breakfast at The Library, then spill out into the garden for a catch-up with guests. There’s no need to rush off at midnight either – there’s 22 rooms, with a special cottage retreat especially for the newlyweds.  [1]

The Depot wedding venue

The Depot, London

Based near the capital’s Caledonian Road, The Depot[2] is made for city-loving couples. By day it’s a warehouse-style pub, but at your request it can be transformed into an exclusive-use space for your wedding reception, complete with crescent bar, tufted leather seating and lots of natural light. The in-house team will work with you to create a bespoke menu with the finest craft beers and the best live entertainment[3] and décor, with space for up to 280 guests.

The Stack, Cornwall

The Stack, Cornwall

A former engine house turned intimate wedding venue, The Stack[4] sits atop a hill overlooking the picturesque Fal Valley. There’s space for up to 40 guests, and Unique Home Stays’ in-house wedding planner can provide you with as much assistance as you require, from advice on catering to supplier recommendations. The house itself can sleep up to six guests arranged over three floors, too.

South Farm wedding barnCredit: Lina & Tom photography

South Farm, Cambridgeshire

Enjoy a romantic country wedding on the Cambridgeshire border at South Farm[5]. A family-run venue with its own smallholding, there’s a number of spaces to suit your style – from the Tudor Barn to the garden Summerhouse and the Old Dairy. You can wed in the grounds or indoors, and you’ll be able to decorate the venue to match your taste. Once the celebrations have come to an end, there’s plenty of accommodation options – from bedrooms and Romany caravans to on-site camping.

Castle Gibson weddingCredit: Kat Hill Photography

Castle Gibson, London

For a wedding venue straight out of a film, Castle Gibson[6] manages six locations across London that each boast their own unique style – from restored studios to a themed bar, an industrial warehouse to a converted building merchant. There’s an in-house events manager to help you plan every detail in your chosen space, and with room for up to 300 people, you can dress the venue how you like, making use of the company’s vast collection of props and lights.

Beach Weddings BournemouthCredit: Ian H Photography

Beach Weddings, Bournemouth 

No need to jet away for a seaside wedding – tie the knot on the golden sands of Bournemouth’s West Cliff Beach instead with Beach Weddings Bournemouth[7]. It’s the only venue in the UK where you can say your vows right on the sand, with a custom-sized marquee built to fit up to 200 guests. After the ceremony, enjoy a champagne reception while the space is transformed for your wedding breakfast. Operating between April and October, the venue is run without power where possible, using locally sourced coastal décor for that authentic boho feel.

READ MORE: Wedding venues by the sea[8]

The Cherry Barn wedding

The Cherry Barn, East Sussex

The Cherry Barn[9] may be over 400 years old, but this year it’s opened up as a brand new wedding venue. The oak-framed barn and gazebo offer a blank canvas for couples wishing to create their own style of country wedding, and there’s room for 150 people in the main venue, of which you’ll get exclusive use for 48 hours. It also overlooks a beautiful orchard and holds a wedding licence for civil ceremonies, too.

Cley Windmill Norfolk

Cley Windmill, Norfolk

Marry in the most bucolic fashion at Cley Windmill[10] in Norfolk. Host an intimate ceremony for 22 in the round Sitting Room, then retire to the Reception Room for a glass of champagne and a cream tea, or tuck straight into your wedding breakfast. Escape to the mill’s balcony or the garden for a quiet, romantic moment together and a photo or two. And if you’d like to stay overnight, you can make use of the B&B rooms and self-catering cottage, accommodating up to 20 people.

Little Theatre Cinema weddingCredit: Matt Lincoln photography

Little Theatre Cinema, Bath

Hark back to the golden age of Hollywood with a wedding at the charming Little Theatre Cinema[11]. Located in Bath’s Spa Quarter, it’s the perfect venue for a vintage-style wedding. Star in your own short film or create your own movie ‘trailer’ for your guests to enjoy as they arrive for the ceremony, walking down the red-carpet passageway and up onto the stage, where you’ll wed in front of up to 110 guests. Afterwards, enjoy some popcorn with a drink or two as you admire your personalised movie posters.

