All brides experience it. Some are consumed by it. Others are excited about it. What is it? The overwhelming panic which takes hold after engagement excitement is waning: choosing the perfect venue and consequently, setting the date. But it’s not just any venue; it’s the location where you will spend the happiest day of your life, to be remembered by you, your whole family and, if successful, everyone in attendance. So, understandably there is some pressure with this important initial decision. Unless you’re someone who has had their wedding mapped out since birth, or going to wed in the church where your mother, grandmother, great grandmother, etc were married themselves, the options seem endless. How can anyone enjoy their day if Grandfather is cold? Or the whole day is ruined as the photographs were meant to be taken outside but due to the massive storm (hail in summer!?) there is nowhere picturesque enough inside and everyone is crammed into the conservatory? Regrettably, the weather might not be within your control but finding the romantic, idealistic setting you’ve dreamt about, could become reality.
Unfortunately not everyone is the Duchess of Cambridge and with our vows we won’t be marrying a future King. But your day can be just as memorable, beautifully breathtaking and all eyes will be on you! A regal atmosphere is easily recreated in Skibo Castle in Dornoch, Scotland, which seems to offer everything. From landscaped gardens, parklands and the Dornoch Firth to naturally dramatic scenery, this venue exudes tranquility and luxury. Every inch of this location is picture perfect for a Princess wedding.
Continuing along this theme, Eltham Palace built in the 1930s is one of the finest examples of art deco in Britain. The stunning architecture instantly creates an impressive and striking atmosphere before the wedding has even taken place!
Castles and palaces are not the only locations in the countryside. Country manors and barns are a fabulous way to spend your day combining magnificent landscapes with a more low-key event, in particular Dodford Manor. Nestled in the rolling hills of the Midlands, Dodford Manor offers a range of barns built from the 1860s. An intimate gathering in a friendly environment suggests a more relaxed wedding but this doesn’t mean that charm and grace have been forgotten. Elegance and style heighten the magical feel of the rustic barns and the beautiful countryside creates a unique and isolating mood.
Surrounded by conifers and pines, The Rhinefield House Hotel, set in The New Forest, is the essence of luxury. Built in the 1800’s yet recently refurbished this venue seems to combine both historical grandeur with a modern twist. The serenity of the countryside is sure to dismiss any wedding nerves and jitters. There is something for everyone; gardens for children to exhaust themselves after devouring the wedding cake to romantic midnight strolls and exquisite interiors with traditional fireplaces where you can happily spend the entire night discussing the delights of the day.
Having concentrated on the countryside, can the same same magical qualities be recreated in the city? Will London compare to the idealistic setting of the countryside and castles? The Dorchester Hotel, Mayfair, is perhaps one of the most elegant hotels in London. Offering a range of different sized banqueting rooms, there is something to suit everyone’s taste, from a small personal gathering to a more traditional, larger wedding, The Dorchester certainly has the answer! Bursting at the seams with grandeur and charm, it is a truly overwhelming setting.
A traditional wedding might not be everyone’s preference but alternatives do exist, such as The Absolut Icebar in London. Saying ‘I do’ in sub-zero temperatures surrounded by fantastic ice sculptures is certainly a novel idea! The Natural History Museum could also be the perfect location for an usual wedding. Having added dinosaurs and ancient historical artefacts to the guestlist, this venue is genuinely distinctive and not easily forgotten!
There are many options available and although the thought of where to wed is a daunting decision, it is one which should be accompanied with feelings of excitement and exhilaration, not horror and hysteria.