You’re getting married. And at least you know that this may become a luxurious day. Down to the last detail, for the two of you as well as your family and friends. So you want to get married in a luxury setting and that’s why we’d like to share with you some tips for finding the perfect luxury wedding venue for your wedding day.
In doing so, we ourselves see luxury as “not necessarily necessary, but very nice”. Sure, you can also marry very basic, but since this is a unique day, you best enjoy it extra, right?
Very nice, that extra bit of luxury.
After all, a wedding day can be stressful. For example, because the various components take place at different locations (read: in the car from here to there) or because a lot has to be arranged in terms of sleeping accommodation. So what could be finer than having a wedding venue where (pretty much) anything is possible?
We took advantage of Vivian ter Huurne’s knowledge regarding luxury weddings. She is a wedding planner at The Bridesmaid and works primarily in the high-end scene. Her brides trust her completely in choosing great wedding venues and other vendors, and so she has a lot of experience organizing weddings that are done to perfection. We enjoy working closely with her and so she was the perfect person for additional tips. Take advantage of it!
Below we describe what a luxury wedding venue should be, to a greater or lesser extent.
1. An exclusive wedding venue, for you all alone
That exclusivity of a location is pretty magical. It is nice to be with an intimate group on your wedding day. Everyone you see is familiar and we ourselves often find that it is very nice to have the wedding location exclusively for yourself, because then you know for sure that you can use all the rooms. It also means you don’t have people sneaking up on your wedding ceremony from a distance. Or that, as a bride, you suddenly see another bride walking around.
At Landgoed Groot Warnsborn, for example, you can have the entire building to yourself. There will still be a hotel area, but this is a little ways away from the wedding venue. This allows you to be exclusive with your guests throughout the day.
2. Where fantastic staff walk around to serve you and the rest….
We notice ourselves that there is a lot of difference in terms of staff, at wedding venues. When a location employs regular people, you immediately notice the professionalism. Things are just “more finished”, the staff thinks along with you and you feel pampered. Often, the staff is also nice, both to you and your guests and, with a little luck, to the cooperating vendors.
A fixed point of contact
We also see that the more luxurious wedding venues have a permanent contact person who works closely with, for example, a wedding planner. For example, we worked with Vivian at The Roode Koper. This collaboration then ensures that everything runs smoothly in a way that takes the work of the bride and groom completely out of their hands. The person who attends your day is often also the person with whom you did all (or many) of the preliminary discussions.
Preliminary discussions with 1 person.
He or she knows exactly what you discussed and also knows your wishes. Vivian says: “I think it is important that my brides and grooms can visit a venue several times to discuss their wishes. This should not be limited because the venue thinks there is a maximum”.
We were pleasantly surprised when a location manager at The Duke called us to ask if we had any wishes as a supplier. We immediately discussed our needs for the artist’s meal and asked if there might be steps available for taking the group photo. Of course, they were thoughtful in everything!
Is it safe?
Vivian also indicates that there is a big difference between locations when it comes to knowledge of dietary needs and allergies. She says, “I sometimes experience guests sitting at the table and wanting to inquire about something regarding an allergy. A good location has staff who can answer the question 9 times out of 10. It is important to know what is in the food, so that you can then eat your food with peace of mind. Also, I always recommend that brides and grooms go for a tasting. Many venues offer a tasting dinner, so you already know what to expect.”
A good ratio
Anyway, Vivian believes that a really good wedding venue has a perfect balance between having enough staff to serve everyone, without having people standing around doing nothing. Dining where you have a regular person per two tables feels very nice and familiar.
3. A luxury wedding venue with beautiful surroundings.
Often couples also choose a location because of the surroundings. It may be that the approach route is beautiful, that the location is central, giving many guests a relatively short travel time, or that the location itself has, for example, a large garden and a characteristic building. Just the outside of a venue often reveals the style inside.
