Six Things To Do After Getting Engaged

So he’s popped the question! You’re officially engaged and riding the high, but what do you do next? Here’s everything you need to do after getting engaged. Brace yourself for the best time of your life.

signing the register Six Things To Do After Getting

Six Things To Do After Getting Engaged

Have a breather

It’s a big moment so make sure you enjoy every secondAfterwardsfterward, take some time to let it sink in. Get those nails finely manicured in preparation for the roadshow you’re about to take that ring on. For the first couple of weeks, try not to worry about the wedding or planning, simply revel in the moment.

Who to tell first and how

Whilst an announcement on social media seems an exciting and more effective way of telling more people in one go, its’s not always the best. It can go a long way to call close family and friends first to announce the big news. You could even use it as an excuse to have a family get together and make the announcement together. Then on, course, share online.


Marriage takes two people and a lot of careful decision making. Therefore, your brainstorming sessions should include everything from the general feel and look of the room, through to the specific venue, location and the food. Having a brainstorming session together makes the wedding planning so much more collaborative and exciting. There will always be some things which appear on both yours and your partners’ wish lists which you can use to build the foundations of your special day.

champagne reception Six Things To Do After Getting Engaged!

The Budget

Once you know what you want, the best way to kick-start the process is, to begin with the venue search and getting some quotes. Asking friends who have recently got married is also very insightful. From there you can begin to really figure out how long it will take you to save up for the wedding of your dreams.

RELATED: How Romantic Was Your Partner With Their Proposal To YOU?! Find Out Where He/She Is On The Romance Scale! [1]

Be Open Minded

When you’re on the hunt for a wedding venue, don’t be too quick to discount those which don’t have everything you want. It’s similar to buying a house, when you find the right one it will just feel right and you will be able to overlook the fact it may not everything on your list. It is recommended to always view a variety of places before paying a deposit.

Remain Strong

Once you announce you’re engaged you will no doubt be inundated with people offering a helping hand. Although this can be helpful, remember it’s your big day and not theirs. If Aunt Sally thinks 80’s style plastic flowers are a must if it’s not what you want to remember you can just say no.


Want more wedding information and inspiration? Just hit ‘Like’ on our Wedding Ideas Facebook page, and ‘Follow’ on our @wimagazine Twitter account.To join in the conversation, share your stories here.[3][4][5]


  1. ^ Find Out Where He/She Is On The Romance Scale!  (
  2. ^
  3. ^ Wedding Ideas Facebook page (
  4. ^ @wimagazine Twitter account. (
  5. ^ here (

Intimate Wedding Venues for Small Weddings

If you’re opting for a smaller guest list you’ll want a pick of the best intimate wedding venues. The romance and location quite literally set the scene for the day making it one of the most important decisions at the start of wedding planning.

hotel at dusk Intimate Wedding Venues for Small Weddings

Intimate Wedding Venues for Small Weddings

Bingham, Richmond

A chic riverside hotel with a restaurant that glows over the Thames come twilight. The Bingham[1] in Richmond is made of two Grade II listed 18th-century houses and run by a mother and daughter team. While its event space allows for up to 100 seated guests, the hotel has 15 bedrooms allowing for up to 30 people to stay overnight. Hire the whole hotel and choose from a casual barbecue by the water or a formal five-course wedding breakfast.

spotlight lit hotel Intimate Wedding Venues for Small Weddings

Lower Barns, St Austell

In the Cornish countryside near St Austell, Lower Barns[2] brings together one-of-a-kind furnishings and a bold maelstrom of textures. The hotel creates an upbeat feel in their rural home and a fun and quirky environment for small and intimate weddings. The quirky bedrooms with freestanding baths or a custom-made breakfast bars are real conversation starters. Spend the evening before your nuptials stargazing from the outdoor hot tub and unwinding in style.

