Choosing a Venue for your Wedding in Bath
We’ve put together our top 9 tips for choosing a wedding venue in Bath
Choosing a wedding venue is obviously one of the fundamental parts of being able to plan how your wedding day will work and lead to more decisions for how the day will run.
Wedding venues come in all shapes and sizes, with different parts of Bath and Somerset offering completely different experiences. From outdoor wedding venues to marquee venues, covered spaces and indoor wedding locations, Bath has a huge range of wedding venues to chose from. Georgian country houses on the fringes of Bath offer large scale indoor and outdoor spaces while the city centre of Bath has hotels, smaller venues and of course our Bath wedding venue, the Bath Function Rooms - all offering unique wedding day ceremonies and receptions.
As boring as it might be to have at the top of our list, wedding budgets can get heavily stretched - or reduced depending on the cost of the venue hire.
Wedding venue hire (particularly in Bath and Somerset) does often take up a significant chunk of any wedding budget. Depending on how you choose your venue (and the day of the week) your wedding budget should seriously consider the opportunities of wedding venue location, different day rates, and accommodation needs of your guests.
Location, and A to B
Hopefully the location of your wedding will be rather straight forward, however, for some engaged couples this is a point of contention. Should the tradition of the bride’s home town automatically be the location? Are the groom’s family and friends able to travel that far? Would guaranteed sun oversees be the best bet?
Establishing the location for your wedding must be a priority - you should never assume what the other is thinking. The logistics from venue to venue should also be factored into your decision. How far is the ceremony location from the reception venue? Do you have elderly or disabled guests attending your wedding? How will people move between the two venues (and their accommodation)? Do you need to arrange transport or an alternative? Working through these questions should help inform your decision about how to choose your wedding venue early on.
Bo-ho wedding? Shabby-chic wedding? Georgian-themed wedding? Traditional morning suits wedding? Weddings come in all fashions today, with couples putting their own stamp on the day, and naturally so.
But how does the wedding venue align with the picture of your wedding day? We’ve seen a whole host of wedding styles over the years at Bath Function Rooms, and are happy to accommodate to most styles with a flexible space. Making sure your wedding venue in Bath is happy to be flexible with the style or design you’d like to impose on their function rooms is a conversation that should happen very early on.
Wedding catering is a huge factor in deciding whether to choose a wedding venue or not. Quality catering does often come at a cost and for some Bath wedding venues at a compromise.
Unfortunately it is common that many of the big wedding venues in Bath and Somerset (and the rest of the UK) grossly overcharge on catering - particularly wedding breakfasts - and the quality of the food can be questionable. Does your wedding venue offer free from catering options? Are gluten free, celeriac, vegetarian and vegan meals available at the wedding venue?
Decorations and flexibility
Many contemporary and historic wedding venues in Bath have tight regulations and restrictions on how a couple can make the wedding space their own, with their own stamp - be it decorations, finessing tables or lighting.
Having early conversations with your wedding venue manager about what you can and can’t do with the venue you are looking to hire will prevent any later issues. Being clear on the flexibility and expenses of decorating (or self decorating) from the off should be high up on your list when arranging viewing at wedding venues in Bath.
Weather and space options
Depending on the time of year you are planning your wedding, you might be considering an outdoor wedding venue.
Bath has a beautiful offering of country houses dotted across Somerset within the Mendips, Costwolds and villages on the edges of Bath city centre. From our experience, some venues however, have limitations should the weather not go your way. Should your wedding party of 150 guests suddenly have to run from the rain into a space suitable for 100, things can get rather difficult. Don’t be blown away by a wedding venue before checking if the venue has suitable indoor space should your plans for an outdoor summer wedding get scuppered by British weather.
All in or add ons
We’ve been to many weddings across the country where we’ve had friends and family who have ended up paying a lot more than the original quoted price.
An additional bill arriving a couple of days after your wedding day can put a serious dampener on your happy day. Many large corporate wedding hire venues (including some hotel venues in Bath) will cleverly design contracts and wedding packages without inclusion of basic must haves. From wedding horror stories of couples being charged outrageous on the day fees for a wedding cake knife hire, extra charges for extra napkins and hidden fees for opening extra toilets in the building, we’ve heard it all.
Like all wedding venue planning, having absolute clarity with your wedding venue manager should be paramount for what is and what isn’t included.
Quite possibly the most overlooked element of choosing a wedding venue (in our experience) is the natural light and way the room is lit.
Consider how the room and wedding venue internally and externally will look and feel during the day from the morning through to the evening and where the sun hits the premises - especially if you’re thinking about an outdoor summer wedding in Bath. Will the sun light cover the outside lawn and seating area in the evening, or is it a north facing wedding venue.
Inside the wedding venue, is there different lighting for different parts of your day - if you are having your ceremony and reception in the same space. Are the rooms filled with natural light or does the room have the need to be filled with lights? Think about how the light will impact the ambience of the wedding venue, and also the impact of the feel for the wedding guests. If the room is artificially lit, how will this affect the colour schemes and wedding dress choice?
Asking to see the venue at different times of the day is often a good idea, and your wedding venue manager should be happy to oblige.