When it comes to wedding reception venues, I find more and more brides are chosing to tie the knot and have their reception somewhere a little bit different. Gone are the days when you automatically udes a hotel, barn or country house and instead brides are opting for venues that offer a different style and an altogether different look.
Go back ten years and I would have said there was a bit of stigma to having your wedding reception in a village hall or the back room of the local pub. But with lottery funding being ploughed into local communities and the rise of the gastro pub, opinions have changed and it's now more than acceptable to choose these cheaper wedding venues.
Couples are being savvier in their choices and more importantly with their money (which is usually the case in a recession). This year, I think they'll be more village hall weddings than ever with brides being flexible over their wedding reception venues rather than cutting back on their dream dresses or photography.
I'm also finding more and more couples wanting to tie the knot outside. Although, not technically legal, you can have a blessing outside and a 'fake' wedding, but legally you have to marry in a licensed building.
Even still, many see the legal part as a simple 'must do' like announcing your marriage banns with the emphasis on the outdoor wedding with all friends and family present. To accompany the demand, there are more and more celebrants offering their services, particularly with the rise of civil partnerships as well.
Saying that, there are a very small number of outdoor wedding venues in England and even still the couple must tie the knot under a pagoda, terrace or other fixed structure that has been officially given a marriage license.
So, no beach weddings, weddings in a field, in the woods or at the park, unless of course you do the official bit first in the register office. There are plenty of ways around this though.
Couples are not only open to cheaper wedding venues and desiring outdoor weddings, but are looking for more unusual wedding venues as well. Clubs, breweries, museums, caves and even country cottages have been the venues of choice for some couples - aiming to be different and stand out from the crowd in some shape or form.
For me, I think it's a great to see such a diverse range of wedding reception venues available. It's easy to be different and you can be different, although I fear that the majority will still favour the traditional and go to that big country house and spend a fortune. Will you be different?
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