Each room its own style
It is very nice when a wedding venue has several rooms with their own style. For example, one moment you can be outside for the wedding ceremony and while this moment is going on, the venue can already create a toast and cake moment in another location. Without bothering you. Also think about the dinner: if you have a party afterwards it is nice to be able to do this in two different rooms. The DJ or band can already get set up and test the sound and you will not be bothered at all. It may also be that any evening guests (who were not there during the day) can already be received in a separate room.
And something that we, as photographers, then like is when there is a parking lot large enough for the number of guests that can attend, but at the same time out of sight. In fact, there are also locations where the parking lot is directly in view of the wedding ceremony. And you may not see that immediately as a guest, but you will as a bride and groom. In short: also something to think about ;)
4. A luxury wedding venue with great features
Well, of course we just talked about fine staff and location, but there are additional features that can make a location just that little bit more luxurious. For example, are there any bedrooms present? For yourselves, but also for your intimates or maybe even the whole guestlist? And if these bedrooms are not available, does the wedding venue have experience with nearby hotels where you can stay? We heard from Peter Bos, operations manager at Het Roode Koper that they have 36 hotel rooms, 2 villas and 2 suites of their own, but for larger events they also use (nearby luxury) venues with which they have a good collaboration.
Beautiful to photograph
And in terms of photography, is the changing room beautiful? Sometimes the wedding venue itself is beautiful, but the preparations are done in ugly conference rooms. Is it possible to have the bridal suite at your disposal early in the day? Or can your wedding day be scheduled so that all the preparations can start a little later in the day? For the pictures, it is not only more beautiful to have a photogenic place, but it is also nice for you yourself to be in a nice place.
Flexibility regarding the ceremony location
Many “high-end” wedding venues are flexible in terms of wedding setting: there is a Plan A and Plan B and sometimes even a Plan C. For example, when a day can be very changeable in terms of weather. Sometimes it is rainy, sometimes sunny, but there is also a third scenario where it is so sunny that it is almost too hot outside. Many locations have two settings ready or can change quickly. Vivian on this: “I think it is important that a location is flexible, but certainly never loses sight of the comfort for the guests. You stand for quality and therefore also ensure that this is always maintained”.
I think it almost goes without saying that a more luxurious wedding venue also has a fantastic kitchen. Still, it’s worth mentioning. We have been to venues such as Het Winselerhof, Het Roode Koper, De Kas and The Duke in recent years and the food looks wonderful. And the taste, oh la la!
What can make a day extra wonderful is when you can also bring in your own vendors. Some wedding venues necessarily want you to use their own staff for such things as the wedding cake, but sometimes you can bring in someone yourself for a sweet table or cake table. Because everyone has their own specialty of course ;)
We really recommend these luxury wedding venues
Het Winselerhof, because it is so beautifully situated in Limburg and you can eat fantastic food there.
Landgoed Het Roode Koper, because we don’t really know a more luxurious location.
Finley het Witte Huis, because how wonderful is it to be able to get married here right on the water?
Het Hulstkampgebouw with Maison van den Boer, a great location for large weddings in Rotterdam.
The Duke, when you want to be pampered with your own Butler, in Brabant.
And The Grand, because it is of course in itself a special location in Amsterdam.
And Vivian, of course, has tips for a luxury wedding venue as well
Parc Broekhuizen: exclusivity, beautiful rooms, a signature chef with 2 michelin stars and a unique and stylish interior, both of the rooms and all spaces.
De Loft: In a unique place where you can look out over Amsterdam, totally hip and happening and very stylishly decorated.
Kasteel de Hoogenweerth: a burgundian spot by the water in picturesque Maastricht, where you can even land a helicopter. Exclusivity is very much appropriate for this location.
One last tip…
We recommend a wedding planner in almost all cases. Especially in the event that you want to have a wedding day where you yourself are completely taken care of and so are your guests. Sure, it’s fun to hand over a few ceremonial tasks to “wedding staff,” but managing a wedding day can quickly be called work. So if you’re going for luxury, book a wedding planner. If you have any doubts about which topper might suit you, please let us know because we love to think with you. And in terms of wedding photography, you know where to find us too of course ;)