Bride Vs Groom » Wedding Experiences & Guidance for the Bride & Groom

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Finding your perfect wedding venue can be something of an arduous task.  Whilst in a simple world we always imagine walking through the door, falling instantly in love with a venue and creating your wedding exactly the way you always dreamed it’s not always as simple as that. There are all kinds of logistical issues to consider and questions to be asked, so to help you along the way we invited venue expert Zeenat Sabur from The City Rooms to share a little advice on the kinds of questions you need to be asking your potential new wedding venue…Ballroom 1

The venue is the most important planning aspect of your big day (well, along with the dress), as well as the perfect location and being within budget there is so much more you will want to consider but may not think of at the time of booking.  Here is a round-up of ten questions to ask the venue in question before signing on the dotted line:

Is it an exclusive use venue?

If another couple getting married at the same venue as you on the same day as you is a deal breaker then you will want to know about this before booking. Exclusive use will mean the whole venue is yours for the entire day of your wedding.

How many bedrooms are available?

This will be vitally important for any guests travelling a significant distance to be a part of your big day.  Often when a venue doesn’t have sufficient bedrooms available it may have be able to offer reduced rates at a nearby hotel.

Will my wedding co-ordinator be present on the day?

Consider whether the wedding coordinator will be present on the day of your wedding. It is important to have consistency in terms of who you deal with. Dealing with one person for the menu, another for layouts and décor and then someone else on the day of your wedding sometimes isn’t ideal and it can make such a difference to have just one person who will look after all your needs. The level of familiarity you build up with just one coordinator who is also on hand on your big day can be so reassuring and make all the difference on the day. The flexibility of the coordinator in terms of the days and times he or she can meet with you is also important as you will be very busy in the run up to your big day and may need to fit in evening or weekend meetings, ask about this at your initial meeting.

Is there an in-house chef and can food be tailored to our specifications?

It can be so much easier to have control over your menu with an in-house chef and they will usually be more likely to tweak the menu and make the food exactly as you like. Quite often couples may want to serve a family recipe or a very specific cultural dish and it’s important to know before booking that this is possible.

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Is the venue accessible for disabled guests?

You may assume that all venues in the 21st century would be completely accessible for all, but unfortunately many listed buildings are not completely accessible. Before booking make sure you find out whether there will be access for all to the function rooms you intend on using.

When can my vendors arrive for set-up?

Many exclusive use venues will allow access as early as possible on the day of the wedding, or perhaps even the night before, for florists, decorators and any other suppliers to set up, but be sure to enquire about this before booking. Double check timings with suppliers too, especially if there is a particular supplier you have your heart set on.

Is there adequate parking?

This is something you definitely need to ask about, especially with city centre venues whch may have limited on-site parking. Many will have a partnership with a nearby car park, but this will be super important for your guests.


This seems a very obvious question to ask but often it is the obvious that is overlooked. If you’re planning a wedding day for 300 guests and you fall in love with a venue that only holds a maximum of 200 guests, you’re going to face a pretty tough choice. Also, ask about whether the venue has a minimum number of guests it will require you to book for.

Are there any planned renovation works between the time you view and your wedding date?

When you go for your show-around look around and note the up-keep of the venue. Is there anything you think needs maintenance work? Make sure you ask if there’s anything you pick up on – the venue may be planning to make these changes between your viewing and wedding day but it is useful to know as little things really do make a difference.

Check out the toilets

Finally, this isn’t a question but the state and presentation of the toilets will tell you a lot about the pride the venue takes in upkeep of its facilities. So ask to pop to the bathroom and check them out!

Ultimately finding the venue where you will begin married life with the man/woman of your dreams and will declare your love for one another in front of your friends and family should be an exciting and happy experience. So above all, enjoy and good luck!


Author bio:

Zeenat is part of the team at wedding venue The City Rooms ( in the heart of Leicester City Centre. She has a multitude of experience in assisting couples plan their big day, is obsessed with peonies and Jenny Packham dresses and understands the importance of practicality when planning a wedding.

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Paddington_Bear_Small_DogIt’s been a little while since we last updated you on the self-declared most important member of team Bride Vs Groom: Small Dog. We’re assured by a small yet reliable source that the Small Dog known also as Paddington not being the centre of attention at all times is a crime punishable by bath time and so we thought we’d best let you know what he’s been up to.

