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Beginner January 2026 Lancashire

How did you know your venue was “the One”

2026Bridetobe, 5 of February of 2024 at 11:36 Posted on Planning 1 22

Hey everyone,

Just after some advice as not sure if I’m just over thinking and over worrying about venue choice…
My question is - How did you know your venue was “the one” to go for?
It feels like fiancé and I have visited and looked through so many different venues. Some have instantly had the “wow this is amazing” factor and we could see ourselves getting married there, but they are completely out of budget so they are ruled out.
Some could be within budget, but we would have to compromise on a lot of the main things we would like for it to come within budget, so it wouldn’t be the ideal wedding we would want.
We went to one venue recently that visually wasnt what I would like at all (fiancé found it ok) but it was within budget and offered us a lot of the main things we did want as well as a couple of extra things we hadnt thought of. I could sort of imagine getting married there, but it didn’t give me the instant “wow I want this place” feeling (and it was for things that couldn’t be changed with decoration like room sizes and layouts) - So this is where I’m stuck.
I’m a notorious over thinker and worrier so in my head I’m torn between 2 trains of thought:
1) What if there is somewhere else out there that we fall more in love with and its within budget, but we miss finding it because we take this venue now?
2) What if this does turn out to be the best venue for us and I’m just worrying and being picky.
I know there’s bound to be some compromise no matter what, but how do you know if you should actually just go for it or keep looking? 😩
They say with your dress you get that sort of “yes this is it” feeing, should I have had that with my venue?!
Sorry for the ramble 😅

22 replies

Latest activity by Miss, 21 of February of 2024 at 19:55
  • Nikkimerc
    Beginner May 2025 Lothian & Borders
    Nikkimerc ·
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    I know how you feel I was the same. I assumed you must get the feeling with a venue. And we narrowed it down to 3 we liked before making a decision. We went to really expensive venues, mid range and bottom range and even if I had a never ending budget I realised not one was 100% perfect. There were things I liked and disliked about them all. So I can't understand personally how people get that feeling lol. One venue we loved and we visited it first and would have booked there and then but we weren't sure if the lack of accessibility would work. All 3 were dog friendly which was a must.


    In the end we have compromised and are having lower numbers during the day due to the space being a lot smaller but realised having a more dog friendly and accessible venue was more important for us. Just depends what you are looking for. Also the people we dealt with made a difference too. As we went for 2nd viewings to them all. And one of the staff members wasn't as accommodating as the first person I spoke to at the same venue. And it felt like they were doing us a favour rather than wanting to make our day special.
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  • M
    Beginner February 2025 Essex
    Miss ·
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    Feeling this!!


    It seems there's a compromise to be made every which way when it comes to choosing a venue; unless you have a bottomless pit of money
    One venue we looked at we loved, literally perfect but, over 2k over budget. The compromise there is therefore increasing our budget and spending more than we'd "like" or, cutting back in other places which, are also important to us (we already have cut bridesmaids entirely as I'm not fussed, wedding "transport" as again, not fussed. We have no photographer costs as SIL is a photographer, not having a "wedding cake", will be doing electronic invites that I'll design myself on canva, we have a small budget for flowers/decs....)
    Another we looked at we really liked a lot and it's in budget!! But, no on site accommodation which, we'd prefer to have. They're also a bit "iffy" with regards to us having a live band as we are going for a Monday wedding and they prefer to restrict bands to weekends weddings.... This is a deal breaker for us. When we said that, they said we could have a "small band"... Just feels like they'll be a nightmare - so that's compromise
    Third is stunning, accommodation AND in budget! But, only if we get married in Feb (we wanted April) so, there's a compromise there!
    We can't seem to find a venue that ticks every box so I'm reluctant to part with 5-6k if we aren't totally in love with it! It's literally half of our budget so, a big chunk of wedding budget!
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  • 2
    Beginner January 2026 Lancashire
    2026Bridetobe ·
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    Oh my god thank you both so much, I thought it was just me and I was missing something or being stupid about it!!


    Fiancé and I know we want a twilight style wedding and we are already cutting back on a lot of things, so the venue is one thing we wanted to make sure was going to be right for us and our guests.

