The Long and the Short of it.

How to decide which wedding venues you really want to see

We picked out wedding venues we liked the look of at first glance to build our long list. We decided that once we knew what we wanted in terms of appearance, we could then get down to the nitty gritty of each one. We sat down together and went through the categories that appealed to us on Hitched – small, intimate, all-in-one and so on. I also spent a significant amount of time on my Pinterest app searching for venue types and ‘UK wedding venues’ which caught my eye. We narrowed it down slightly by zoning into a rather broad location, which was anywhere in between Bristol and Manchester, due to where our families are based.

By visiting a few on our long list without much information on each, we realised that they ending up coming up short in terms of our expectations. That’s when Dan decided to create a way we could make sure each one ticked all the boxes. After fully utilising the venue websites in order to discover what made each one special, we built our short list and came up with a grand total of 11 wedding venues. We put each venue out on our short list through the test.

My ever analytical husband-to-be organised the scoring system for the 11 venues on our shortlist. Based on a score of 1 to 5, we rated each venue on their looks, food and drink options, accommodation, flexibility and price. The aim was to narrow down the ones we were going to dedicate a visit to. While I scoffed at his plans to begin with, it actually worked well in terms of a reality check on what we really wanted.

Out of the group of 11, we visited 6. Have a look at the West Bride Story Pinterest page to view the wedding venue lists.

Wedding Venue Rating System
Wedding Venue Rating System

During each venue visit, we found that the venue capacity was really important to us, as we didn’t have many guests to fill a big space, and we didn’t want it looking sparse. We also decided that accommodation on site would be a huge bonus, as we love the idea of having close family and friends all together in the same space. It also means we can worry less about the travel and wake up to a group breakfast the next morning. And of course budget and catering were deciding factors – but aren’t they for all?

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