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 your theme and what your friends and family can expect to see throughout the day. Simple words, such as “We’re so glad you’re here”, or a full order-of-the-day-style pallet can add a fun twist and be completely unique to your day. 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 you’re getting married in a church and travelling back to your chosen venue for your reception, it’s always nice to offer a refreshment to your wedding party upon arrival. Similarly, a drink (or two) post-ceremony if you’re getting married at the venue, not forgetting a welcome drink for evening guest. 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 (inside or out), entrance or photography hot-spot that you can decorate with impressive flowers? Or, how about using a stand-out floral arch or impressive hanging floral display?


Cool canapés

Whether an in-house catering team provides you with all of the food you’ll need for your day, or you’re hiring in external caterers at your exclusive-use wedding venue, choose a selection of canapés to impress your guests and get their pallets excited for the feast to come!

Theme throughout

Most couples opt for a block colour or colour-combination scheme when it comes to a wedding theme, but if you’re looking to wow your guests, perhaps introduce a theme to your wedding that means something to you both; travel, films, musicals, bands, pets, books, landmarks, fairytales and sport teams are just a few ideas to get your mind racing.

Outdoor fun

If you’re chosen venue offers beautiful countryside surroundings, it would be wrong not to take advantage of them, providing the weather is on your side. Think outdoor garden games, fun wedding photography, musical entertainment, such as a string quartet, Irish band, harpist singers, or even something interactive, like a photo booth.

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 in to decisions that could cause upset later down the line.

Unforgettable entertainment

Whether you’ve chosen a romantic string quartet to play as you walk down the aisle, a magician for your drinks reception, or a brilliant DJ or band in the evening, your guests will be excited to find out what surprises you have planned in the lead-up to your day. If you choose suppliers that have worked at your venue of choice before, your planning process may be a little bit easier.

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, head off on your honeymoon in a fancy sports car the following morning?

Who are Bijou Weddings?

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

Visit bijouweddingvenues.co.uk to find out more.

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