Our top tips for choosing the perfect wedding venue

‘Let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments’

William Shakespeare

Everybody loves a good wedding. Happiness is in the air, families and friends are brought together and food and drinks are flowing. For brides and grooms, a wedding day is not just the best day of their lives, but one they have been planning for months if not years.

These days you can get married however you want, from jumping out of a plane to being escorted down the aisle by a pair of llamas. The choices are endless, but it’s important to remember what weddings are really about. Be it a tiny intimate family affair or one involving everyone you know including the neighbour’s cat, celebration and love will be at its heart.

When it comes to love, William Shakespeare quite literally wrote the book. Across his complete works, the word ‘love’ appears thousands of times. Here at Swan, Shakespeare’s Globe we know a lot about weddings, and a little about love too. We have been hosting weddings for more than a decade and have pretty much seen it all.

Here are our top tips to picking the perfect venue for your big day.

Theme

When thinking about your perfect venue, think about how you want your wedding to look, be it a specific colour scheme or a complete theme. Talk through your vision with your venue to make sure they can accommodate what you have in mind. We have hosted intimate gatherings in our Balcony Room built around bespoke menus, wines and drinks, and also huge 350-strong themed receptions in our Underglobe space, complete with band, actors and face paint. Bringing along your Pinterest board or a lookbook is a great way to give your venue a visual idea of what you want, and they should be able to guide you from there.

Size

While you need to make sure that the space you are celebrating in can cater for exactly what you want, it is also important to think about who you want to be there. For an intimate reception don’t choose a great big theatre-sized hall as it will probably lack atmosphere and energy with too few guests to fill it. Equally, being so tight for room that your friend from school is practically perched on your boss’s knee is not ideal. Whatever the size of your party, a good venue will be able to accommodate and come up with some creative solutions, at Swan we often recommend bowl food for larger, more relaxed wedding parties which can be combined with dessert and cheese stands.

Music

“If music be the food of love; play on!”, wise words from the Bard himself. The music you choose for your wedding should be no afterthought, from the song you walk down the aisle to through to the tunes that will keep your guests bopping into the night. Check what equipment a venue has to be sure that there are no last-minute panics or external hire costs along the way. Here at Swan we have invested in state-of-the-art in-house PA systems, microphones and lighting, while our Underglobe space has full stage set-up including crew.

Decorations and entertainment

No matter how stunning the space, you will want to make it your own. For some this means beautiful blooms, for others it is circus acts, facepaint and photo booths. For best results, ask your venue about trusted contractors or in-house options. Over the years we have built up a strong in-house floristry, decoration and entertainment team, and contacts for everything from cocktail fountains to magicians to help your reception go off with a bang.

Location

You should choose the perfect venue for you no matter where it is, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t consider practicalities too. If you are having an out-of-town wedding then make sure there are plenty of good hotels or places to stay, either on-site or off, and remember to give clear directions. When choosing city wedding venues it’s a good idea to think about views, light and noise. All of these things are part of the atmosphere of a city, but they will also be part of your photos and videos. At Swan we advise our guests on the best backdrops and views, whether your lover wants to capture a kiss to the backdrop of St. Paul’s or you long to embrace under the gaze of the world-famous Shakespeare’s Globe. There is a reason you chose to get married in the world’s greatest city of London, after all.

If you would like more information on Swan’s weddings and receptions you can read more here.

Or get in touch at by calling 020 7928 9444 for an informal chat or contact us online for more information.