Kissing newlyweds behind LOVE sign Intimate Wedding Venues for Small Weddings

Green Oak Barn, Berwick

Perfect for wine lovers, Green Oak Barn[3] is a reconstructed Sussex barn in easy reach of an impressive collection of English vintages. In the grounds, there is a further series of barns, including one dating back to the 17th-century. It’s open from May to September and the venue allows you to decorate as you choose. It has been beautifully decked out like a Hardy-esque country wedding. You can precede the main entertainment with drinks and canapés in their English garden designed by Chelsea Gold-winner Roger Platts.

library bar Intimate Wedding Venues for Small Weddings

Cley Windmill, Norfolk

For something a little different on the Norfolk coast, Cley Windmill[4] is a B&B with tonnes of character. It’s set in a 19th-century grinding mill surrounded by open fields and perfect for intimate wedding ceremonies.  It has a restaurant and a beautiful round Sitting Room too, which can hold up to 22 people. Given the intimacy of the space, it’s all about bespoke occasions whether you opt for a daytime or evening occasion. However, we’re particularly fond of the candlelight dinner option.

windmill wedding venue Intimate Wedding Venues for Small Weddings

Pentillie Castle, Cornwall

In a timelessly elegant fairytale setting, surrounded by woodland and overlooking the River Tamar lies Pentillie Castle.[5] Built in 1698, it has remained in the same family for more than 300 years. It is surprisingly spacious and classic, with 55 acres of gardens to roam in. It’s a wonderful place to feel like royalty and to welcome guests to a special occasion. Say your vows in the romantic Victorian Bathing Hut on the banks of the Tamar or on the Terrace if you prefer. You can furthermore tailor the rest of your day to suit you and your nearest and dearest as you please.

castle venue Intimate Wedding Venues for Small Weddings

Romney Bay House, Kent

This beautiful 1920s mansion in a spectacular location amidst wild marshland scattered with ancient churches. Romney Bay House Hote[6]l is a spectacular place for a small and intimate wedding reception. Plus, you can hire the whole hotel for up to 20 guests and take the whole hotel for an entire weekend from May to September.

UNMISSABLE Locations For The MOST Intimate Wedding Venues: Romney Bay

Hever Castle B&B, Edenbridge

Hever Castle[7] is probably best known as the home of famed and fated wife of Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn. Today the magnificent 13th-century property is not only a spectacular attraction, but it’s also open for wedding hire. There are multiple spaces in this historic location so you can have a wedding of any size here. However, in the castle’s inner hall, there is the perfect amount of space for 60 ceremony guests and 40 wedding breakfast attendees. What could be more spectacular?

Anne Boelyn's house Intimate Wedding Venues for Small Weddings

The Cavendish, Baslow

In the grounds of the Chatsworth estate, owned by the Duke of Devonshire, The Cavendish[8] fuses a regal vibe with a country chic feel. Beautifully kept and magnificent views in the un-spoilt Peak District National Park. It’s a bit of a fairytale fantasy with space for 18 in The Boardroom, 10 in The Private Dining Room or 42 in The Gallery Restaurant.

Room in the Cavendish Intimate Wedding Venues for Small Weddings

Fischer’s at Baslow Hall, Baslow

Built in 1907 and set within five acres of grounds, Fischer’s at Baslow Hall is a charming manor house surrounded by elegant gardens. In the village of Baslow, it too is on the edge of the magnificent Chatsworth Estate. It welcomes intimate weddings of 10 guests or more who can stay in the 11 bedrooms that the hotel offers.

Fischer's at Baslow Intimate Wedding Venues for Small Weddings

Tuddenham Mill, Suffolk

The 18th-century mill has been delightfully renovated with a modern flair is surrounded by 12 acres of grounds. Tuddenham Mill[9] can cater for weddings of up to 60 people and is complete with chic interiors, old wooden beams and views over the millpond. The restaurant serves an elegant but contemporary menu. For those who want to keep it even smaller, the Terrace Room is a charming private dining room, ideal for intimate affairs of up to 36 people.

Tuddenham Mill Intimate Wedding Venues for Small Weddings

From a selection of UK hotel wedding venues[10]


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. ^ Bingham (
  2. ^ Lower Barns (
  3. ^ Green Oak Barn (
  4. ^ Cley Windmill (
  5. ^ Pentillie Castle. (
  6. ^ Romney Bay House Hote (
  7. ^ Hever Castle (
  8. ^ The Cavendish (
  9. ^ Tuddenham Mill (
  10. ^ UK hotel wedding venues (
  11. ^
  12. ^ Wedding Ideas Facebook page (
  13. ^ @wimagazine Twitter account (

Seven historic wedding venues to make your day one to remember

Eltham Palace wedding receptionEltham Palace

All managed by the English Heritage Trust, these seven historic wedding venues allow you to immerse yourself in the past and write the next chapter in your own history

English Heritage[1] cares for hundreds of historic places with amazing stories to tell, but it doesn’t just conserve these sites behind closed doors – hundreds of couples are welcomed each and every year to celebrate their weddings in the grandest of styles at castles, palaces and stately homes. Here’s seven of our favourite locations where you can say ‘I do’…

Osborne Isle of Wight

Osborne, Isle of Wight

Best for: Coastal Weddings

Osborne is a stunning Italianate house set amid glorious gardens and a sweeping estate –and it even has its own private beach.