Victoria Baths Manchester

Victoria Baths, Manchester

For a retro wedding that guests won’t forget, make a splash at Victoria Baths[12] in Manchester. The restored Victorian swimming baths have five different spaces in which you can wed, including the bottom of the (empty) Gala Pool, or in the Turkish Rest Room complete with stained glass windows. The long-term aim is to eventually transform the venue back into a public swimming pool, so take advantage of this special venue while you still can.

The Bay Tree Oxfordshire wedding

The Bay Tree, Oxfordshire

Full of historical charm and contemporary style, The Bay Tree[13] dates back to 1565 – think flagstone floors, roaring log fires and a galleried staircase. You’ll get exclusive use of the whole place if you tie the knot here, with space for up to 90 and a collection of rooms for the ceremony and wedding breakfast. There’s an experienced wedding coordinator on hand to help the day run smoothly, and 21 bedrooms for those guests who’d like to stay a night or two.

READ MORE: Wedding venues with the best outdoor space and scenery[14]

Want more inspiration and ideas? Hit ‘like’ on our Wedding Ideas Facebook page[15], and ‘follow’ on our @wimagazine Twitter account[16] to join in the conversation.


  1. ^ The Swan (
  2. ^ The Depot (
  3. ^ live entertainment (
  4. ^ The Stack (
  5. ^ South Farm (
  6. ^ Castle Gibson (
  7. ^ Beach Weddings Bournemouth (
  8. ^ READ MORE: Wedding venues by the sea (
  9. ^ The Cherry Barn (
  10. ^ Cley Windmill (
  11. ^ Little Theatre Cinema (
  12. ^ Victoria Baths (
  13. ^ The Bay Tree (
  14. ^ READ MORE: Wedding venues with the best outdoor space and scenery (
  15. ^ Wedding Ideas Facebook page (
  16. ^ @wimagazine Twitter account (

Wedding venues with the best outdoor space and scenery

From walled gardens to woodlands, celebrate mother nature in a space that boasts the best outdoor scenery…

Hampton Court Palace gardensCredit: Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Palace, Surrey

Celebrate like royalty at King Henry VIII’s old Tudor haunt, Hampton Court Palace[1], in East Molesey. Enjoy acres of beautiful gardens with a choice of various rooms; The Orangery is a great location for a drinks reception, where guests can enjoy exclusive use of the Privy Garden. The Garden Room, with its French windows that open right out onto a private walled garden, is a great space for live bands and dancing.

Montalto HouseMontalto House and Lake at The Carriage Rooms

The Carriage Rooms, County Down

Set on the Montalto Estate, The Carriage Rooms[2] offer the option of an outdoor ceremony in the romantic walled garden, where afterwards you and your guests can enjoy lawn games[3] and drinks in the stunning surroundings. Plus, for the bride and groom only, you can access the boathouse and lake for some precious time alone.

Hayne HouseCredit: Emily Crutcher Kent

Hayne House, Kent

There’s natural beauty to be found at Hayne House[4] whatever the time of year – from cherry blossom in spring to the rich, earthy colours of its mature trees in the autumn. Wed beneath the romantic oak-framed porch in the gardens, adorned with ivy garlands and climbing roses, with up to 120 guests watching on, or treat them to an indoor ceremony in the new purpose-built orangery, which looks onto the manicured gardens.

Jupiter ArtlandCredit: Tony Marsh Photography

Jupiter Artland, Edinburgh

Sitting in the 100-acre grounds of Bonnington House just outside of Edinburgh, Jupiter Artland[5] is a sculpture park of epic proportions. At the heart of the various artworks is Cells of Life by landscape architect Charles Jencks – a collection of eight landforms sculpted around four lakes, making for a superb backdrop to your celebrations.

READ MORE: A real-life lake wedding fit for a fairytale[6]

Lucknam ParkCredit: Lucknam Park

Lucknam Park, Wiltshire

The traditional walled gardens and extensive grounds at Georgian Palladian mansion Lucknam Park[7] provide the perfect photographic setting for you and your guests to enjoy post-ceremony. For an everlasting memento of your special day, you can plant a tree of your choice in its arboretum – complete with a plaque commemorating your marriage – that you can return to for years to come.

Dewsall Court, Hereford

For your very own country pad that feels just like home, Dewsall Court[8] works for both intimate and grander celebrations. Civil ceremonies can be held outside or in a choice of amazing indoor spaces, and there’s also a quaint, ancient church located just a short walk through the gardens.

