Being a newly engaged couple is such a wonderful time, filled with love, romance and dreams of the perfect wedding.

Once you have announced your engagement and popped the champagne, the planning can start and one of the first steps is to find a wedding venue and set a date. But with so many options this can be as daunting as it is exciting. Enjoy the challenge; ask yourself, what type of wedding will most represent you as a couple. Romantically rustic to chic and contemporary, intimate affairs to grand receptions, there is no right or wrong, only what is best for you.

I have photographed hundreds of wedding venues in Berkshire and I know just how fortunate I am to be surrounded by so many amazing venues. Here are my top tips for choosing the dream venue for your big day: What theme do you want for your day, think of the style and the kind of atmosphere you wish to create. The venue is the canvas on which you can build your theme. Speak to the venue’s wedding planning team and listen to their suggestions that have a wealth of experience.

The size of the venue is important, how many guests will you invite, is the venue the right size; not too small not too big. How will the venue cater for your guests and the size of your party. The date, what time of the year are you planning on getting married? Book as early as possible to ensure you get the date you want. But remember whether summer or not, this is England and you never know, so in case of rain, are there inside areas where group shots can be taken or covered areas outside.

Attend a wedding fair, most venues will have regular wedding fairs and open days where you can see the venue prepared for a wedding day. This can be very helpful in visualising the day and seeing what you like and don’t like including seating plans. You will be able to meet many of the wedding suppliers in one visit who can provide you with insights and great advice.

Above all remember to enjoy this special time in your life together, visit the venue as many times as you need to feel comfortable, the big day may seem like a dream and a long time away, but it will be here before you know it!

Barns and Brides- A Winning Combination

Barns are a wonderful choice for a venue, bursting with personality, each one has unique touches and features, and with high ceilings they offer a fantastic space to build your theme and create a wedding that fully reflects your personalities and wedding vision. Barns really do look amazing when they are decorated for weddings; with a combination of charm and character whilst also being a blank canvas on which you can be creative and add your unique touch. One of the special parts of a Barn wedding is the atmosphere that builds with having everyone under one roof. It is also an important factor that Barns do not operate as hotels. The wedding team in charge is entirely focused on making sure your wedding runs perfectly. You and your guests will not be sharing the venue with their other customers.

Lillibrooke Manor in Maidenhead is an amazing Barn wedding venue and one of my personal favourites. With high ceilings and traditional beams, natural walls and floors with a neutral colour scheme, it has all those special features you want in a wedding barn. There are plenty of outside spaces, wonderful countryside and farmhouse back drop with beautiful gardens, courtyard, as well as a large indoor space with amazing light for rainy days. There are a variety of fantastic options to shoot in any weather conditions. This is what makes Lillilbooke Manor such an incredible wedding venue at any time of the year. Being in such a wonderful rural setting it embraces the environment and provides a true sense of the seasons.

The best wedding photographers should have both the technical training and practical knowledge to be able to take stunning photos and get a great result in any location and weather conditions. However, photographers are artists and will create better images when working in inspiring environments, offering better light and backdrops with exquisite indoor and outdoor spaces that mould the artwork. The more amazing the venue the more amazing the pictures! It’s your day, so make it truly memorable.