4 Top Tips to Choosing your Wedding Venue!

Written by Amy Brown

Rebecca Louise Photography

With a warm fuzzy feeling inside you’ve already changed your Facebook status to engaged, re-read all the congratulatory comments & stopped staring at your hand just long enough to sign up to 4 online wedding directories, because 4 is probably enough, but 1 more might not hurt. Pinterest was downloaded months ago, & your whole wedding was mapped out prior to the engagement but you kinda think it might be wise to start a new, more budget friendly board. First things first: find the venue!  

It quickly becomes apparent that finding a venue brings a whole array of questions you hadn’t even begun to consider…. Relax my friend, we’ve put together some key things to consider when searching for your dream venue! 

1. Capacity: Intimate or Epic?

After a quick tot up on your fingers, you realise that all those aunties, uncles, cousins and neighbours add up real quick. Now’s the time to decide whether you want to keep things intimate with your nearest & dearest or embark on a full scale celebration of epic proportion! Whichever you decide, Hylands Estate ticks the box.  

For wedding parties of less than 80, you can enjoy feeling like a Princess inside our palatial neoclassical mansion house. There are 2 rooms licensed for civil ceremonies, a jaw dropping Banqueting Room for your wedding meal along with plenty of other rooms for entertainment, drinks receptions, quiet spaces and changing facilities. Every room offers a new photo opportunity, and with minimal décor required, you can keep your budget on track.  

For wedding parties on a larger scale, you can enjoy either of our 2 ceremony rooms (The Drawing Room accommodates 80 seated guests and the Banqueting Room accommodates 100). You can then include the beautiful Grand Pavilion in your celebration spaces, here you can comfortably host your wedding meal for up to 300 guests under the white draped ceiling and stunning crystal chandeliers.  

2. Exclusivity: You want me to Share my day?? Say What!

You’re kidding me right, share the big day with another couple….. No way, not here! At Hylands Estate we offer full exclusivity. Sure, we’re set in 574 acres of stunning parkland but the House and Grand Pavilion are yours for the day, from 10am to midnight. We also maintain a level of outdoor exclusivity around the venue and you’re more than welcome to enjoy the Pleasure Gardens for photographs (in fact don’t miss them, they’re awesome!) You’ll also benefit from 2 parking stewards who help with contractor logistics as well as guests finding their way from the car park to the House. (The car park has 180 parking spaces, we knew you were wondering). 

3. Theme: Does the venue kill your vibe or bring it alive?

It may seem obvious but if you’re dreaming of a rustic barn festival vibe, you shouldn’t be looking at corporate hotel venues. As with a killer ‘Little Black Dress’, classic just never goes out of fashion. Same with your venue. Hylands Estate has stood the test of time, in fact it’s stood through 2 world wars, fires and floods!  

Hylands Estate provides a flexible backdrop to your magical day, each space unique, elegant and timeless. The rooms can be used in a multitude of ways, the Grand Pavilion really is a blank, yet beautifully bright canvas. For added peace of mind, the Grand Pavilion is equipped with heating & air conditioning, it’s a permanent structure rather than a seasonal marquee – no windy walls here! It also boasts colour changing uplighters, and dimmable central Chandelier lighting.  

4. Dry Hire Vs Package Deals

It might not be a big deal, but maybe you’ve been put off the idea of Dry Hire because it sounds like a whole lot of work to add to your huge wedmin mountain.   

Packages can limit your choices whilst apparently offering a quick solution, to something that’s not really a problem? We are experts at dry hire weddings, we can guide you through. 

Dry Hire at Hylands Estate means you have a choice, it means you can select your cuisine type because you can select your caterer, you can stock the bar with alcohol, corkage free. You can select your décor company, your chair coverings (although our trendy Chivari chairs don’t tend to need covering!) you can select your cake maker, DJ, Dancefloor supplier, florist, photographer….. it’s your day, your own way. We will be on hand to assist you with your wedmin, be there to answer any questions you may have along the way.  You also benefit from a dedicated Duty Manager and our Front of House Team who will help coordinate the day for you.  

Now if you’re still with me, and haven’t fallen into a wedmin related daze, then there’s just a few items of nitty gritty that you may also want to consider when narrowing down the venue search!  

Timings & Logistics: Always check the arrival & finish times included in your hire, chances are you will be dancing the night away in your personalised flip flops, and you’ll need to know if the venue is about to pull the power from your DJs decks! At Hylands Estate, full day hire starts at 10am and finishes at midnight. Your contractors will have access to start set up from 9am, the bridal party also have access from 9am to make use of the Bridal Suite. The celebrations will come to a close at midnight, leaving contractors an hour or so to pack down whilst your carriages whisk you away to a local hotel or back home (we can provide an extensive list of local awesome hotels). For the heaviest of party animals, additional hours are available at an extra cost. 

Ceremonies, Religious & Civil:  You may have clear ideas on the type of ceremony you’d like, maybe you’re looking to have both a civil ceremony to seal the deal legally as well as a religious blessing to solidify your love. If the venue offers full day hire you can plan to do both, Hylands Estate are experts in a full range of religious blessings, our Grand Pavilion is flexible enough to accommodate free standing Mandaps and staging to share your blessing with up to 300 guests.  

Bonus Options: If you’ve managed to tick all the boxes, then a few added bonus options might just be the cherry on your wedding cake!  

Check whether you can arrive by Horse & Carriage, whether the venue can accommodate a Baraat arrival, whether you can walk down the aisle to the sound of a live violinist, if aunty can throw confetti, if you can plan to surprise guests with fireworks, cut your cake to Dhol drummers, listen to the DJ play your favourite song or line up an entourage of supercars outside just because it’s cool! 

At Hylands Estate, the answer is YES, yes you can! Throw love & happiness around like bio-degradable confetti, strut your stuff on the dancefloor, rev those engines and enjoy the day, your way! We just kindly ask that the DJ keeps within the 90dcbl sound limiter, that your guests don’t swing from the chandeliers and that the décor team don’t hang your cake from the drapes…..  

In conclusion, you have so many choices, maybe even too many choices, but rest assured, Hylands Estate have you covered.  Take a breather, book a viewing, see for yourself. Find out more by dropping us an email, picking up the phone, we are here to help every step of the way, let us help you plan your day, your way! 

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