Welcome sign at wedding

How can you make an exclusive-use wedding venue truly feel like ‘yours’ for the day? We asked Bijou Wedding Venues for their top tips

Hiring an exclusive-use wedding venue, such as a private barn, mansion or country house, comes with a plethora of benefits; you’re guaranteed privacy throughout your day, and you’re free to style it to your own taste and theme.

But how can you put your own stamp on a venue that’s ‘yours’ for a whole day? We asked the team at Bijou Weddings to come up with 10 top planning ideas to help kick-start your plans.

Welcome signs

Personalised welcome signs to greet your guests will offer an introduction to what your friends and family can expect to see throughout the day. Use simple words such as “We’re so glad you’re here”. You can also use a full order-of-the-day-style pallet to add a fun twist and unique twist. You may even be able to place your signs along the country roads leading up to your venue to point guests in the right direction.

Order of the day sign for wedding

Drinks on arrival

If travel is required between the ceremony and reception, it’s always nice to offer a refreshment to your wedding party upon arrival. Similarly, a drink (or two) post-ceremony if it’s all under one roof. That’s not forgetting a welcome drink for evening guest as well! A ‘Pimp Your Prosecco’ stand could be a unique addition to traditional fizz, or consider offering a unique cocktail to get the celebrations started.

Floral features

Does your wedding venue offer a particularly beautiful staircase, entrance or photography hot-spot that you can decorate with impressive flowers? What about a stand-out floral arch or impressive hanging floral display?


Cool canapés

Whether an in-house catering team provides your food on your big day, or you’re hiring in external caterers at your exclusive-use wedding venue, choose a selection of canapés to impress your guests and stave off their hunger.

Theme throughout

Most couples opt for a block colour or colour-combination scheme when it comes to a wedding theme, but why not have a theme to your wedding that means something to you both? Some suggestions could be travel, films, musicals, bands, pets, books, landmarks, fairytales and sports teams.

Outdoor fun

If your chosen venue offers beautiful countryside surroundings, it would be wrong not to take advantage of it. Think outdoor garden games, fun wedding photography, musical entertainment. If you want outdoor music, consider a string quartet, Irish band, harpist singers.

Exquisite food

Your guests will look forward to and remember the food at your wedding, so getting it spot on is important. At Bijou Wedding Venues, we offer couples a comprehensive choice of starter, main course and dessert menus to choose from ahead of the day.

Couples who want to make their banquet extra special can opt to customise a dish, or upgrade their menu to something even more spectacular for their friends and family to enjoy.

Wedding dinner


Planning any party or event requires time and communication to ensure perfection. The more you communicate with your venue and suppliers, the more seamless your day should run. Take time to think about your wedding plans in advance, before rushing into decisions that could cause upset later down the line.

Unforgettable entertainment

Whether you’ve chosen a romantic string quartet or a live band for the evening, your guests will be excited to find out what surprises you have planned. If you choose recommended suppliers that have worked at your venue before, your planning process may be a little bit easier. Try to give your suppliers, entertainers nd decorators as much insight so their estup goes smoothly.

Wow factor

If you were throwing a party at home, you may want to end the night with a memorable moment. Therefore, if your exclusive use wedding venue allows it, why not opt for a fireworks display? Or do as the Royals did and head off on your honeymoon in a fancy sports car the following morning.

Who are Bijou Weddings?

A collection of exclusive-use wedding venues located in Surrey, Hampshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, North Norfolk and Provence. Bijou Wedding Venues offers complete, discreet wedding planning support.

Visit bijouweddingvenues.co.uk to find out more.

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