    When we went it wasn't actually laid out like it would be for a wedding because they had another event on, so I’m wondering if that impacted things for me, even if I tried not to let it.
    They do have a wedding open day next Saturday so I think we will go back then and speak to them again and see.
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  • M
    Beginner February 2025 Essex
    Miss ·
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    Yea, all the venues I've looked at have been set up for a wedding and I think it helps picture it better but, even without that you should still feel something I think. A "wow" factor about the grounds or a feature within the property.


    So the out of budget venue is a huge barn. It has big candle chandeliers hanging from the rafters, the bar is within the room (important to us as you lose guests to a bar area!) The ceremony room is just stunning and overlooks the manicured gardens and water fountain. The accomodation is all brand new and just stunning. They also have a private bathroom for the bride with dressing table etc which, I think is a nice touch rather than having to squeeze into a cubicle in the main loos. Everything about this venue is GORGEOUS but, it's over budget AND they don't really do a food option we like (informal, BBQ/hog roast)
    The venue in budget but that's iffy with having live band, is an old manor house type (it's an old hunting lodge Henry the 8th used) - it's just gorgeous. Really old and authentic. No accommodation but a gorgeous room for the bridal party to get ready in and a grooms bar area with open fire place for him to have a drink in before the ceremony. They have a gorgeous indoor room with chandelier for ceremony or a lovely gazebo outside we could use. The food and party is held in a permanent marquee which, has fairy lights all over! It's just so pretty! The grounds are kept so lovely too. They do a BBQ option for food which, we would prefer over a 3 course sit down menu
    The 3rd venue is a huge manor house in 23 acres of land with a huge pond with pretty bridge over it. The ceremony room is gorgeous (barn vibes, but not a barn) they have a lovely conservatory and terrace area for reception drinks/canapes - they allow a smaller "minimum numbers" criteria so we could have the small wedding we want with bigger party after AND they do BBQ food option with street food served as the evening option (rather than standard buffet). But, it's over 2k more for an April wedding so, we could only afford it if we did Feb.
    All 3 venues are different but all have "something" about them that we love! But even then, there's compromises to be made. It's very frustrating!
    FH is certain "the" venue is out there.
    No lie, I counted, I have looked at (online) and priced up 56 venues in our area.
    11 are within budget but only 2 we like the look of (hunting lodge and manor house)
    So unless we increase our budget - our venue "pool" is small!
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  • Jocelyn
    Beginner May 2025 West Midlands
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    We went to Ashton Lodge Country House in Rugby and fell in love with the place. It depends what the deal-breakers are? You could get married at a stunning place but do it on a Monday when it would be cheaper (and depending on your occupation).


    We increased our budget for the venue because we really were not sure how much was too much.
    You could always book a last minute wedding? Venues slash their prices just to get dates booked at some of these lovely places. It’s just another stress leaving it so last minute.
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  • Nikkimerc
    Beginner May 2025 Lothian & Borders
    Nikkimerc ·
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    Totally understand all of this. We wanted August but compromised on May for costs. As we felt there wasn't any point paying extra for the same thing just in a different month and going over budget.
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  • Hayley
    Beginner September 2025 North Yorkshire
    Hayley ·
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    Hey just saw this and thought I would share our planning process in regards to venue finding.

    We were in the same boat and had a lot of input of where we should look from outside sources which made our venue hunt even more stressful as we wanted to please everyone. Like most people we wanted to choose one bottom range, mid range and top range so we could work out our budget. The only thing we were certain on is that we did not want a church wedding as neither of us are religious and we wanted a rustic barn wedding as it matches our personalities. We started looking and everyone told me that I would get the feeling but nothing came I was wowed by how beautiful venues were but they are based for weddings so they would have to be special is what I thought. However, when I came to look and found The Normans (little name drop hehe) the butterflies and emotions came and we fell in love with the place. This was within budget at the time and we agreed there and then this was where we could see ourselves getting married and booked it for our anniversary in 2025! I feel as long as the venue makes you and your fiancee feel special and happy then anywhere is the perfect place for you to get married as you have one day where it is about you two and you deserve to have the best time possible,

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  • Grace
    Beginner May 2024 Essex
    Grace ·
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    Hey Bride!

    To answer your question: that gut feeling was how I decided on the venue! and I have used that feeling throughout my whole wedding planning journey - to the point where every single decision we have made I have not regretted in the slightest!