It’s a venue fit for royalty – it was once the seaside retreat of Queen Victoria and her beloved Prince Albert. Victoria described Osborne as “a perfect little paradise”, and Albert helped to design the house and the gardens. Theirs was one of the great romances of English history, and today you can hold your own wedding in the house that this royal couple called home.

With a range of sumptuous rooms in the house and flexible outdoor spaces throughout the estate – including a private beach – Osborne is the perfect venue for your wedding, whether you’re planning a grand party for thousands of guests or an intimate occasion for a handful of family and friends.

Eltham Palace London exterior

Eltham Palace, London

Best for: Stately Home Weddings

The decadence of art deco meets the magnificence of the medieval era at Eltham Palace, which recently won a bronze award at the London Venue Awards. Once the boyhood home of Henry VIII, it was transformed in the 1930s by Virginia and Stephen Courtauld. They were wealthy socialites who loved entertaining their guests in style, and you can do the same as you celebrate your big day in this remarkable venue.

There are several wonderful spaces to choose from. You can exchange your vows under the domed roof in the curved Entrance Hall, enjoy drinks on the terrace or the drawing room, and dine in splendour in the grand medieval Great Hall with its stunning hammer-beamed ceiling.

Wrest Park Bedfordshire exterior

Wrest Park, Bedfordshire

Best for: Stately Home Weddings

Wrest Park is a chateau-inspired country house set amid show-stopping grounds filled with sweeping waterways, woodland avenues and charming garden buildings.

In the 19th century Wrest was a venue for glittering dinners and balls put on by its owners, the aristocratic de Grey family. Choose to hold your wedding in either the elegant formal rooms on the ground floor, the dazzling glass orangery or a in marquee in the gardens.

Pendennis Castle

Pendennis Castle, Cornwall

Best for: Castle Weddings

Pendennis Castle sits on a grassy headland on the windswept Cornish coast. This Tudor fortress guarded Falmouth’s docks for hundreds of years and provides stunning views of the estuary and the seas that surround it.

Your wedding can be held in the atmospheric keep, in a marquee on the castle’s lawns or in the Edwardian Royal Artillery Barracks, which has recently been transformed into a stylish banqueting suite with a choice of contemporary rooms to host your reception.

Ranger's House London exterior

Ranger’s House, London

Best for: City weddings

This handsome Georgian redbrick villa on the edge of Greenwich Park is packed full of priceless treasures from the collection of a Victorian diamond magnate. You can hold your wedding in the Gallery, where the walls are lined with paintings and chandeliers throw sparkling light onto the wooden floors below.

The Walled Garden is a secluded spot for your guests to enjoy drinks and canapés on the lawn, or to dance the night away in a marquee. 

Old Wardour castle Wiltshire 

Old Wardour Castle, Wiltshire

Best for: Castle weddings

Old Wardour Castle is a charming six-sided castle set within a wooded valley in the heart of the Wiltshire countryside.

During its golden years Old Wardour Castle would have been a hive of activity, but damage during the Civil War left it a picturesque ruin. Weddings can be held in a room inside the castle or beneath the towering entrance arch. There’s also an airy Pavilion dating back to the 18th century that’s perfect for ceremonies, drinks, dinner and summer entertaining.

Kenwood London exterior

Kenwood, London

Best for: city weddings

This glittering white mansion offers a taste of rural life in the heart of the city. Perched on the fringes of Hampstead Heath, Kenwood was built as a country retreat in the 18th century, and today it is still surrounded by greenery, boasting commanding views over the famous buildings of central London.

You can hold your wedding in range of rooms inside the house itself, or dance and dine beneath the canopy of a marquee in the flower garden.


