Al fresco I Dos: What should we keep in mind before booking?

Wedding guests gathered outside Old Bridge to witness a wedding ceremony

We posed John Blake at Old Bridge the following question...

My fiance and I have just started looking for our dream wedding venue, and we’d like to get married outside. What should we keep in mind before booking?

John says: If you're thinking of an outside wedding, the first thing you'll be worried about is the weather. What if it's pouring with rain? Fear not, last minute change of plans can easily be accommodated. For example, we use our beautiful ceremony room in the Great Hall, which can seat up to 75. It also works the other way around! Earlier this year, we had a couple who were desperate to marry outside, but the weather didn't look good. Finally, the sun came out 30 minutes before the ceremony and we decided to go for it. So, do check that your venue can be flexible.

We have a great team of registrars here in Somerset and they're always accommodating so that ceremonies are happy and informal occasions. If we're outside, we generally put out a few seats for elderly and special guests, but most people are standing, which gives them a good view. Our brides can make the perfect entrance, through the gathered guests to join their spouse-to-be with the 16th-century manor house and gardens in the background. Welcome drinks can be served on the front lawn and celebrations can continue in our fabulous marquee... so what's there to stress about?

John Blake, www.old-bridge.co.uk

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