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Planning a wedding - where to start?

So the excitement of the proposal has settled down and the questions from friends, family and colleagues move from “how did he propose?”, and “was it romantic?” to “when are you getting married?” and “what sort of wedding are you having?”.

For some, the options are overwhelming. There are so many options out there and so many images of the perfect wedding, that getting your head around what you want, and what will fit your budget, is really hard.

So where to start?

Many start by looking at venues, but with so many options on the market, this can lead to more confusion, and I think misses a vital first step.

Start with a conversation. Sit down with your betrothed and have an honest conversation about what you want. It’s really important that you find common ground for your Big Day. Discuss some key words. Formal or relaxed? Traditional or a little more contemporary? Big (over 100 people), medium (60-100) or small (up to 60). Elegant or bo-ho, muted colours or bold and bright? Formal photos or reportage? Exclusive use or a venue with other weddings on the same day? Band or dj? Swing band or ceilidh?

Before you look at venues, solidify what you’re looking for. For us, we had the mantra, good friends, good food and good music.

With that in mind, we were able to look at our venues and discount the ones that didn’t deliver what we were looking for, however beautiful they were. If they didn’t accept a band, they were out. If the food choices were uninspiring, they were out. If we couldn’t party past 11pm, they were out!

Little things make a difference. What does the price include? What time can we party until? What decorations do you have that we can use? Who sets up the room? Is there an event manager overseeing the day? Can staff move things from the ceremony room to the reception room? Do you have anywhere special for photos to be taken? What accommodation do you have for overnight guests? Do you have any strange rules? Can I use external caterers? Have naked candles? Do I have to commit to an evening meal too? Questions, questions, questions!

Understand your needs, and then finding a venue will be a lot easier.

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