Choosing your Wedding Venue: Tips, Advice to the Perfect Berkshire Wedding Venue

You’re engaged! You and your fianc start announcing your upcoming nuptials. Everyone is excited for you and asking two important questions; do you have a date set and where will the wedding and reception be held?

Planning your dream wedding and reception can be a daunting task. There is so much to do. The wedding venue needs to be chosen. There are the flowers, wedding dress, invitations, guests, food, beverages, favors, wedding cake, photographer, music, theme, colours; the list seems never ending and it is very overwhelming for the bride and groom.

However, all the pieces can easily fall together with a little pre-planning and choosing the right venue.

Wedding Venue Tips Berkshire - Shadow Carriage

Tips & Advice: Perfect Wedding Venue

A newly engaged couple needs to make several decisions right away; what month they wish to marry in, how many guests they estimate to attend including the wedding ceremony, wedding breakfast and the evening entertainment (should you wish) and the type of wedding. Wedding styles range from a traditional church or chapel wedding followed by a separate reception to everything held centrally at one location. Lastly, a budget needs to be established. These few tasks are extremely important before looking at wedding venues. Desired locations normally need to be reserved twelve months prior to the wedding date, (Don’t panic !)

Should you decide to have your wedding ceremony and reception held at separate locations, you will need to allow time for pictures and travel before the official start of the reception celebration. As you and your wedding party are having photos taken at the ceremony location, your guests will be traveling to the reception venue. Decisions need to be made as to what will happen upon the arrival of guests. Will there be cocktails and hors doeuvres waiting in stations or will there be a wait staff walking them around? You do not want your guests to have to drive too far to a separate location. You do not want them to get lost or stuck in traffic. If you decide to use two separate locations, be sure to keep them close together!

Wedding Venues - Berkshire

Many wedding venues offer locations for both the wedding ceremony and the reception, keeping your guests from having to travel from one location to another. Although this is very convenient, dont allow the accessibility to sacrifice your dream wedding. Choosing a fancy location with four walls and no views can be less than ordinary for the sake of only having one location. Venues with views offer an unforgettable majestic backdrop of beauty and appeal. Views set the theme of your day and allow you to naturally add timeless elegance. When looking at locations, take note of what your guests will see in the areas they will be gathering and sitting. Put yourself in your guests shoes!

When looking for the perfect location, couples need to make notes of things they like, dislike and want to happen. Be sure to ask questions when meeting about the wedding venue and what is offered. Keep an open mind while listening to the event coordinator. Pay close attention to details and discuss your ideas. The event coordinator is the one person who has first-hand experience of what works and does not work at their site. They will guide you through every detail of what they will supply and what you need to do.

Most full service wedding venues will offer everything you need for your wedding reception. They will have all the chairs, tables, place settings and linens available. Some even offer flower arrangements already in place and linens in various colors to match your wedding scheme. The event coordinator will help you with your table arrangements, coordination of any outside vendors such as a DJ, band and/or cake delivery. Dont be afraid to negotiate should there be something you really want to add, such as additional side dishes to your menu or an optional vegetarian and child menu choices or other dietary restriction requirements.

Wedding Venues - Berkshire

The price a full service wedding venue quotes will include everything from start to finish and charge you based upon headcount. Some places do have a minimum charge should your headcount not cover the full anticipated expenses. You should not have to pay a separate rental fee to use the facility. Separate rental fees for use of the location come into place when you are actually renting the space and bringing in your own vendors such as caterers, chairs, tables, place settings, linens and service staff, just to name a few. However, some locations will charge a separate fee for the use of the lawn or other space which will cover the cost of chair and decoration set up and removal.

Never assume! It is your responsibility to know what is and is not included in your venue rental. Make sure you read over your contract, ask questions and understand all the logistics and deadlines (such as when the final headcount is due). Make yourself a list of questions and concerns to bring with you when you meet with the event coordinator.

Wedding Venues Berkshire

Here is a check list to get you started:


How will my guests be greeted and know where to go upon arrival
Parking; valet, location (lot, garage, street), additional fees
Full service venue or is there a need for outside vendors
In-house catering; how are left overs handled (same for outside catering)
Optional menu choices for children, vegetarians or other dietary restrictions
Wedding cake; in-house or outside baker, who serves, how are left overs handled
Wait staff; number of servers vs. guests (two servers per 75-100 guests is adequate)
Champagne and/or sparkling cider toast included or additional
Toasting glasses
Personalized glasses for wedding party supplied by bride and groom
Open and/or cash bar; offering select drinks only
Adequate number of bathrooms available
Ample heating and air conditioning
Dance floor
Ample outlets for band, DJ, decorations
Tables, chairs, linens, place settings, table center pieces
Table assignments and numbers
Favors on tables or handed out by staff or other
Decorations; supplied and needed
Personal effects such as pictures or other decorations
Music played during meal (DJ, Band, MP3 player, CD)
Set a time schedule of events (dinner served, toast and speeches, cake, etc…) and who will be in charge to make sure the schedule is followed


Venue locations vary from wineries, beaches, golf courses, historical homes and sites, mountains, upscale barns, on lakes or alongside rolling rivers. They can be found by going to bridal expos, internet searches, recommendations or perhaps from a previous celebration you attended. Internet searches will give you an idea of services provided and the maximum number of occupants allowed. Some locations even have an availability calendar online.

If you like a location from a previously attended celebration, be sure to visit the venue at the time you wish to have your event. A brunch reception at ten oclock in the morning will have much different lighting and views than that of a dinner reception at five oclock in the evening. Inquire to see if there are any other events happening on the property at the same time as your wedding and/or reception.

Choosing your wedding venue is as important as the wedding dress and colours you will use. It sets the theme of your celebration and allows the personality of the couple to shine through. A location with a view gives an added setting for pictures, allows natural lighting to filter through and sets the tone of your day. Finding a wedding venue that offers an experienced event coordinator with the services you want and is willing to make reasonable accommodations is important. Remember, a good venue will work with you to make your day perfect.

Wedding Car Hire Berkshire - Shadow Carriage

Wedding Car Hire in Berkshire

In one of our chauffeur driven luxurious wedding cars, you can relax and enjoy your big day whilst we cater to your timescales

A chauffeur driven car is essential for any wedding and we offer a range of highly desirable wedding cars for Hire, including the Rolls Royce Phantom, Rolls Royce Drophead, Bentley Flying Spur and both the Mercedes Benz S Class and Mercedes Benz E Class.

Shadow Carriage aim to please at every point of the process starting with the detailed conversation we have with your when you make a booking, right through to the impeccable condition of our cars and the professionalism of our fully trained chauffeurs.

During your big day, your appointed chauffeur will ensure that you and your family are delivered to the event in style, class and in an unparalleled level of comfort. We understand that initial timescales can vary throughout the day and our friendly chauffeurs are happy to cater to that so that you relax and carry on your day with a smile.