Wedding planning advice from Bijou Weddings

    When it comes to tying the knot in style, Bijou Wedding Venues are the team to talk to! They’ve helped thousands of couples achieve their dream day across all four of their luxurious, country house wedding venues over the past 15 years and there’s been no stopping the unique, cool, quirky or outrageous wedding styles that have been welcomed into the venues in the past.

    If you’re newly engaged, engaged but not yet booked your wedding, or you’ve been contemplating popping the question for months but just haven’t yet taken the plunge, read on…

    We’re engaged!! What next?

    After having changed your status to ‘engaged’ on facebook and shared the good news with friends, family, your world on Twitter and Instagram, it’s time to get serious about the big day ahead. First things first – set a wedding budget and decide who’s paying! You should also discuss location at this point; if one of you is set on marrying in your home town and the other wants a destination day, you might find yourselves with a bit of a problem. Communicate your wedding day dreams with each other, from fashion to food and where you’d like to say those all important vows. A wedding day is shared by you both, so it’s important to keep everyone happy along the way.

    How far in advance of our wedding date should we start viewing wedding venues?

    The best wedding venues will get booked up years in advance, so if there’s a specific wedding date that you have in mind, it’s worth viewing the shortlist of your favourite venues early. Typically, we find that most couples book their weddings between 9 and 12 months in advance, but if you’re keen to say ‘I do’ in a hurry then you just need to know where to look. It’s entirely possible to find a dream venue that can accommodate you and your wedding wishes within a 6-month time frame or less, if that’s the position you find yourselves in. We at Bijou have planned and delivered wonderful weddings where there’s been less than a month between engagement and wedding!

    How much of your overall wedding budget should be spent on the wedding venue?

    Wedding budgets vary hugely, but the proportion spent on your venue tends to be fairly consistent, taking account for differences in what different venues offer. With our couples we find that they spend around two thirds of the overall wedding budget with us – but, since we’re far more than just venues, “with us” includes hire of the venue, all food and drink, the planning process, the staffing for the day, and often the evening entertainment too. The rest of your budget tends to be split between the other big-ticket items – attire for the day, honeymoon, rings, photography and floristry, and of course a cake…

    How can couples guarantee privacy when it comes to booking a wedding?

    Choosing an exclusive use wedding venue is the only way to really ensure wedding day privacy. You’ll have exclusive use of the entire venue, grounds and staff for the day, as well as overnight accommodation if the venue provides it. No one on-site other than you, your guests, and the staff that are there to take care of you all. You may pay a slight premium to book an exclusive use wedding venue, but it’s worth it. You’re guaranteed to have ultimate privacy and great service throughout the duration of your wedding planning experience and on the big day itself.

    When is the best time of year to get married?

    There is no best time of year to get married. We’ve seen truly stunning celebrations throughout the seasons. Of course the image you have in your head may point you in one direction or the other, however! Weddings in the spring allow for outdoor wedding photography, gorgeous pastel colour schemes and beautiful floral arrangements. Summer weddings allow for the possibility of saying your vows ‘al fresco’ followed by a canapé and champagne celebration on the lawn. The changing leaves provide a stunning backdrop for wedding photos in the autumn – and, during the winter months, roaring fire places, sumptuous winter warmer wedding banquet menus and crisp, wintry settings could make for the ultimate season to tie the knot (and it might even snow!). The cost of your wedding may vary quite considerably from season to season, so it’s worth exhausting all options before committing to a specific venue, month or day of the week!

    Wedding Venue Advice from the Experts

    At Bijou, we understand how important a wedding experience should be; from your initial enquiry until the moment you leave us as a married couple the following morning. We don’t believe in just settling for a wedding venue – we want you to fall in love with your wedding venue the way you fell in love with each other. Tailor your wedding day to suit your needs and style as a couple; embrace the experience; be yourselves and don’t forget to have plenty of fun along the way.

    Who are Bijou Wedding Venues?

    Bijou Wedding Venues are a collection of stylish, very gay-friendly, country house wedding venues based across the South East of England. They operate on an exclusive basis only, guaranteeing privacy and wedding day perfection, every step of the way.

    Visit to find out more.