This month we’ve teamed up with our client Dufferin Coaching Inn to offer brides and grooms to be some helpful advice on how to pick the perfect wedding venue…

Brides and grooms to be are faced with a long list of important decisions to make when it comes to piecing together their magical wedding day. While guest lists, catering choices, stunning dresses for the ladies and dapper attire for the men are just some of the many essentials to consider, securing the perfect venue to serve as the backdrop for your ceremony and celebrations sits firmly on top of the to-do list and should be one of the first tasks to strike off your list. The team at Dufferin Coaching Inn understands the important role that a venue plays in helping you tell your very own special love story to your nearest and dearest. Concentrating on a venue’s key features such as its surrounding location, space and interior lighting, to name a few, will help a couple to determine whether it is right for them and mirrors their personalities and overall wedding day vision.

If you’re in the midst of planning your special day, take a look at some of our key areas to consider that should help act as criteria when you are narrowing down your search!


Making it your own

Whether you are after a traditional themed wedding or something a little quirkier, a venue that lets you fully take the reins and put your own stamp on it can truly enable you to see your vision take shape on the big day, whilst a location which confines you too tightly to their own style or rules can be a deal breaker. Coming in all shapes and sizes, each venue will have its own unique characteristics and after some searching you will find the one that ‘marries’ perfectly with your dream wedding. Dufferin Hall is well-known for its unique charm that helps couples achieve that ‘fairy tale feeling’ in an intimate setting with their loved ones. Over the years the Hall has seen a vast array of transformations thanks to some of our wonderfully creative brides and grooms.

Ample space

Before stepping foot in any venues, make sure you have given thought to your guestlist and party size. Arming yourself with these numbers and any guests with special requirements will help you quickly rule out venues that may be either too big or too small. Begin to think about your desired table layout and sizes and how you wish to ‘group’ your guests to ensure the space can accommodate this. In addition to the guestlist, make sure there is enough space for your catering and band requirements, and of course, a great dance area for you and your guests to bring out your best dance moves.

Recommendations are key         

Recommendations are incredibly useful during your search, however they should only inform – not dictate – your final decision. No matter what part of your wedding day you are deciding on, remember that it is your special day and, in the end, it’s important to go with what feels right for you and your other half. Do your homework by speaking to a range of friends, family members and co-workers on possible venues and then jump online to get an idea of pictures and reviews from previous couples. Following that, go one step beyond the internet search and arrange a tour of the venue which can help you really visualise how your wedding day would play out there.

Don’t over shop

Brides and grooms can be easily overwhelmed by the variety of wedding venues to choose from, so it is best to keep your search as concise as possible, so you are not flooded with too much information. This is a piece of advice that can be transferred across many big wedding day decisions! Previous newlyweds recommend not viewing any more than five locations during your search and generally, if you’re following your intuition, you could have your choice sorted by venue number three!

Convenience goes a long way

The planning period and, indeed, the big day itself, can be a very hectic time for any couple, so it’s important to consider what aspects could be more streamlined to ease stress. Nowadays, more couples are selecting venues that give them the opportunity to hold their ceremony and big celebrations in the one location. This choice not only makes it more straightforward for the couple but also for the guests who will appreciate less travel time on the day! Having hosted many a beautiful wedding in the picturesque town of Killyleagh, we also recommend that couples consider their venue’s surrounding areas as they could have the perfect setting to capture your wedding photography. Many of our couples have taken advantage of the beautiful sunsets on the shore of Strangford Lough and the Quoile River along with the breath-taking ruins of Inch Abbey. And finally, the addition of Dufferin Coaching Inn upstairs includes convenient and charming guestrooms for the happy couple and bridal party to rest their tired heads following a full day of festivities, meaning when the party winds down, you haven’t got far to go.

Ultimately, when deciding on your venue, remember that it is not something that you have to do in the blink of an eye. During your wedding planning journey there will be many significant choices to make but we recommend that you take these in your stride, don’t panic, and enjoy it every step of the way. We can help make your journey easier with the beautiful setting of Dufferin Hall – get in touch to see for yourself!