Stonor ParkCredit: Stonor Park

Stonor Park, Oxfordshire

This grand country house makes a breath-taking location for your reception. Choose between four outdoor locations on the Stonor Park[9] estate: the lawns at the front of the house; the Italianate pleasure gardens complete with lily ponds and fountains; the park for a more private setting; and the hilltop with amazing views of Stonor valley.

Birtsmorton CourtCredit: Birtsmorton Court

Birtsmorton Court, Worcestershire

Birtsmorton Court[10], the Grade I-listed manor house, makes a great wedding venue all year round – think cosy ceremonies beside the roaring fireplace or a sunny soirée outside beside the dramatic moat. Head out onto the terrace for post-ceremony drinks and take in the glorious views, then make your way to the marquee and Garden Room for your bespoke reception.

Notley AbbeyCredit: Notley Abbey

Notley Abbey, Buckinghamshire

Right on the Buckinghamshire-Oxfordshire border, Notley Abbey[11] is steeped in history. Hold your ceremony in its walled garden, where you can choose to walk down a carpet aisle or stick to its perfectly manicured lawn. Post-ceremony, spend some time walking amongst the grounds, complete with lavender borders and 12th-century ruins.

Birmingham Botanical GardensCredit: Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Surround yourself with nature in all its forms at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens[12]. There’s three event suites where you can officially wed – the Terrace Suite with its original domed ceiling, the grand Garden Suite featuring a sub-tropical glasshouse, and the London Suite with a veranda overlooking the Japanese Gardens. And in finer weather, you can enjoy a drinks reception out on the terrace.

READ MORE: A real wedding with garden tipi and festoon lighting[13]

Barnsley HouseCredit: Barnsley House

Barnsley House, Gloucestershire

Barnsley House & Gardens[14] is the perfect location for an intimate outdoor wedding. Exchange vows in front of The Temple, a neo-classical structure with a paved terrace and lily-filled pond, where there’s space for 40 people. Or if your wedding party is a little bigger, the Gothic Summerhouse can seat up to 100.

Eden Project weddingCredit: Alan Law

Eden Project, Cornwall

Looking for a more unusual venue? The Eden Project’s rainforest biome is the largest indoor jungle in the world, with lush foliage and tropical flowers at every turn. For something truly special, receptions after-dark can be held in its Mediterranean Biome, with low lights reflecting on the arched ceiling to create the illusion of a thousand stars.  [15]

Want more inspiration and ideas? Hit ‘like’ on our Wedding Ideas Facebook page[16], and ‘follow’ on our @wimagazine Twitter account[17] to join in the conversation.


  1. ^ Hampton Court Palace (
  2. ^ The Carriage Rooms (
  3. ^ lawn games (
  4. ^ Hayne House (
  5. ^ Jupiter Artland (
  6. ^ READ MORE: A real-life lake wedding fit for a fairytale (
  7. ^ Lucknam Park (
  8. ^ Dewsall Court (
  9. ^ Stonor Park (
  10. ^ Birtsmorton Court (
  11. ^ Notley Abbey (
  12. ^ Birmingham Botanical Gardens (
  13. ^ READ MORE: A real wedding with garden tipi and festoon lighting (
  14. ^ Barnsley House & Gardens (
  15. ^ The Eden Project (
  16. ^ Wedding Ideas Facebook page (
  17. ^ @wimagazine Twitter account (

Wedding venue questions: What to ask before you book

Bride and groom on their wedding dayCredit: James Grist Photography

It’s an exciting time, but before you sign on the dotted line and part with your hard-earned cash, here’s everything you need to ask your wedding venue to secure your dream location…

Wedding venue questions 

The nitty-gritty…

“Do you have public liability insurance?”

Rule number one, boys and girls, this is absolutely non-negotiable. 

“What’s included in the cost?”

Everything you’ve seen on your visit, is it included in the price? Always ask your venue to list everything included in the complete package – and ask whether that price includes VAT, too. Be sure to go into the smaller details such as lighting, mics for the speeches, cutlery, table linens, menu tastings, sound equipment and whether the bridal suite comes as standard. It’s also worth asking if you’re able to pay in instalments, as this can help with your budgeting.[1]

“Are we likely to bump into strangers?” 

