The wedding venue choice is the biggest decision and expense of the wedding day. Outdoor weddings at licensed venues in England and Wales have been legalised permanently, following support for the temporary Covid measures. So it’s no wonder some of the couples we meet at Wye Valley Flowers feel overwhelmed with the choice!

There are a few factors to consider in the choice, so it is worth making a list of priorities – unless you already have the perfect venue in mind. But even then, check it meets all your requirements

Here are our Top Tips for choosing a wedding venue

  • Will the ceremony and reception be at the same place? How far apart will they be?
  • Location, location, location – Accessibility for guests to come from further afield, such as motorways or train stations
  • Nearby hotels or AirBnB
  • Accessible taxi service for local guests
  • Capacity – will it fit all your guests or will they rattle around in the empty corners, something more intimate would be better
  • Time of year for the wedding, some venues have outside space which you can maxmise in the Summer and others might have a more cozy feel for a Winter wedding
  • Think about your photos – is there a natural view or backdrop?
  • Is there a single wedding event contact or coordinator you can contact anytime with questions?
  • Will they accommodate your requests, such as particularly flower installations or table layouts?

Does the wedding venue reflect your interest, personality, and maybe your journey as a couple?

Would you like to hire a large house with a wedding license and guest rooms, so friends and family can help prepare for the wedding? Make a weekend of it!

Check entertainment options

Stick to your budget! Even the most gorgeous venue won’t be worth the stress if you can’t really afford it and there are inevitably extras that creep in.

Don’t be afraid to discuss ways of trimming the costs with a venue – could you have a playlist instead of a DJ, could you the ceremony later so you only provide one meal to guests, do they offer free corkage so you can buy cheaper (often better) wine? Some hotels have their own cars/mini buses etc.

We are really lucky our flower farm is situated between the stunning Wye Valley and Forest of Dean with good access to Bristol, Gloucester, Cheltenham, Cardiff. There are a range of quirky, historic, luxury, boutique and self-catering venues in the area. We work with several local spaces and are the preferred supplier at many.

This is our list of favourite wedding venues (in no particular order): Handsome, historic former hunting lodge in the heart of the forest of dean, built 1669. Gorgeous family-run wedding venue, with stunning barn conversation and outside space. fairytale house for a dream wedding, all wrapped around 10 acres of mountains, meadows and a natural beauty. Two large properties, a luxury shepherd’s hit and a barn for the big events. Incredible views, acres of land, perfectly located and well equipped.

The 14 acres of managed landscaped gardens, ponds and streams at Glanusk is a photographer’s dream. Originally built for grain storage for more than 170 years, the Over Barn retains its great character with exposed beams, brick, and timber cladding. Clearwell Castle, a fairytale dream wedding venue, offers warmth and grandeur (previously the recording studios of Led Zepplin) – the perfect place for an unforgettable wedding, The unique 16th-century features of the hotel, characterful accommodation including four poster bedrooms, quiet surroundings and beautifully kept gardens. The idyllic dairy farm has been in the same family for five generations. A privately owned Grade II * country estate in the heart of the stunning Monmouthshire countryside, with enchanting gardens and stunning interiors. Hidden away on a secluded hillside in 25 acres of garden, field and woodland, the beautiful old country house enjoys stunning views over the rolling countryside towards the distant Welsh mountains. stunning Grade II listed Georgian Manor, with beautifully kept gardens and the luxurious Gainsborough suite, Glewstone Court is the perfect intimate country house wedding venue.

Wedding Trends for 2023

When it comes to wedding flowers, only the best will do.

At Wye Valley Flowers we are looking at wedding trends for the coming year, we know how important flowers are in creating the atmosphere and palette for the event. It is important that our couples get the best blooms for the big day.

Seasonal and sustainable flowers will continue to be the popular choice for eco-conscious couples. Pops of colour, striking texture, and show-stopping maximalist installations will come through in the details for 2023/2024 weddings.

Pastel hues will always be a popular choice, but couples are looking for a more unique expression of their style and brighter blooms have already started appearing on inspiration boards. The festival vibe and bolder shades of the last couple of years will all feature more in formal settings.

