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Wedding Venue Style and Type

Hello again and welcome to the next feature where the spotlight is most firmly on wedding venues. Today, we’re looking at the various types of wedding venues and the pros and cons of them all. If you’re not sure what might suit your day best or if you don’t know your exclusive use from your dry hire, this is the feature for you!

I feel I have to start here with a note of realism. It’s a tough truth that the truly perfect wedding venue might not exist. With all venues, it’s likely that you might have to compromise or accept one or two things that aren’t totally perfect but because the rest of the venue and its offering is so spot on, you’re happy to overlook these little niggles. This is why knowing what’s important to you is absolutely crucial because once you’ve got you ‘non-negotiables’ set, you can be flexible with other areas. Please don’t think this is in anyway settling for second best, it’s definitely about making sure that your venue gives you the things that mean the most to you.


Exclusive Use

Exclusive use venues are exactly what you’d expect – you have the whole venue to yourself for the duration of the hire. Exclusive use venues range in style from grand country estates through to quirky hotels and super cool locations that you’d never get to visit or stay in other than at a wedding.


Drake and Morgan have exclusive use wedding venue style


  • Pros – exclusive use venues have lots of great plus points including:
    • Total privacy for your and your guests.
    • You’re often able to really make yourself at home and extend your stay – this is great if you/your guests are travelling to the venue.
    • Lots of exclusive use venues are family owned and can offer fantastic flexibility.
  • Cons –
    • All that privacy often comes at a cost and exclusive use venues can be expensive.
    • You might be restricted on suppliers that you can use.
    • If your venue is miles from anywhere, guests who can’t be accommodated on-site might struggle to find somewhere local to stay.


Dry-Hire Venues

Dry-hire venues have become increasingly popular over recent years – think about old industrial spaces and creative studios where you’re just hiring the space and nothing else. The majority of dry-hire venues are in city centres but more and more are appearing all the time.


Ozleaze Barn is a dry hire wedding venue style


  • Pros –
    • Dry-hire venues are usually give you a complete ‘blank canvas’ so if you want to create a unique day, you’ve got the freedom to do so.
    • If you don’t want or need expensive accommodation on site, you can often make savings with a dry-hire
    • You’re only paying for the space, not for elements of a package that you might not want or need.
  • Cons –
    • Dry-hire venues don’t tend to provide anything so you need to bring in everything you need – that might include furniture, additional power, toilets and ALL the suppliers, possibly without the help of an on-site coordinator
    • You’ll have to do all of the wedding set-up and breakdown yourself (or with the help of your friends, family and suppliers).


Traditional Venues

Whether it’s a country barn or a hotel, a traditional venue focuses on weddings and probably provides various packages or certain elements included in the cost plus dedicated staff to help you out.


Hedsor House is a traditional wedding venue style


  • Pros –
    • Traditional venues tend to really know what they’re doing and the staff are always on hand to help you out.
    • They usually include a lot in the various packages so the amount that you have to organise is minimal.
    • Pricing is usually really clear and you won’t need to be adding on extra costs for elements such as furniture hire, catering equipment, generators etc.
    • These venues now come in a huge range of styles, sizes and they range in price to suit most budgets too.
  • Cons –
    • At some venues, you can only choose suppliers from their recommended lists.
    • You might feel that the packages limit your creativity.
    • You potentially could end up paying for elements that you don’t need
    • If the venue hosts a huge number of weddings, you might feel like ‘one of many’ rather than ‘one of a kind’.

Marquees, Tipis & Yurts

Whilst the feel and style of marquee weddings can differ hugely from tipi or yurt weddings, in some ways, the venue is the same. Whatever the structure itself looks like, you’re essentially creating a temporary venue just for your wedding!


Countryside marquee wedding venue style


  • Pros –
    • You’re able to have a real hand in designing your venue so the space and feel will suit you perfectly.
    • These ‘pop-up’ venues mean that you can celebrate your wedding in a location that’s special to you even if it doesn’t have enough permanent space for a wedding.
    • You’ve also got the option to create your own rules so rehearsal dinners, after parties and ‘morning after’ celebrations are all possible!
  • Cons –
    • Like dry-hire venues, you’ll have a lot to organise but usually the marquee/tipi/yurt provider will help with certain elements.
    • Creating a venue also means thinking about guest travel, parking and accommodation options elsewhere.
    • Someone will need to be on-hand during the set-up and breakdown of the structure and if you’re having an ‘at home’ wedding, you’re likely to have a few weeks with a lot of coming and going!


The style of venue that you go for is all about you, your style, your budget and your own personal preferences. If your decision gives you what you want, then it’s the right venue and that’s just fabulous.  Coco Wedding Venues has a great search option for choosing your venue based on the wedding venue style you are looking for, you should definitely check it out.

Until next time,

Amanda x