It’s been a strange old week for Paddington; firstly he was thrilled to see people unexpectedly arrive with suitcases – a sure sign of more attention for a few days, but then bitterly disappointed at the arrival of more suitcases downstairs followed swiftly by the disappearance of more people than had arrived in the first place. In fact for one frankly terrifying moment it looked to all the world like Matt, AKA “The Target”, (Paddington has been watching too many episodes of “Spooks” this week) was going to be the only one left, a fate surely worse than vets! Whilst of course Small Dog would certainly welcome the opportunity to be alone with The Target and no other witnesses, the fact that suitcases were involved meant they could be away for several days and he needed somebody to give him constant attention even if that somebody was to be killed at the earliest possible opportunity after someone useful’s return.

Fortunately for our four legged friend though it turned out that his Dom wasn’t going anywhere, except perhaps for a little walk with him in that cold white stuff that his paws always got stuck in and that isn’t as tasty as it looks no matter how much of it you eat (although the yellower variety does have a certain kick to it). Being a lap dog rather than a lapland dog he was rather more keen on the idea of a roaring fire and comfy sofa, but as that particular idea carried with it the prospect once again of Matt’s company he reluctantly agreed.


You remember that scene where Bambi tries to walk on the ice? Imagine a shorter legged protagonist and you’re pretty much there! Soon the little Dog was running and sliding and spinning and barking to his heart’s content, chasing snowballs and, of course, making use of his newly found blank canvas to assert his ownership over the streets as only dogs can (or at least as only dogs generally do, thankfully!)

But after a little adventure in the snow and returning to see Matt and Dom share a warm embrace, now it’s time for Small Dog to return to his more accustomed position: plotting Matt’s downfall.

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Best-UK-Wedding-Photographer-13The strange thing about weddings is that you can take even the most simple of scenes and, given the right timing, can sometimes see an amazing moment unfold in front of you, particularly when animals get involved!
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When it comes to planning your wedding one of the big decisions to make is whether you’re going to have your ceremony and reception in the same venue or use separate venues for each. So which is the way to go? Time for our expert debaters to present the arguments!


In the Red Corner, arguing for separate ceremony and reception venues, you can tell she’s not usually the designated driver can’t you! It’s Dom “The Tog Bride”

In the Blue Corner, arguing for keeping everything under one roof, although probably just so he doesn’t have to carry his video gear in and out of another venue, it’s Matt “The Gormless Groom”

One Venue Vs Two Venues


Dom: Having two venues adds a bit of extra excitement to your day and means you can experience two beautiful locations instead of just one.

Matt: Having two venues can add a lot of expense to your day with not only the hire cost of both venues but also potential transportation costs both for yourselves and all of your guests.

Dom: You might have a dream venue for your ceremony that for whatever can’t be used for your reception. By separating the ceremony and reception venues you can still have your dream wedding just the way you want it.

Matt: Having everything take place in the same venue generally gives you more time to just relax and enjoy yourselves rather than having to spend your time travelling between venues or delay proceedings until all of your guests have been able to travel and re-park.

Dom: If you’re looking to have a religious ceremony then there simply may be no option to have your reception in the same venue unless there is a chapel (or relevant religious venue) on site.

Matt: Having two venues requires a lot more coordination and planning whereas with only one venue you can focus all your attention on one venue and just talk to one venue coordinator.

Dom: With only one venue unless there are multiple rooms you normally need quite a lot of turnaround time between the ceremony and reception in order to re-set the room which can cause delays in the wedding breakfast being served and also mean that you need to find ways to entertain your guests whilst the main room is unavailable.

Matt: Depending on the venue you might well be able to hire a single venue for longer to give you the chance to set-up the night before but that’s much more unlikely and difficult with two venues.

Dom: Having two venues might give you more opportunities to get some great photos as there are more location options or even the chance to stop off somewhere as you travel between the two.

Matt: But the need to get from one venue to the other might actually limit the time available for any portrait or group photos whereas if everything’s in one place you go seamlessly from ceremony to reception and can use that extra time for photos.

So those are our thoughts but where do you stand? Leave a comment to have your voice heard or simply place your vote below!

One Venue Vs Two Venues
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Today we have a little treat for Downton fans as we’d like to share a stunning, elegant wedding at the beautiful Highclere Castle aka the real Downton Abbey. It’s no surprise that Highclere was chosen for the popular series as it’s grandeur and incredible architecture is almost unparalleled, a fact that made it the perfect venue for a lady of exquisite taste like Andrea! Every part of this wedding just screams elegance from the location to the dress to the stunning classic open-topped car to the beautiful film itself captured expertly by White Dress Films. So put the sound up, make sure HD is enabled and make sure you keep tuned to the end to see Andrea & Yuri’s amazing first dance in this fantastic Highclere Castle Wedding Film.

Highclere Castle Wedding Film
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