The UK is known for its iconic countryside with rolling green hills, wildflower meadows and secluded country wedding venues. Whether you choose a beautiful country manor house, a farm, a woodland or a modernised converted barn, wedding venues in the countryside are packed full of charm and create a fun and picturesque wedding vibe.
These venues location and architecture provide a great canvas for your wedding. With the dry hire spaces you can genuinely personalise these spaces with flowers, decorations, lights and extras to match your wedding style and theme. But when it comes to country weddings, there are lots of hidden factors to consider. To help you, I have listed my top tips below to make sure your wedding in the gorgeous green British countryside runs smoothly.
Top Tips When Planning Your Wedding in the Countryside
All wedding venues have their limitations. It is best to iron them out early so you don’t worry about them on the day. If you are planning, or have already booked, a countryside wedding venue, make sure you factor in the following:
A Strong Wi-Fi Signal
A lot is going on behind the scenes when it comes to a wedding, with many people and suppliers needing to liaise with one another. This also includes the wedding party trying to get hold of guests or any brides running a little late. Nothing is more frustrating than being unable to quickly get hold of someone or resolve something due to bad Wi-Fi. Speak to your venue and ask how they can boost their Wi-Fi signal, and if there is a password, share it with your guests via wedding signage or in the wedding website.
When it comes to wedding transport, there are a few things to bear in mind. Are there local taxis available for your guests to book? If they are driving, is there available parking or if you are in a field, will their car be ok to drive in if it has rained? Maybe you are planning to book alternative wedding transport for your wedding party or guests, such as a bus. If so, make sure there are no restrictions for it to arrive safely at the venue, like low-hanging branches, a narrow entrance or a small turning circle.
Where Will You Be Sleeping?
The wonderful part of a wedding in the countryside is the privacy and intimacy you have by being in the middle of nowhere. However, this means you may need to find nearby accommodation for your bridal party and guests. It is a nice gesture to include a few suggestions within your wedding invites for your guests to book themselves. Sometimes, you might get a discount if you have a large booking!
Alternatively, you could speak to your wedding venue and see if they have any accommodation on-site, be it cottages on site , bridal suite, an out building or glamping or camping. If you do camping/ glamping, make sure you figure out the toilet and shower facilities setup too.
Wedding Supplier Logistics and Restrictions
This refers to all the wedding extras your venue is not supplying and you need to hire in — for example, catering, marquees, toilets, a bar, music, florists, tableware etc. When suppliers come to a new venue, they need to know that their vans can deliver directly on-site. Furthermore, you need to liaise with your venue and plan where they will be placed and that they have access to electricity points to power amps, cook food and chill wine - all the important things.
Do You Have All the Necessary Facilities?
If your wedding venue is all-encompassing, you will not need to worry too much about booking extra facilities. However, some countryside wedding venues only offer the land. Therefore, you will need to look into hiring external suppliers for catering, lighting, music, entertainment, and maybe even toilet facilities. Remember to include all these extras into your budget and check with your venue if they have any limitations.
Find the Best Photo Spots
One of the best parts of a countryside wedding is the spectacular views available at no extra cost. They create a stunning backdrop for your and your guests’ wedding photos. There will also be some unusual and unique spots around your venue, like pretty walled gardens, dreamy archways or charming wooden doors, flower fields or even cute animal guests. Your photographer will source great shots for you, but it is helpful to have an idea and note if you will be walking to any particular place.
Consider Your Footwear
Speaking of walking, when planning a wedding in the country, there is a good chance a lot of your day will be spent outside, directly on grass. If the weather is dry, this hopefully will not be an issue, but if it is or has been raining, the grass may be soft and muddy – a nightmare for stilettoes! For high-heel fans, consider bringing a spare pair of shoes to switch into so you do not ruin your heels. You also could provide heel stoppers for your guests or a basket full of flip-flops. Or, go one step further and embrace the country vibe with a pair of wedding wellies which suits if you are in rustic venue.
Have a Plan B for Unpredictable Weather
I adore an outdoor wedding (I had one myself), but let’s be honest, in the UK, we must prepare for the inevitability of rain – at any time of the year! The beauty of countryside venues is that they are extremely versatile to cope with a bit of rain. If in a manor house they may likely have the plan B inside one of the rooms, you could include a marquee for your wedding reception or use a barn or outbuilding at the more rustic wedding venues. Make sure to bring some umbrellas, so your guests can move between locations – they are an excellent prop for some wonderful wedding pictures too. Likewise if you are dining alfresco perhaps parasols may be needed to keep the hot sun off your guests.
Use a Postcode that Works!
This might sound silly, but there are too many times I have been on a site visit to a hidden gem of a wedding venue, tucked away in the middle of nowhere, and stressed myself out trying to find it! Ask the venue which postcode is best to use and any additional directions you can pass to your guests. Many couples include directions or a cute map within their invitations to help people find the right location, or what3words is a fantastic app to download and will direct your guests straight to you. A working postcode will also be handy for your guests looking to book taxis.
Planning a countryside wedding is such a fun time, and I hope this information helps with any of your big or little questions. If you are planning your wedding and looking for some expert support, I would love to hear from you.