Or other brides, for that matter. Many venues are exclusive nowadays but it’s always worth checking if this is something that is important to you. In the same vein, also ask how many weddings the venue does in a day. If your ceremony is in the morning, the last thing you want is to feel rushed out the door because they require the space for an afternoon party.

READ MORE: How to write your wedding guest list [2]

“What’s your minimum and maximum guest allowance?”

There’s no point setting your heart on a venue if it can’t cater to your numbers, so find out what the capacities are and how flexible this is. Most people remember to ask about maximum guest numbers but many forget that some venues require a minimum, too, particularly if it’s exclusive hire. And don’t forget to keep room (both physically and numerically) for your photographer, videographer and musicians. 

“What are we not allowed to do?”

If you have dreams of a grand firework finale[3] but the venue doesn’t permit them, perhaps it’s time to look for somewhere that does. There could also be things in the small print that you wouldn’t even consider asking about, such as, ‘no dancing in heels’, ‘no naked flames’, ‘no confetti’ or a policy on young children. Who knew?!

The logistics…

Wedding flowersCredit: Shutterstock

“Do you have a wet-weather plan?”

Be sure to ask this if you have plans for an outdoor ceremony or drinks reception. It’s also good to know the best spots to have photos taken if the weather decides not to play ball on the big day. [4]

“When can I get into the venue?”

Some will be able to give you the morning to decorate and get yourself ready, others may only be available for a few hours before. Even better is if you can get things set up the evening before, particularly if you’re planning on some serious decorative features. Find out how long you’ll have to set up so you can plan ahead. 

READ MORE: 19 of the best rustic UK barn venues[5]

“How accessible is it?”

Don’t overlook your less-able guests – the last thing you want is for Grandma to be confined to one room, or have to be carried down the steps for the group photos. 

“Will there be an on-the-day coordinator?”

Someone to direct the guests when they start to arrive, to ensure the tablecloths are pristine and the guest book is in the right place – or will you be required to bring someone in yourself? Whoever is set to be there to handle proceedings, ensure you have the chance to meet beforehand, so you can feel comfortable in the knowledge that your day is in safe hands. 

“Will we need to organise a clean-up the next day?”

Because who wants to have to spend their first morning as a married couple picking up the remnants of leftover wedding cake and stacking chairs into a van? Find out if your venue is able to take on Operation-Clean-Up to avoid doing it yourself if possible. 

Party time…

Wedding tableCredit: Shutterstock

“Can we choose our vendors?”

Some venues have a recommended list of suppliers which they prefer their brides to stick to, others are more flexible about who you can bring in. This is especially true when it comes to the catering – many require couples to use their in-house catering team, which, if you had plans of street food stalls and craft beer carts, could be a problem.  [6]

“Can we bring our own alcohol?”

If you can, most will charge a corkage fee, so it’s worth working out what is best for your budget. And if you’d like to supply all the booze, make sure that’s allowed too – some venues only allow it for the toasts. 

“Are there noise restrictions?”

If your venue is near a residential area or similar, it might be the case that the band has to finish up by 10.30pm – it’s good to be aware of your limitations. 

“How many hours do we have?”

A five- to six-hour wedding is standard, including the ceremony, cocktail hour, meal and dancing – but find out beforehand what time the venue is licensed until. Remember, as tempting as it can be to want to party into the small hours, it’s been a long day for everyone and a midnight finish is usually a good time – before things get messy. 

And finally…

“Can I get that in writing?”

Make sure you ask for everything that is verbally offered to you to be put in writing so you are clear about what has been agreed, then run through it with your venue coordinator a few days before the big day. 

Want more wedding information and inspiration? Hit ‘like’ on our Wedding Ideas Facebook page[7], and ‘follow’ on our @wimagazine Twitter account[8] to join in the conversation.


