Choosing the right wedding venue in Yorkshire

You've said 'I do' to his proposal, but he's said 'I don't' to your venue. Jo Haywood offers some tips on making the tough choice of where to wed

Westminster Abbey is fully booked and St Paul’s is a bit stuffy for your taste. So where are you going to get married?

Booking a wedding venue is usually the first major decision a newly engaged couple makes, and it can be a real deal breaker if one wants an intimate, candlelit affair in a historical setting and the other wants a football stadium with a marching band and jugglers entertaining one or two thousand of your nearest and dearest.

It can be tough if you say ‘I do’ and he says ‘I don’t’, but it’s a good lesson for the rest of your married life. You can’t both be right and you can’t both have what you want when you want it. The trick is to find something you can both happily live with and that ticks as many boxes as possible.

Before you dash off to look at every single wedding venue in the county, you need to narrow down the field by deciding the sort of place you want. If you know you don’t want to get married in a sports arena, cross them all off the list now before leaving the house.

Communication is key at this stage. You need to thrash out some fundamental questions with your other half like whether you want a civil ceremony or a church wedding, and what budget you are going to work to (this can substantially cut down your longlist of potential venues).

If you’re having a church ceremony, it’s best to choose a reception venue within a 20-mile radius. It’s also worth factoring in travelling time if you’re having a joint civil ceremony and reception so your guests don’t rack up expensive taxi charges or hotel bills. Obviously you can’t please everyone, but choosing a venue near to where the majority of your guests live is a good bet.

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And talking of guests, it’s a good idea to have a rough idea of numbers before searching for your venue. But don’t send out your save-the-date cards just yet – some guests might have to be culled from the list if it means bagging the perfect venue.

Grand designs or decidedly different?

If you’re looking for a grand wedding venue in Yorkshire, why not check out

Ripley Castle, near Harrogate (ripleycastle.co.uk);

Harewood House, near Leeds (harewood.org);

Goldsborough Hall, North Yorkshire (goldsboroughhall.com);

Victoria Hall, Saltaire (victoriahallsaltaire.co.uk);

East Riddlesden Hall, near Keighley (nationaltrust.org.uk);

Castle Howard, North Yorkshire (castlehoward.co.uk);

Sledmere House, near Driffield (sledmerehouse.com); or

Bolton Castle, near Leyburn (boltoncastle.co.uk).

For something a little different try

Cannon Hall Museum, Barnsley (barnsley.gov.uk);

The Sun Pavilion, Harrogate (sunpavilion.co.uk);

National Railway Museum, York (nrm.org.uk);

Don Valley Stadium, Sheffield (donvalleystadium.co.uk);

The Hospitium, York (yorkvenues.org.uk); 

The Spa, Bridlington (eastriding.gov.uk).