In our new series of blogs we’ll be sharing the very best ideas, advice and inspiration from different wedding industry experts. This week we’ve been speaking to two of the UK’s top wedding venues. Read on for their thoughts on the results of our latest wedding survey, as well as all their essential venue tips…

That Amazing Place, Essex

“That Amazing Place ( in Essex is an exclusive-use venue dating back to the 15th century,” says Events Manager Angie Roberts. “The historical Grade II listed manor house has been beautifully renovated with stylish, contemporary interiors and elegant furnishings. It offers a cosy and intimate ‘home from home’ for you to celebrate in. Also, when you book your wedding with us, our beautiful country manor house, wedding cottage and 13 guest bedrooms (sleeping 29 guests), are all exclusively yours for the day and night of your wedding."


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Wedding venues with a view

“We’re licensed for civil ceremonies too. Our Lakeview Lounge can accommodate up to 70 guests for a ceremony and has spectacular views through our beautiful bay windows," says Angie. "The Hall, with its stunning mirrored wall and high ceilings, can also cater for up to 100 people. For couples looking for wedding venues for a larger do, we can also cater for up to 150 in our garden and grounds marquee. Alternatively, during the summer months, you can choose to say your vows alfresco under our lakeside gazebo.”


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Time to plan

“Just as you found in your wedding survey, couples who marry at That Amazing Place have often been engaged for over a year,” says Angie. “People often book a date far in advance to give themselves time to save up. Then they can afford the wedding they want, rather than do it quickly and not have the budget.”

Money matters

“Most people are very budget conscious, but there are some who really push the boat out,” she continues. “We have many extravagant weddings, but the most memorable was one where the couple spent around £5K on their flowers alone. They were a down-to-earth couple, but the bride had an excellent eye for detail and design and she really enjoyed planning the wedding. At the other end of the scale, we had one couple who really didn’t have much money to spend. They opted for minimal decoration, doing most of it themselves, and an informal BBQ wedding breakfast to keep costs down.”


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‘Tis the season

“Summer weddings at That Amazing Place typically seem to have more guests than winter,” says Angie. “However, our venue is perfect for small cosy weddings in the winter months, so that could be why. And, as your wedding survey found, most of our brides get ready at the venue so don’t need wedding cars.”

“The traditional wedding with a ceremony, drinks reception and sit-down meal, followed by more guests for the evening reception, is also still the most popular. And Friday and Saturday weddings are definitely the most in demand. Although, we do have a few weekday weddings too. These are often a good choice for people on a budget or with a small number of guests.”


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Shottle Hall, Derbyshire

Shottle Hall ( is a beautiful Victorian country house in the heart of Derbyshire. Set in fourteen acres of magnificent parkland and landscaped gardens, it also has a state-of-the-art luxury marquee with stunning countryside views. “We’re a family-run business and we go above and beyond to ensure that your day exceeds expectations,” says James Davis, Shottle Hall’s Marketing Manager. “Above all else, we want you to feel as though Shottle Hall is your home from home.”

Setting the date

“I think having the luxury of a long engagement is nice, but we've found many couples are happy to marry within six months’ time if the price is right,” says James. “We have a great wedding planning team who can make this an easy process, by recommending suppliers and helping with all the logistics. Also, if a couple chooses a late availability offer, it leaves more budget for extras on the day.”

Spending wisely

“Each bride and groom are different, there are some that want the most luxurious wedding cake and will spend a fortune on flowers and venue dressing,” says James. “Others might want a particular band or DJ so will have a more subtle theme instead. Another trend we are seeing is smaller guest numbers but spending more on food and drink. We try to encourage couples not to skimp on the food and drink. This is what your guests will remember!”

Blowing the budget

“Here at Shottle Hall we’ve hosted a few footballers’ weddings, which have been very extravagant,” says James. “One wedding had a separate marquee, which was kitted out as a fancy nightclub. It had white sofas, dancing podiums and even a DJ flown in from Ibiza. A lot of champagne was drunk that night too!”


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Get me to the church on time

"As your wedding survey found, for couples who don't get ready at the venue, the favourite mode of transport is a fancy car,” says James. “However, we've had helicopters, horse and carriages and even one bride who arrived in her Father’s tractor! They hitched up a trailer and decorated it with swags and bows. It looked really lovely.”

“We still see the more traditional three-course, sit-down meal wedding here at Shottle, as our venue lends itself to this,” says James. “However, we can cater for larger more relaxed weddings in the marquee. Couples who choose this option might have a hog roast and often go rustic with design and decor. We also find that the most popular time to marry is 2pm, during the summer months, and 1pm in the winter.”


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When and where to marry

“We have a magical outside ceremony space and a garden pavilion,” says James. “We built this when we saw the trend growing for wedding venues that could hold alfresco ceremonies. We’ve been lucky with the weather thankfully, as last summer was beautiful. Saturday is also still the most popular day of the week to marry. Although we do have lots of Friday and Sunday weddings too. We've also seen an increase in mid-week weddings. Interestingly, in the olden days, getting married on a Wednesday was thought to be good luck. People thought it meant the marriage would last forever!”

Click here to read the full WED2B 2018 Wedding Survey. Our 2019 wedding trends survey will be sent out to brides in Summer 2019. If you'd like to take part please follow us on InstagramFacebook or Twitter and keep an eye out for more details. Are you looking for wedding venues or other suppliers? Then browse our WED2B Wedding supplier directory for all the very best suppliers and wedding venues in your area.