1. Have some imagination, ladies. There are thousands of places other than Tudor mansions to get married. Pubs, boats like HMS Belfast, museums, sports venues, spas, farms and school halls have their own charm.
The Science Museum.
2. Don’t pay corkage. There’s no point getting a cheap venue, which then sodomises you on the corkage. Here’s some no corkage venues:
London Canal Museum, Kew Steam Museum,York House (Twickenham), Hylands House (Essex), Dodmoor House (Northamptonshire), Longstowe Hall, Netherwitchendon House. Plus a place called Orchard Leigh in Somerset has low corkage.
3. Go gay. Gay-friendly venues tend to be cheaper and are often more interesting.
4. Get married on a weekday. Obviously no one will come, and they wont drink as much because they’ve got work the next day, but hey, you save on guests AND booze that way.
5. Call in favours. If you’ve got a mate with huge fairy tale pad, see if you can borrow it.
6. Avoid wedding venues. If you look on wedding sites like You and Your Wedding for venues, you’re immediately competing with thousands of other women for the same venue. Which means one thing – inflated costs.
7. Go kooky. If the venue is weird enough, it makes inviting only a tiny crowd somehow ok. What about a blessing at St Helen’s Church on Lundy Island off the Devon Coast, then a reception for up to 40 in the island’s only pub, Mariscos.
8. Retro-fit your theme to your venue. If you decide on The Wapping Project (a former power station in East London), then make your theme modern minimalism. If you decide on a farm, like South Farm in Hertfordshire, make the theme rustic charm, and people will think your choice of venue was just part of your bridal vision, rather than a hard-nosed financial decision.