Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

hot topic: urban vs rural

September 20th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth

City - image by Mike Plunkett

Mike Plunkett Photography

It goes without saying that choosing your dream wedding venue is one of the first – and most important – decisions you’ll make when it comes to tying the knot.

And even before you hone in on different venues and draw up a wish list, the most basic of questions will need consideration: should you marry in the country or the city?

Both locations offer couples something unique; complementing your grander plans and priorities for the day – whether it’s unrivalled photo opportunities, ease of getting from the ceremony to the party after, or quite simply fitting with your overall theme.

For some brides, you may already have the perfect backdrop mapped out in your head, but for others who are undecided, we’re taking a closer look at the merits of both locations and the special qualities they could bring to your wedding celebrations. Which will you choose?

country charm

When you think of a country wedding, chances are you’ll think of a magnificent manor house, or even a castle with impressive sprawling grounds.

Country weddings are typically traditional, grand and offer exclusivity. And for the most regal of settings, they tend to come with a heftier price tag, too.

Country - image by Helen Russell Photography

Helen Russell Photography

If you’re after something classic, steeped in heritage and in complete contrast to your day-to-day lives, then this style of wedding offers a true fairytale moment and is perfect for couples after a touch of elegance and decadence.

The backdrop will require minimal effort on your part, with the venue decked out in the most pristine and classy of decors – think chandeliers, illustrious artwork, spellbinding staircases and balconies, and majestic furnishings. The surrounding estate (the stuff from period novels, no doubt) will offer the finest of photo opportunities too. What’s not to love?

Of course, there are other types of country weddings which have become increasingly on-trend in recent years. We’re talking about the country barn or tipi.

City - image by Bethany Whittaker

Bethany Whittaker Photography

The barn is another serene, stylish backdrop but it’s much more informal. You’re likely to have more freedom on how you decorate this space (candles, blossom trees and festoon lighting are just a few ideas we’ve seen recently) and you’ll probably be able to bring in your own catering – ice cream parlours, burger vans and street food pop-ups abound!

For something unconventional with an ethereal twist – the tipi is the venue du jour for the boho bride and groom. This is the ideal setting for outdoorsy types who want to break away from the traditional wedding day formula and do it their way, with bundles of rustic charm. We’ve seen everything from outdoors game tournaments to bake offs, and of course, mesmerising photos set within atmospheric woodlands and meadows.

Country - image by Shimma Photography

Shimma Photography

The down-side? The country wedding takes place in a rural, secluded spot and your guests may have to travel far to get to and from the venue. Local accommodation may be limited as well, so guests will need to be super-organised and book early.

Whatever your style or theme though – the country wedding comes in many captivating guises. And irrespective of the venue you choose, all you can really hope for on the day is some good British weather to top it all off!

city chic

The city wedding is brimming with cosmopolitan, contemporary vibes. It’s for the bride and groom who are forward thinking, pragmatic and modern in their outlook, looking to make a statement.

The hustle and bustle of the city might prove too much for some couples, but for the bride and groom who opt for an urban backdrop – the thrive on this hectic yet lavish location. And they don’t shy away from attention either. There’s also the added convenience it offers both them and their guests in terms of transport and accommodation on the day itself.

A city wedding can bring glamour and glitz by the bucket load with chic hotels and city landmarks – everything from maritime museums and art galleries to former warehouses, rooftop bars, breweries and zoos – providing your celebrations with an unconventional edge.

There might be limitations on how you can access and decorate these venues and some spaces may also need to remain open to the public, so it’s worth clarifying these points when you go for a show around.

City - image by 2 Ducks Galleries

2 Ducks Galleries

A city location can present unusual and iconic photo opportunities too. Suddenly the everyday becomes a stunning prop in your photo…crossing a busy road, standing in a doorway scribbled in graffiti or even the quirky architecture of the pub on the corner or a distant towering office block.

And if you’re choosing a city wedding, then chances are, the city in question holds special memories for you and your hubby-to-be, so why not go all-out and pay homage to this in your décor and theme for the day? From your table names and centre pieces to your welcome drink and favours – think of original ideas that will personalise the venue and help put your stamp on the day.

Country - image by Lucy G Photography

Lucy G Photography

Country and city weddings offer such a contrast to your celebrations, and within each location, there’s another myriad of choices to be made when selecting a specific venue. But like most things associated with your wedding planning, we’re pretty sure you’ll have a gut feeling what’s right for you and your fiancé. The key is to make whatever venue you choose your own, and make it the flawless backdrop for showcasing your personalities and sharing your special memories together with your loved ones. Country or city? You decide!

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