Your guide to choosing, booking and styling the perfect country house wedding venue.
When it comes to booking the ultimate wedding venue there are plenty of different options to choose from. Depending on your style as a couple you may wish to view rustic barns, luxury hotels or something completely unique. However, if you love the idea of holding your wedding in an environment that feels like home, away from the hustle and bustle of a busy city or town, then we strongly recommend looking at some country house wedding venues.
What is a Country House Wedding Venue?
A country house wedding venue is exactly what it says on the tin; a house (sometimes a very grand one!) located in the countryside that is available to hire for your wedding.
All country house wedding venues will offer something different. Some venues will be available for hire on an exclusive use basis only. Others can be hired for the duration of time that you need them, whether that be for a day, 24 hours or even an entire weekend! In terms of their grounds and facilities also, each venue will differ; you'll get to know how each wedding venue works in terms of their staff and what's on offer when you visit or book.
Finding the Perfect Country House Wedding Venue: Bijou's Top Tips
There are lots of things to consider when searching for the perfect country house wedding venue. You don’t want to rush into any major decisions when booking your venue as you’ll need to know that it is just right for you as a couple and the style of wedding you wish to hold. However, throughout your search for the perfect location to tie the knot, consider the following…
When it comes to searching for the perfect country house wedding venue we recommend that you agree on a location between you first. For example, if you live near London then it would make sense to look at wedding venues within, say, an hour's drive of where you live. Alternatively you may take a family home, the area of residence of the majority of your guest list or proximity to an old family connection as your geographical anchor point. Take in to consideration also the way in which you’ll be getting married. If you’re having a church wedding then it's important to consider on-the-day travel requirements. Alternatively, if you’d like a civil wedding ceremony at the venue, make sure that it is licensed before making any further decisions.
Think about local transport links and how close the venue is from the nearest airport if you’ve got friends and/or family travelling in from overseas. The location of your chosen wedding venue will have an impact on the logistics of your day too. Ensure that you’re happy with the distance that you’ll be from home. Then think about transporting your wedding décor, your dress, booking suppliers and ensuring that they are familiar with your venue, and not forgetting that you may need to travel back and forth to your venue for one reason or another before you get married. So you’ll need to get used to the journey, wherever you choose.
Some country house wedding venues will offer complete exclusivity, meaning that the venue is yours, and yours alone, for the duration of your wedding celebration. An exclusive use, country house wedding venue will guarantee that you won’t be bumping into anyone unexpected on the big day, and if it is staffed, then the staff will be able to give you their full attention for the duration of your celebration. Decide between you whether or not you are looking to hire your wedding venue on an exclusive hire basis. You may pay slightly more than if you were to book a hotel or multiple use wedding venue, but you’ll receive guaranteed privacy and a home to call your own for the day.
Unlike a hotel that may have lots of bedrooms to offer overnight guests, a country house style wedding venue may only have a limited number of guest bedrooms to take advantage of. This, however, isn’t such a bad thing. Hiring any wedding venue with accommodation allows you to invite your closest family members and friends (and probably the wedding party) to stay over. You may get to enjoy breakfast together the following morning and you know that you won’t need to travel anywhere once your wedding has come to an end.
Ten Benefits of Choosing a Country House Wedding Venue
There are so many benefits to choosing a country house wedding venue but we’ve listed ten of our favourites to get the ball rolling…
- Privacy throughout your day
- A multitude of wonderful, countryside photographic opportunities
- A peaceful and quiet environment to enjoy before, during and after your ceremony
- Getting away from the hustle and bustle of a busy city
- Feeling as if the venue is your home for the duration of your celebration
- Keeping everything and everyone in one place
- Having the undivided attention of the venue staff throughout the day
- The guarantee that you won’t get any gate crashers
- You won’t have the fear of bumping in to another wedding party
- If you choose a summer wedding date then you may be able to have a country garden wedding outside
Theme Ideas for your Country House Wedding
A wedding in a country house venue can be beautiful at any time of year, but to help you decide when to host your wedding, we’ve listed five of our favourite themes to hopefully inspire you…
If your country house wedding venue allows it, and the weather is on your side, consider hosting a garden party complete with Pimm’s, garden games on the lawn and a delightful picnic style buffet.
Country house wedding venues lend themselves perfectly to a full-on floral wedding theme. Have fun with your table names, decorate your reception tables with over-the-top floral features, surround your table plan with pretty blooms, line your aisle with stand-out stems and when it comes to your wedding stationery there are hundreds of beautiful floral designs to choose from.
If you’re hiring a converted country barn then a rustic themed wedding might be nice. Use hessian to decorate your wedding reception tables, and possibly the backs of your chairs. Jam jars filled with rustic blooms and a rustic wedding cake of cheese to indulge in towards the end of the night could tie your rustic wedding theme together perfectly.
If your chosen country house wedding venue has an historic background, then you may want to consider a vintage wedding. Decorate your reception tables using lace, pearls, pretty pastel pinks and gorgeous vintage stationery so that your guests will be aware of your theme as soon as they receive your wedding invitation through their letterbox.
At Bijou, we believe that every wedding should have an added touch of glamour somewhere throughout the day, but if you want to make it more of an obvious theme then there is so much that you can do to your country house wedding venue when it comes to adding lashings of glamour. Consider ordering an oversized floral wall to use as a backdrop for your wedding photographs; create to glitzy table centerpieces; order super stylish wedding stationery and maybe have your venue create a signature cocktail created by the bar to serve throughout the night.
Country House Weddings: Style Ideas for Every Season
Whether you choose to get married during the spring, summer, autumn or winter, you’ll be sure to love hosting your day in a country house wedding venue. Below are some reasons as to why country house wedding venues lend themselves perfectly to any season.
- Choose a beautiful, spring colour palette to decorate your venue with
- Open the doors and let the lovely fresh air flow through the venue
- Take advantage of the natural beauty of spring that will be blooming in the country gardens
- Think of the fun photo’s that you can have wearing wellies if you happen to get any April showers
- Accessorise your reception tables with seasonal flowers
- Consider wearing a floral crown or have your flower girls scatter fresh rose petals down the aisle
- Think about saying your ‘I dos’ outside (if your venue is licensed for it)
- Take advantage of wonderful outdoor photographic opportunities in the sunshine
- Enjoy post-ceremony drinks and canapés on the lawn with garden games
- Opt for a summery wedding breakfast menu
- When choosing your wedding cake, consider something fruity and refreshing
- Hire an ice-cream trike to offer a refreshing treat to your guests after dinner
- Decorate the venue with seasonal colours and accessories such as hessian
- Use candles to illuminate the different rooms within the venue
- Take advantage of the natural backdrop that the grounds will provide when it comes to your wedding photography
- Speak to the catering team about delicious wines that will complement your autumnal dishes
- If you have your wedding breakfast inside, maybe opt for a hog-roast outside as your evening guests arrive
- Light warm and cosy fires around the venue
- Speak to the catering team about creating a wintry menu
- Serve warm drinks such as mulled wine to your guests as they arrive at the venue out of the cold
- Have a basket of blankets at the ready for elderly guests – just in case they get cold
- Use natural, wintry decorations on your reception tables such as silver-sprayed pine cones, glitter-dipped feathers or woodland themed accessories