    Appreciate that in your case, budget is an issue and that is totally understandable to have reservations about your wedding compromises because of this, but that gut feeling is never wrong!!!

    Hope this helps even a little bit and good luck with your wedding lovely!

    x

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  • 2
    Beginner January 2026 Lancashire
    2026Bridetobe ·
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    Oooh wow a private bathroom sounds like such an nice feature I never even thought about!! Yeah our way out of budget venue had a lot of positives - the whole place felt very luxurious, it had a beautiful ceremony room and lovely grounds, they offered a really nice food selection and they even had a separate 24 hour bar for guests that were staying if they wanted to carry on drinking! It was just crazy over budget and they had a minimum spend/minimum numbers that was more then we would probably have.

    We thought one of the other venues we went to see was going to be the one because on paper it seemed to offer everything, but when we actually had a look round it wasn't what we thought at all (e.g. the amazing bridal prep room they mentioned was basically just a large cupboard with no windows and a tiny table and desk mirror off to the side of the ceremony room!) and it ended up dropping right down on our list.

    One venue got an instant no after visiting because even though the venue itself was beautiful and it could be within budget, the staff kept trying to push us towards having a full day wedding and the way they joked made me feel like they didn't consider the twilight style wedding we want as a real wedding.

    Its scary how there can be so many venues out there but when you get down to finding one for your own wedding it feels like there isn't any! It doesn't help that basically every venue we looked up has some sort of "prices will keep rising each year" mentioned so even if we put it off longer and saved more, we would probably still be in the same situation! Smiley surprise

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  • 2
    Beginner January 2026 Lancashire
    2026Bridetobe ·
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    Yeah very true. Oh yes, I've seen some great last min packages offered but i think the stress and risk of waiting for them would be too much for me! I like to plan a lot haha Smiley laugh

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  • 2
    Beginner January 2026 Lancashire
    2026Bridetobe ·
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    Yeah I think we have looked at several different dates now because prices varied so much. We originally wanted August, then tried at Oct/Nov, then Feb and have now settled with Jan! it's crazy how much some of them jump just a month different.

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  • 2
    Beginner January 2026 Lancashire
    2026Bridetobe ·
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    Aww congratulations, that sounds so cute!

    Yes that is very true. We have always said at the end of the day no matter where it is, we will be married and that's what matters Smiley smile

    Oooh wow, I just had a little Google and that venue looks amazing!! Smiley surprise

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  • 2
    Beginner January 2026 Lancashire
    2026Bridetobe ·
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    Im hoping when we go again this weekend I get a stronger gut feeling about this one! I think it's just so overwhelming when you first look round and there's so much information to try and take in that I couldn't take everything in properly. Fingers crossed!

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  • Katrina
    Savvy February 2025 West Midlands
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    I know the venue I selected was the one when I saw it on Bride Book it ticket alot of boxes for what we were looking for. I am so excited to see it in person after looking it up online Smiley smile as we drove there I made a video as we went past all the fairy lights. I was like WoW this feels so special Smiley smile it was our 1st and only venue we looked at and we said YES. I feel in love when seeing it online but in person was so much better. The lady asked us how many other venues we had seen. We said this was our first we love it we want it!


    I hope you get the feeling with your venue!!
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  • M
    Beginner February 2025 Essex
    Miss ·
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    Yea, the private bathroom is a really lovely touch that hadn't occurred to me either. It's not "needed" obviously but, a great idea!


    And I felt the same about a dry hire venues we looked at. It would have been PERFECT for exactly what we wanted and all the photos online looked great... Got there and it was SO tired... Not run down exactly but, definitely not looked after! The ceremony room was freezing cold and smelled of damp/mould. It looked nice but - no! It was a wedding open day but they refused to show anyone around, you had to make a separate appointment on another day for that My FH went to the toilet and was absolutely fuming!! Lol - a crack in one urinal and a sink hanging off the wall broken. It was their open day where they're showcasing their venue and they're "happy" for it to be in that state?The accomodation on site was run down. Cracks in brickwork, wonky chimney stack and missing roof tiles! Inside was like a grannies house... It just really really was not for us! Quite disappointing as it would have been ideal budget wise and to have exactly what we wanted for our day. But no.
    We are seeing venue #3 again on Thursday, want to ask a few questions we weren't able to on their open day and I'm going to try to negotiate a discount/get bits thrown in (they have an offer on for this year's weddings of £1000 bar tab, 2 accommodation rooms, upgraded canapes and extra reception drinks) I want to see if they'll extend that offer to Feb next year AND honour this year's prices (saving of £400) for "sweetening the deal" for us to get married in a month we "don't really want to" (Feb) Failing that, I'm genuinely considering holding off doing anything until sept/Oct this year and then securing a last min deal somewhere for early next year. Venues seem to offer huge discounts and extras if they need dates filling This bit definitely feels more stressful than it needs to!
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  • 2
    Beginner January 2026 Lancashire
    2026Bridetobe ·
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    Oh wow!! Terrifying some venues can think its ok to be in that sort of state but I suppose it's good in a way, because you'd rather see it like that and know about it before having made any commitments rather then them hiding things and ruining it all later on!