READ MORE: Still searching for the perfect place to host your big day? Let our wedding venue directory lead the way…[2]

Want more wedding information and inspiration? Just hit ‘Like’ on our Wedding Ideas Facebook page[3], and ‘Follow’ on our @wimagazine Twitter account[4] to join in the conversation.

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 most unusual wedding venues in the UK

Hill Farm

Annie Quinton rounds up the most unusual wedding venues in the UK, from treehouses to derelict bomb shelters

Dulwich Picture Gallery

Marry amongst some of the finest Baroque art at Dulwich Picture Gallery[1]; the oldest public art gallery in UK.

Licensed for civil ceremonies with room for up to 150 guests, weddings will get access to the gardens as well as the gallery, where you can tie the knot surrounded by hundreds of years of art history.

Host an elegant reception on a long table in the Soane Gallery, or make use of the venue’s grounds with a marquee reception for up to 400.

Islington Metal Works

Located just behind Angel station, three-storey music venue The Islington Metal Works[2] is steeped in history. In the 19th century, it was used to stable tram horses, before being converted into a metal works.

Much of the building has since been restored and is ideal for those who want an industrial Victorian aesthetic for their big day.

There are five bars across all floors – including its famous tube carriage cocktail bar – as well as an indoor barbecue area, professional sound system and space for 1,000 standing guests.

Hill Farm House marqueeSet in a 10-acre smallholding on the edge of a quaint village, Hill Farm House[3] is the perfect rustic country venue.

Its traditional Raj-style marquee stands in Home Close Field, which you’ll be able to decorate to your exacting tastes; the team has a great selection of contacts, whether you’re after vintage props or bold lighting.

Catering is totally up to you too, with room for up to 120 guests on trestle tables. However, if you’d prefer something a little more intimate, there’s also a charming ‘secret garden’ space for smaller celebrations.

The Midland

Built in the 1930s, The Midland hotel[4] sits on Morecambe seafront and is one of the finest examples of art deco architecture the country has to offer; it’s a modernist vision of marble, mosaics and curvaceous shapes.

You can tie the knot in one of three wedding suites with views across the bay, and enjoy a seated reception for up to 136 after the legal bit is done, complete with space for dancing and a private bar, too.

It’s the perfect venue if you’re planning a  vintage-style wedding – the dedicated in-house planning team are on hand to help you source everything you’d need for a celebration worthy of a certain Mr J Gatsby.


Nestled beneath a woodland canopy in the grounds of Alnwick Garden[5], wed in true fairytale style at the Treehouse.

High above the ground, its evening ceremonies can host 65, with room for up to 120 for a reception. The private decking, bar facilities and aerial walkways provide an intimate space to celebrate, as well as providing many opportunities for unique wedding photos.

It’s excellent menu, featuring locally produced food, hand selected wines and decadent cocktails, is sure to impress too.

SS Great Britain

Once the longest passenger ship in the world, the SS Great Britain[6] now resides in a dry dock in Bristol harbour, and plays host to a number of weddings every year.

Exchange your vows beneath a glass skylight on The Promenade Deck, then head to the First Class Dining Saloon – an impressive space with marble pillars and rococo mirrors – for an on-board wedding breakfast. Close the night in the Hayward Saloon, which has its own bar and dancefloor.

The Boiler House Cardiff

Another ideal space for art aficionados, The Boiler House[7] in Cardiff is for slightly more contemporary tastes. Painted quarterly by professional graffiti crews from around the UK, the walls really are the canvas in this unique venue.

The space features a mezzanine floor with vintage furniture and festoon lighting, an excellent bar service with craft lagers and local ales and a concrete area perfect for a food truck. However, the venue isn’t licensed, so the legal bit needs to be held elsewhere.

Polhawn Fort, Cornwall

Constructed in the 1860s, Polhawn Fort[8] was built to protect Devon and Cornwall’s south coast from attack by sea. Today, however, it features in happier occasions – perched atop the cliff with panoramic sea views, it makes for an idyllic spot to say your vows.

You can marry within the fort’s walls – The Grand Napoleonic Hall seats 120, or the smaller Emperors Room up to 30 – or have a garden ceremony at the Summerhouse overlooking the breathtaking Whitsand Bay.

The Asylum

Unlike any venue you’ll have ever seen before, Asylum Chapel[9] in Peckham was bombed during World War Two, and still bears the scars; built in 1826, the lofty space is derelict yet compelling, with stained glass windows and Victorian features.