It is important to develop a creative relationship with your flower designers to translate this into your venue and vision. We often ask couples to think about a paint chart, as some colours can be misinterpreted – which would be a disaster on the day. I have seen cream, beige, pale pink, and a darker pink all described as ‘blush’ for example and in fact, it’s not exactly any of those.

Texture & floral design

Texture has become really important in floral design over the last few years, not just describing the appearance and surface of foliage or flowers but also the movement, size, proportions, and shape of the elements as a theme within an arrangement. For example, our designs are loose, country garden, and hedgerow inspired to layer texture together creating to the overall effect.

It may seem obvious to talk about Nature and flowers together, but often wedding flower arrangements can become contrived or feel very static. One of our most popular arrangements is a meadow box, which can be used in a long line down an aisle or as a backdrop against a wall, but essentially it creates a garden view – starting with smaller flowers and moss lower down, leading up through grasses and flower spires to branches and rambling roses. The rules of symmetry no longer constrain us and a freer, more organic approach allows arrangements to feel rooted to the ground. It’s dramatic and fabulous all in one.

More is more!

This leads us to maximalism where more is more! It has been popular in décor for a couple of years and is spilling onto the pages of bridal magazines for floral design. Possibly a reaction to the minimalism of micro-weddings, but large installations with maximum wow are the floral antidote to lockdown. Flower clouds suspended over tables, marquee hoops, broken arches, and cascade bouquets of the 80s are the aesthetic of excess. Ensuring good provenance of the flowers in larger displays, avoiding floral foam, and ensuring seasonality are conversations couples should have with their floral designers – how can they help you create impact without waste?

We are full for 2023 weddings, but still have some availability for 2024 and invite all couples to the flower farm for a free consultation. Get in touch if you would like to discuss ideas for your big day

Making the Wedding flower budget go further

Flowers, though gorgeous and life-affirming – are essentially a luxury item and in terms of sustainability should perhaps be enjoyed for longer than just the wedding service. The average bridal bouquet has traveled over 4,000 miles, requiring lots of irrigation, possibly grown in peat, often sprayed in chemicals banned in the EU, using tonnes of carbon in distribution fuel, wrapped in excessive plastic packaging, dipped in flower food containing bleach and sometimes even dyed. But wedding flowers don’t have to cost the earth.

So what are the alternatives to imported flowers, which would appeal more to eco-conscious couples and also won’t blow the flower budget? British-grown, seasonal flowers. We have become more conscious about what we eat and where it comes from. Since the lockdown, we are looking for more local solutions and there are nearly 1,000 artisan flower growers across the UK, many working towards sustainable principles. Have a look at Flowers from the Farm online and on social media, where you’ll find the nearest florist farmers to your venue or at least someone who could supply ethically sourced flowers to your chosen florist (make sure they are floral foam free – as this contains microplastics).

Keep control of the budget

Once you have chosen your flower source, why not think about employing the groomsmen or friends to help move a few arrangements from the ceremony to the venue? At Wye Valley Flowers we really encourage this ‘recycling’ of flowers to make a budget go much further, but it also ensures the flowers are enjoyed for much longer and reduces waste.

Jam jars are a simple way to create impact as table centres, they can be hung on the pew ends or line an aisle for an outdoor wedding and can also act as ‘flower favours’ for guests to enjoy at home – much better than throwing the bouquet. They also make the perfect gift for anyone unable to attend.

As well as offering full floristry services, our DIY wedding buckets are also really popular. They are perfect for a creative bridal party, especially if a few friends and family are gathered at the venue the night before to assemble – preferably over a catch-up and a bottle of fizz. This allows everyone to get involved and really personalise the flowers and maximise the budget.

Similarly, a ‘broken arch’ can be designed to stand behind the couple for vows, but also be transported to work as an entrance to a reception marquee. Last year we had several ‘festival weddings’ who took the flowers from the entrance of the church, to put in the reception tipis for a really boho vibe.

Choosing locally grown, seasonal British flowers from is one of the easiest ways to make your wedding bouquet more sustainable. You are also supporting a local business too!

Email us to disscuss your flower budget, or arrange an informal chat to discuss ideas and follow us on social media @wyevalleyflowers