The guide to finding the perfect wedding venue in Cheshire
From castles and stately homes to sporting venues and theatres, there's plenty of choice when it comes to finding the perfect wedding venue in Cheshire, as Amanda Griffiths discovers. Photography by Neil Redfern
Finding the perfect wedding venue can be almost as difficult as finding the perfect man. But don’t despair, it is out there. You just need to know what you’re looking for. The venue you choose for your nuptials sets the tone for the whole day.
It’s going to feature in the photographs you’ll be looking at for years to come and let’s face it; you’re going to be spending a good chunk of your day there, (even if you opt for a church ceremony) celebrating with your friends and family, so it’s important that you and your husband-to-be feel comfortable there.
There’s something for all tastes, budgets and desires in Cheshire: from fairytale castles to magnificent stately homes. There are hundreds of hotels with stunning function rooms and chic city centre locations that are perfect for the girl who enjoys contemporary glamour. And of course, there’s quirky and unusual venues to choose from too if you want something a bit different.
If you’re having a summer wedding you can even tie the knot outdoors now. A number of venues have open air gazebos or gardens which can host the service. Some parts of the ceremony still need to be conducted in a room licensed for civil marriages or partnerships but the rest can be held in beautiful gardens with the birds singing in the trees above. What better choir could a bride want?
There are however, a number of things you need to consider when booking your wedding venue, not least its size – you want to know that your guests will fit comfortably inside. What could be worse than having them crushed into a space too small or equally rattling around a venue that’s too big?
Think about its location too and how guests are getting to and from it. Perhaps you’re booking a stunning boutique hotel that has rooms on site – block book them for the bridal party or friends that have travelled some distance – often hotels will give discounts for guests attending the day. If the venue is out of town consider putting on transport for the guests - that way everyone arrives at the same time, no-one gets lost and no-one needs to worry about being the designated driver.
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Take a careful look around the venue and make sure there are no rules you need to know about – some stately homes, for example, will not allow high heels to be worn on old wooden floors because of the damage they can cause. It’s best to know about this before and warn female guests than embarrassing them on the big day.
Make sure what extras venues offer and if they are included in the hire cost or if they come at an additional cost: things like chair covers and table cloths, cake stands and knives, even toastmasters and entertainment.
Does the venue have in-house catering or a list of preferred suppliers and what about wine? If you want to supply your own drink, will they charge you a corkage fee?
Find out if there are any rules regarding loud music after a certain time of night, especially if the venue has neighbours and of course, what time they expect you to wind up the celebrations by.
Most of all do your research. Make a list of prospective venues and visit them all, even if you fall in love with the very first one, it’s always worth seeing them all, just in case. After all, you’ll want to be as sure about the venue as you are about your husband-to-be!
Photography by Neil Redfernwww.neilredfern.com
Need some inspiration? Here are ten of our favourite venues in Cheshire
Abode, Chester, 01244 34700,www.abodehotels.co.uk/chester
Alderley Edge Hotel, Alderley Edge, 01625 583033,www.alderleyedgehotel.com
Arley Hall, Northwich, 01565 777353, www.arleyhallandgardens.com
Cranage Hall, Holmes Chapel, 01477 536666 www.principal-hayley.com/browse-our-hotels/cranage-hall/weddings-at-cranage-hall.aspx
Doubletree by Hilton, Hoole, Chester, 01244 408800,www.doubletree.hilton.com/chester
Inglewood Manor, Leasham, South Wirral, 0151 339 5105,www.inglewoodmanor.co.uk
Mere Court Hotel, Mere, Knutsford, 01565 83100, www.merecourt.co.uk
Peckforton Castle, Tarporley, 01829 260930, www.peckfortoncastle.co.uk
Stannylands Hotel, Wilmslow,01625 525225,www.primahotels.co.uk/stanneylands
Willington Hall, Tarporley, 01829 752321, www.willingtonhall.co.uk