The World of Weddings

What a wonderful melting pot the modern wedding industry is.  Have you considered your land and outdoor spaces as the perfect wedding hosting location to sit alongside your glamping business?  You’d be forgiven for thinking that you might not “tick the wedding boxes” but you’d be surprised.  Today’s wedding market is all about less conventional spaces and places. I’m going to take you through a whistlestop tour of the major trends appreciated by today’s couples about to enter married life.

It’s Personal

Modern wedding celebrations are utterly personal and all about expressing the personalities of the couple marrying; the rule book, conventions and traditions are often set aside by today’s (largely millennial generation) couples. But just because they aren’t opting for receiving lines, top tables, or long photo sessions, it doesn’t mean that they don’t care – far from it, they are choosing to express themselves through lots of effort put into the elements that matter to them and show their tastes, passions and values. Modern couples want to have FUN with their wedding, help guests to know them just a little bit better and generally don’t take themselves too seriously.

Venue:  Hothorpe Hall & The Woodlands .  Photography:    Styling:

The Ceremony Shake Up

Only 27% of wedding ceremonies (in England and Wales) are now in church – wedding ceremonies in licensed venues are by far the most preferred and in lots of cases this allows the use of the outdoors with more and more gazebos, summer houses and al fresco structures being favoured for being outside as much as possible. The ‘all in one’ wedding where the entire day and often overnight is hosted in one location is by far the most desired.

Venue:  Hothorpe Hall & The Woodlands .  Photography:    Styling:

The Blank Canvas

You may think that you can’t host weddings if you don’t have any permanent build structures – you can think again. Whilst there are restrictions on legal licensing for actual wedding ceremonies, there is good business to be had by hosting ceremonies led by independent celebrants (non legal but growing in popularity with couples)  and more and more couples LOVE the idea of a blank canvas to host their dining and party. Tents and marquees (Stretch Tent, Tipi Tent, Sail Cloth Tents to name a few) are a huge growth area and the options infinite for the couple keen to personalise the interiors with décor, florals, furnishings and more.  And this is not the reserve of the luxury wedding; dressing, styling and attention to detail is vital to all weddings at all price points – customisation is a modern wedding essential.

Venue:  Hothorpe Hall & The Woodlands .  Photography:    Styling:

Making a Weekend of It

More and more couples choose to host a longer celebration with their wedding guests in 2018, picking relaxed authenticity where they can kick back and spend proper quality time with their nearest and dearest rather than rushing the celebration in just a few hours of one day. This is therefore a perfect combination in conjunction with glamping, allowing couples to do just that and have one big party for several days to their own brief in their own style and in the open air.  More and more venues are moving towards this model of offering weekend or multi-day hire to meet this demand.  It works particularly well if you do have some group spaces to help with the logistics of hosting multiple guests over multiple days but temporary structures in addition to your usual glamping accommodation can do the job.

Venue:  Hothorpe Hall & The Woodlands .  Photography:    Styling:

Going the Distance

The wedding market has shifted enormously in terms of its geographical outlook over recent years too.   Couples are much more focused on finding a venue and space that ticks their boxes and feels just right for them (this will always be an emotional purchase) than on necessarily keeping it local to home. They are often willing and keen to travel to find the right space and hosting their wedding 3 or more hours from their home is not unusual and destination weddings have been and continue to be huge whether that destination is the very popular France or Italy or Devon and Cornwall .  This means there is great opportunity for hosting locations to think bigger than being limited to a purely local market and to step up and really showcase what makes them quirky, unique and irresistible as a venue to appeal to those spot-on clients who will come from afar because they have what they want.

Venue:  Hothorpe Hall & The Woodlands .  Photography:


Modern couples are very savvy about all of their choices but particularly their food and drinks. The classic 3 course wedding breakfast meal is for many ‘out of favour’ and couples seek interactivity with their choices and a less formal dining experience.  Family style sharing platters, carving stations & themed food stations such as ‘build your burger’, ‘taste your taco’ are huge as is creating a festival style ambiance with vehicles, carts and pop-ups being highly desirable.  These are all options that naturally blend well with land-based celebrations where the outdoors is King!  It extends to drinks too with pop-up gin bars, rum stations and pimp your prosecco stands being very much in favour.

Venue:  Hothorpe Hall & The Woodlands .  Photography:

So there is lots of detailed research and planning to consider as to whether hosting weddings suits your land, your business and your personal goals and objectives but the wedding market is definitely ripe for more outdoor natural spaces to make its own for special celebrations.

By Kelly Chandler, Kelly Chandler Wedding Consulting


Photo of Kelly Chandler