  1. ^ budgeting. (
  2. ^ READ MORE: How to write your wedding guest list  (
  3. ^ grand firework finale (
  4. ^ if the weather decides not to play ball (
  5. ^ READ MORE: 19 of the best rustic UK barn venues (
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  7. ^ Wedding Ideas Facebook page (
  8. ^ @wimagazine Twitter account (

Wedding venues by the sea: The perfect venues for couples in love with the coast

Seaside-wedding-theme- EMMALUCYPHOTOGRAPHY.COM-KITTY-AND-DULCIE-DRESSCredit: Emma Lucy Photography

We round up the best wedding venues by the sea for couples who are as much in love with the seaside as they are with each other…

The Headland Hotel, Cornwall

The Headland Hotel in CornwallThe Headland Hotel, Cornwall

The Headland Hotel is a grand Victorian redbrick mansion with a prime position on a clifftop overlooking the sandy shores of Fistral Beach. The hotel can host up to 200 for a sit-down wedding breakfast[1], though also has spaces suitable for smaller groups. With elegant interiors and ocean views, it’s hard to beat for a wow-factor wedding![2]

Clovelly, North Devon

wedding at Clovelly in DevonClovelly, North Devon

Clovelly is a privately owned village situated in stunning north Devon, with a ceremony venue nestled within the Clovelly court gardens. Choose from a cliff-top summer house reception or the Great Terrace within the grounds of the estate, or maybe the two lovely hotels in the village that are available for exclusive hire.[3]

Hayne House, Hythe

Hayne House in KentCredit: Jeff Oliver Photography

Situated in Saltwood, on the Kent coast, Hayne House is an enchanting venue on a private family estate. Tie the knot in one of two beautiful ceremony spaces, including the new purpose-built orangery and the romantic oak-framed porch – both of which have capacity for up to 120 guests.[4]

Read more: Real weddings: A laidback celebration on the Dorset coast[5]

The Grand Hotel, Eastbourne

The Grand Hotel, Eastbourne, weddingThe Grand Hotel, Eastbourne

Affectionately known as ‘the white palace’, five-star The Grand Hotel is a striking Victorian property located on Eastbourne’s seafront. A sweeping driveway and marble interiors add to the majestic feel. It has three licensed rooms for ceremonies, and a selection of spaces to host up to 200 sit-down guests.[6]

Tunnels Beaches, Devon 

Tunnels Beaches wedding venueTunnels Beaches, Devon

Beautiful scenery, private secluded beaches, spectacular sunsets and a relaxed, informal and friendly atmosphere await at Tunnels. Fully licensed for wedding ceremonies within a thatched gazebo overlooking the sea, or inside the contemporary bespoke venue building, it hosts up to 120 day guests and 160 evening guests.[7]

The Alexandra Hotel, Dorset

The Alexandra Hotel, DorsetThe Alexandra Hotel, Dorset

Perched on a cliff top, overlooking the harbour and Lyme Bay, with the glistening azure sea beyond, boutique bolthole The Alexandra is a dreamy venue for a chic wedding on the coast. Set in its own private gardens, which slope down towards the ocean, there is direct access to the sandy beach below.[8]

Carbis Bay Hotel, Cornwall

Carbis Bay Hotel in CornwallCarbis Bay Hotel, Cornwall

From the classic to the quirky, Carbis Bay Hotel offers weddings to suit everyone, from an intimate ceremony for a handful of people to a grand celebration with a firework finale[9] on the privately owned beach. You can enjoy some pre-wedding pampering in the spa and post-wedding celebrations can take place on the hotel’s Sunseeker yacht.[10]

READ MORE: Six of the prettiest beach wedding photo ideas[11]

Cary Arms & Spa, South Devon

Cary Arms & Spa in North DevonCary Arms & Spa, South Devon

Set in a remarkable position overlooking Babbacombe Bay, Cary Arms & Spa offers versatile accommodation for you and your guests including eight new beach huts and suites, which are set just feet from the sea and boast mezzanine beds with outstanding views. You can celebrate at The Cary Arms with up to 40 day guests and 80 for the evening.[12]

Knoll House, Dorset

Knoll House in DorsetKnoll House, Dorset 

Knoll House is an iconic hotel located on the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset, and has historically played host to guests including Enid Blyton and Winston Churchill. A ceremony in the Garden Room is suitable for 60 sit-down guests and a total of 100 in the evening. With floor-to-ceiling windows, you will be surrounded by panoramic views of the Studland Peninsula beyond.[13]

