At Michael Graham we love a royal wedding and the news that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are set to tie the knot this coming May has filled us with joy. St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle has been chosen for the ceremony, but for those of us who don’t have a castle in the family, nothing is more fairy-tale romantic than a countryside wedding venue. From stunning manor houses with open fireplaces to charming rustic barns, if you’ve ever considered opening your home to the wedding market, what are the key things to bear in mind?
For a country house wedding, a large entrance hall and a magnificent sweeping staircase tick two important boxes immediately (think wedding photographs). Size is important, and the house must be able to comfortably handle up to 100 guests (200 if a marquee is used), so you may need to invest in additional cloakrooms. The gardens and grounds will need to be as manicured as the house, and if you’re offering a marquee reception, then the lawn may need to be levelled. A charming old Anglo-Saxon church within walking distance will make the bride swoon, as will a vicar who’s relaxed about marrying people from outside the parish. Another huge plus is being able to offer overnight accommodation for at least some of the guests. For a summer wedding, a field for free camping will also be a winner, as well as providing the all-important space for parking. Helicopter pads are always nice, but not essential.
People need to know you’re there, so think about hosting a wedding fair to introduce your venue to the market. A website, social media presence and listing your home with internet wedding directories, such as wedding-venues.co.uk, and guidesforbrides.co.uk will also get your name out in the ether. Obtaining a licence for civil weddings which can then be held in a designated ceremony room in your home will also attract bookings. Local councils list registered ceremony venues on their websites. And a final top tip. The key wedding trend for 2018 is greenery and minimalism, but with plenty of fairy lights to make everyone feel like a princess.
Would you consider making your property work for you as a wedding venue? Let us know via our social channels.