I have had the brilliant scribbly pleasure of drawing some absolutely beautiful venues.
I’ve drawn everything from a couple riding a tandem up to a beautiful village church, to Tuscan villas, Town Halls, and some gorgeous stately homes. I only wish I had to go to each venue to draw it, and couldn’t rely on photographs! It would be such a lovely excuse to visit some amazing places, eat scones and drink tea in the grounds, whilst sat on a blanket, legs tucked under, drawing.
Aside from a couples’ portrait, a wedding venue illustration is one of my favourite things to include in wedding stationery. It sometimes gets featured in the invitation, giving the lucky guests a glimpse of the venue before the date itself. Most often, an illustrated venue features on the cover of the Order of Service for the day, with names and dates hand-written below, a memento for the bride and groom and their guests.
Sometimes they are included in a bespoke illustration, a wedding present or an anniversary present – an image integrated into the story of a couple, the place where they had one of their most important days.
To draw the venue, adding details of bricks and tiles, greenery, trees and grass is a contemplative process, and drawing one recently made me start to think about the importance of the venue.
Whilst searching for your venue often begins with the practicalities of budget and guest numbers, and religious choice, there is a part of the decision that is based on the more slippery characteristics of personality, character and atmosphere. I’ve seen advice state that you shouldn’t choose your dress before you have your wedding venue or venues. What clearer statement can there be that the venue sets the tone for every detail and decision that follows?
From beautiful country churches to Town Halls in the middle of the city, where you throw confetti joyfully to the bemusement of besuited passersby, a venue expresses what a couple wants from their day, whether that’s glamour and formality or the joy and celebration of a parents’ back garden. It remains there once your day is done; you can return year after year, walking the steps that you walked before. You may not have or want to wear your grandmothers’ wedding dress, but you can follow her steps down the aisle of your local church. Those echoes and memories are important.
The bricks and stones and trees of your venue hold the memories of your wedding day. Perhaps it will be the smell of the blossom at the same time of year, or passing by the outside steps from the top deck of the bus, or even the view from the gardens, the venue holds the ability to bring back memories of the day in a very physical way.
From setting the scene, to telling your guests what to expect, to holding your day and reflecting back the atmosphere and decisions you have made, to holding those memories in the stones of its walls, your wedding venue needs to be celebrated.