Ackergill Tower, Caithness, Scotland

Ackergill Tower, ScotlandAckergill Tower, Scotland

For more than 600 years, Ackergill Tower has stood majestically above the rugged shoreline at Sinclair Bay on the northernmost tip of Scotland. Not just a five-star hotel, Ackergill boasts a 3,000-acre estate, which is the perfect setting for grand weddings and incredible photographs. What makes Ackergill Tower truly unique, though, is that it houses Europe’s largest, and most luxurious, treehouse for a post-wedding stay.[14]

The Royal Hotel, Isle of Wight

The Royal Hotel on the Isle of WightThe Royal Hotel, Isle of Wight 

Host your very own royal wedding at this idyllic venue, situated on the Isle of Wight. Once frequented by Queen Victoria, the historic Royal Hotel boasts stunning period décor, with rooms to suit both lavish events and low-key celebrations. If you’ve got your heart set on an outdoor party, marquees can also be erected in the hotel grounds.[15]

L’Horizon Beach Hotel, Jersey

L'Horizon Beach Hotel, JerseyL’Horizon Beach Hotel, Jersey

L’Horizon Beach Hotel & Spa is located right on St Brelade’s Bay in Jersey, offering wedding couples pristine white sand and uninterrupted sunsets. L’Horizon is fully licensed for weddings in the Crystal Room for up to 240 guests or the Atlantic Room for more intimate weddings of 50, and also has 106 bedrooms and an extensive spa.[16]

Bailiffscourt Hotel, West Sussex

Bailiffscourt HotelBailiffscourt Hotel, West Sussex

With medieval architecture and picturesque views of the Sussex countryside, Bailiffscourt is a charming venue situated just a few yards from Climping Beach in Arundel. Licensed for up to 300 guests and set within 30 acres of luscious parkland, the hotel offers a wonderfully romantic setting in which to host your special day.[17]

The Hythe Imperial Hotel, Kent

The Hythe Imperial Hotel in KentThe Hythe Imperial Hotel, Kent

The Hythe Imperial Hotel is Kent’s best kept secret – a beautifully styled Victorian property right on the beautiful coastline of Hythe. It’s also one of the largest venues in the county. The location itself is romantic, and the building is spectacular – newly refurbished, elegantly styled suites, a magnificent ballroom with sea views
and formal gardens.[18]

The Beach at Bude, Cornwall

The Beach at Bude weddingsThe Beach at Bude, Cornwall 

The Beach at Bude is a boutique hotel, bar and restaurant in north Cornwall, boasting uninterrupted views over Summerleaze Beach and the Atlantic Ocean. The renowned restaurant and bar can seat 95 guests comfortably, and the expansive terrace provides a perfect spot to enjoy celebratory drinks in the sunshine.[19]

The View Hotel, Eastbourne

The View Hotel in EastbourneThe View Hotel, Eastbourne

With a gorgeous coastal backdrop and space for up to 120 guests, the newly-refurbished Horizon Suite at The View Hotel provides the perfect space for a beautiful wedding breakfast. For a smaller occasion, opt for the Martello Suite, which features beautiful floor-to-ceiling views overlooking the English Channel.[20]

The Old Ship Hotel, Brighton

The Old Ship Hotel, BrightonThe Old Ship Hotel, Brighton

Part of The Cairn Collection and standing proud overlooking the iconic Brighton seafront is The Old Ship Hotel. Say ‘I do’ to a backdrop of a beautiful sea view from this hotel which combines modern design and original period features. It has five function rooms and can accommodate weddings for up to 180 wedding breakfast guests and 250 evening guests. [21]

The Old Quay House, Cornwall

The Old Quay House, CornwallThe Old Quay House, Cornwall

The Old Quay House is a beautiful boutique hotel located in the small coastal town of Fowey. The 11-room property is perched on the water’s edge overlooking the Fowey Estuary, providing a dreamy backdrop. With the option to marry in either the waterfront restaurant or penthouse suite, the Old Quay House is able to seat 38 people.[22]

Would you get married by the sea? Hit ‘like’ on our Wedding Ideas Facebook page[23], and ‘follow’ on our @wimagazine Twitter account[24] to join in the conversation.


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  11. ^ READ MORE: Six of the prettiest beach wedding photo ideas (
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