With room for up to 120 guests, the Chapel is a ceremony-only venue, so although you’ll need to host your reception elsewhere, you can enjoy post-ceremony drinks and canapés here after the important bit is done.

Dress the space with flowers, candles and fabric and you’ll have an eerily beautiful space that your guests will never forget.

Marylebone Rooms

The Marylebone Rooms[10], situated at the hotel of the same name, is a collection of stylish spaces perfect for any kind of celebration. Located up on the terrace, The Courtyard is the perfect place for a cosy wedding reception in the heart of the city.

Encased within a garden wall, the space features a retractable roof to protect from sudden downpours and an open fire for that cosy feel. It can seat 24 for a sit-down meal, or 40 for a drinks reception.

National Museum of Scotland

Celebrate your big day in the unique setting of the National Museum of Scotland[11]. From an intimate rooftop ceremony to an evening reception for 500, its striking galleries and private rooms will play host to your nuptials, however you imagine it.

The Grand Gallery – with its sweeping staircases and glass-roofed atrium would make a truly spectacular backdrop. Whatever you decide, the museum’s events team are on hand to help you plan the entire day, from props and entertainment to catering.


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. ^ Dulwich Picture Gallery (
  2. ^ The Islington Metal Works (
  3. ^ Hill Farm House (
  4. ^ The Midland hotel (
  5. ^ Alnwick Garden (
  6. ^ SS Great Britain (
  7. ^ The Boiler House (
  8. ^ Polhawn Fort (
  9. ^ Asylum Chapel (
  10. ^ The Marylebone Rooms (
  11. ^ National Museum of Scotland (
  12. ^ Wedding Ideas Facebook page (
  13. ^ @wimagazine Twitter account (

Couples in England might finally be allowed to get married outside

Bride and groomCredit: iStock

A review into marriage laws in the UK could see couples tying the knot outdoors, and in less expensive venues, too

You might want to rethink your wedding plans in light of recent news about marriage laws in England. Because, at last, it looks as though couples may finally be able to tie the knot outside for the first time ever.

The review into marriage laws in the UK has reportedly been put forward by Chancellor Philip Hammond, who said he wants to make the “outdated” rules around wedding venues much simpler, by reducing red tape.

READ MORE: How to make your wedding budget go further[1]

This should help to bring down the costs of getting married in England and Wales quite considerably, too, as it allows couples to tie the knot in pubs, restaurants and other less expensive venues.

To get a licence, a venue must currently have a specific area where the ceremony will take place. It also needs to be part of a building rather than in the open air or in a marquee.

The licence holder must also ensure that no food or alcoholic drinks are sold or consumed in the area one hour before and after the ceremony takes place.

The expected review of the current laws, however, should see this overturned, allowing British couples to not only get married outside, but also share a drink with their guests immediately after they’ve exchange vows.

The average cost of venue hire for a wedding in the UK is £4,500, but in this shake-up, it’s hope the cost of saying ‘I do’ should be significantly slashed.

READ MORE: Wedding dresses under £1,000 for brides on a budget[2]

What do you think of this news? Just hit ‘Like’ on our Wedding Ideas Facebook page[3], and ‘Follow’ on our @wimagazine Twitter account[4] to join in the conversation.

How to find the perfect Asian wedding venue

Ewelina Styczynska from Holiday Inn Wembley shares her top tips for finding the perfect Asian wedding venue[1]

Are you planning your dream Shaadi with visions of colour, dancing and tradition, supported by all your relatives? Or perhaps you’re considering a more intimate affair, and would prefer to keep it simplistically modern.

Either way, getting the right venue for your Asian wedding will dictate the success of every wedding detail that follows. Before you get started, here are a few tips…

Know your timeline

Working out your timeline will shape the whole planning process of your venue search and beyond. If you have a tight deadline of eight weeks, for example, your criteria and itinerary will look very different to planning 18 months in advance.

READ MORE: Wedding venue questions – what to ask before you book[2]

Part of your strategy should be drafting out a list of priorities to work out where the flexibility lies, i.e. if you have a meaningful date for the big day that is non-negotiable, having a shortlist of various venues will be helpful to ensure availability.

Draft your guest list

Before you fall in love with the perfect venue, brainstorm your must-have attendees to get an idea of the guest list size.