    Good luck with the visit to venue #3 tomorrow, fingers crossed you can get a good deal! We are going again on Saturday to our maybe venue and I'm going to take a lot more photos, make notes and do some more research on questions we might have forgotten to ask/things we want to try and get included too.

    Yeah there are some amazing late availability packages out there, part of me would love to try and grab one but I think it would stress me out too much having to wait then trying to plan a wedding quicker haha.

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  • 2
    Beginner January 2026 Lancashire
    2026Bridetobe ·
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    Aww that sounds so cute!! Like it was made to be Smiley smile Thank you, fingers crossed for our next visit!

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  • M
    Beginner February 2025 Essex
    Miss ·
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    We did it! We booked venue #3 ☺️


    They really tried to get us into April by reducing the package inclusions and waiving some fees. They managed to get it down to £6k (top end of our budget).
    In Feb we can have everything we want for that...so to pay the same for less... Just wasn't worth it to me
    Venue #1 also came to me with an amazing deal of £6k for April (around 2.5k less than their standard package for that time of year) but again, a lot of reductions on inclusions but - THEE venue
    So. We couldn't decide!
    We went to friends house last night and talked it through and they really helped put it into perspective for us! We can have the DAY we want at venue #3. Venue #1 is just the venue. They can't give us the day we ideally want within our budget
    So, we settled on Feb at venue #3
    Then, venue #3 emailed me to say they'd drop the ceremony fee for me for Feb. Takes it down to £5500! So we've done it! Confirmed our booking there
    We get married in a year!! 17/2/25 🙌🙌🙌
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  • 2
    Beginner January 2026 Lancashire
    2026Bridetobe ·
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    Awww yay congratulations!! Smiley heart Wow sounds like a great deal, well done!

    I think you hit the nail on the head there - thinking of it as the day you want vs just the venue you would like puts a whole new perspective on it.

    We have booked to go see our "maybe" venue again on Sunday and out of all of the ones we have been to, that one would definitely give us the best in terms of the day we want so I will keep that in mind and if we can negotiate a good deal I think we will be booking it whilst we are there - ahhhh feels so scary/nerve wracking haha

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  • M
    Beginner February 2025 Essex
    Miss ·
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    How'd it go? Did you book?
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  • 2
    Beginner January 2026 Lancashire
    2026Bridetobe ·
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    Hey, yes we did!! 🥳


    The staff were so lovely and we got on so well with them, it really helped reassure us they knew what they were doing and could handle anything we might need or want.I would say walking round again it still wasn’t 100% my favourite venue visually, but I’m confident it’s going to give the best day for us and we do feel comfortable and happy there.We were originally looking at a Friday in Jan but they offered us an amazing deal that we couldn’t say no to either which helped sway us - They are giving us a Saturday in Jan for the price of a Friday!
    So we signed and paid the deposit with them Sunday and we called and booked the registrar Monday (our poor credit card!!) so now we just have to wait until a bit closer to give notice.
    Next step this week is to look into insurance just in case (know we really should have done that before booking anything!)
    Still doesn’t feel real to be fair. I haven’t even told my friends of family we actually booked it 🤣
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  • M
    Beginner February 2025 Essex
    Miss ·
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    Awww lovely!! Congratulations!


    Yea, it definitely helped us to focus "on the day" rather than just the aesthetic. And that sounds nuts because our venue is gorgeous, it's not like it's a dump!! Lol but, we just really loved the first venue
    Glad you're now well on your way with the wedding planning!!
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