Allow leeway to account for overseas distant relatives that may not be able to make the journey, or new faces that you get to know along the way who deserve a last-minute invite. Perhaps choose a hotel venue that can accommodate guests overnight alongside the wedding to keep the party going.

Set the tone

Choosing your wedding’s theme and assessing its compatibility with potential venues will ensure there are no unwanted surprises down the line. If you intended on having an indoor firework display but the venue in question has regulations against it, you may not readily find this information straight away, unless you ask.

Wedding venueHoliday Inn, Wembley

Ultimately, the biggest day of your life should reflect your personality as a couple, whether that’s through the traditional vibrancy of a sangeet night, or a sophisticated black-tie event. Even the smaller details like decoration of the mandap (should you wish to have one) play a big part in assessing whether the venue is a good match.

Showcase your culture through catering

Food is increasingly playing a significant part in determining the success of major life events. As it doesn’t get more important than your wedding day, nailing the spread is imperative.

You should find out from the prospective venue if they allow dry hire (this refers to outside catering), and if not, whether their in-house team are fully qualified in authentically cooking and presenting your preferred cuisine.

Choose a venue that understands your vision

When looking round a venue, be sure to do a lot of listening as well as talking. It’s easy for a wedding planner to smile and nod with every request you make, but try to take the time to really understand if they’ve bought into your vision and the significance of your culture (and/or religion).

READ MORE: How to make your dream wedding more affordable[3]

Traditionally, in Indian culture, a marriage focuses on a new union of the whole family and your wedding hosts should appreciate that. When you’re on the same page, the projection of your dream will be achieved a lot more easily!

Find out more at[4]

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. ^ wedding venue (
  2. ^ READ MORE: Wedding venue questions – what to ask before you book (
  3. ^ READ MORE: How to make your dream wedding more affordable (
  4. ^ (
  5. ^ Wedding Ideas Facebook page (
  6. ^ @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 (

Review: Donnington Valley Hotel & Spa

Donnington Valley Hotel

In the market for a serene spa experience? Treat yourself to a pampering pick-me-up at the Donnington Valley Hotel

Donnington Valley[1] Hotel & Spa is located in the heart of the countryside just outside Newbury. Built in the early 90s, the building is covered in ivy and surrounded by beautiful grounds and adjoining golf course, so even though it’s only a 10-minute drive to Newbury Station you feel as though you have escaped!

All the rooms are simply but elegantly furnished with marble bathrooms and the obligatory Egyptian cotton sheets. Bath robes and complimentary slippers are in your room, so you can completely relax by changing and then strolling down to the spa for a dip or a treatment.

Hot rocks spa treatment

READ MORE: Wedding venue questions – what to ask before you book[2]

There’s a decent sized pool, jacuzzi and several steam rooms including an aromatherapy room where you can sit and breathe in lovely herbal essences. We treated ourselves to aromatherapy massages perfect as a pampering pick-me up and afterwards, chilled out in the very relaxing relaxation lounge which overlooks the grounds. There are several different spa day packages which makes it very easy to find one to suit you.

The two AA rosette award-winning restaurant has a lively, informal atmosphere where the wine list is incredibly comprehensive, so you’d be hard pushed not to find a glass of something to like. The head chef has designed dishes that can be enjoyed with friends, such as sharing platters and carve-your-own Sunday roasts which all adds to the sociability of the dining experience here.

Donnington Valley Hotel

READ MORE: Review – The Runnymede On Thames Hotel[3]

It would be hard to ignore the 18-hole golf course as you can pretty much see the course from every hotel window – it’s an immaculate course, so if you or your other half fancied a round then there’s equipment hire and professionals on hand. Or you can just enjoy sipping a cocktail at dusk watching the sun set over the 18th hole.

This a great place for a little R&R and the perfect location for a weekend break if you want to do some exploring with the Cotswolds, Oxfordshire and the South cost on its doorstep.

Signature Spa break includes a three-course dinner and spa day, prices start from £151pp. Visit[4]

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. ^ Donnington Valley (
  2. ^ READ MORE: Wedding venue questions – what to ask before you book (
  3. ^ READ MORE: Review – The Runnymede On Thames Hotel (
  4. ^ (
  5. ^ Wedding Ideas Facebook page (
  6. ^ @wimagazine Twitter account (