Planning

7 Top Tips For Winning At Wedding Venue Booking

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You and your future other half met each other, got engaged and now you are faced with the exciting task of wedding planning.

Whether you were the one presenting the rock or the one receiving it; both of you will eventually agree a few months into wedding planning that, “that was the easy part”.

The question that everyone in your Bridal party will want to know as soon as they hear the glorious news is WHERE are you tying the knot? It’s the starting point of most wedding plans, and the place you will have etched in your memory for years to come… it is your wedding venue.

When you and your partner have some free time, put those feet up and think about a place that both of you will be happy with.

Here are some top tips to consider before putting that final tick beside any potential venue:

1. Budget

You are now aware that weddings can be expensive. It’s time to work out how much you want to spend on the venue alone?

Ask yourself is it worth being a little more frugal somewhere else so you can afford the perfect beach; or are you happy in your granny’s garden with some extra cash for your dress and catering?

Do lots of research and compare as many venues as you can.

Prices go up or down depending on what day of the week you are getting married as well as number of guests attending. Work out your prices per person and see if there are any special deals on for hiring a venue on a certain day of the week.

Keep an eye out for deals on voucher websites for discounts as you may get a local venue at a fraction of the normal cost.

Some people find getting married abroad saves money, but be prepared for only very close friends and family attending.

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2. Home or Away?

This can be a tricky one, especially if both parties are from two different countries but in most cases it comes down to a question of cost.

Some very good wedding packages can be affordable and provide a seamless transfer into ‘honeymoon’ for couples who simply stay where they are while the wedding party goes home after a few days of relaxation.

Weather can also influence a decision to go elsewhere and let’s face it, who doesn’t like guaranteed sun?

Apparently it’s tradition to have the wedding in the place where the bride is from and so long as the groom or other half is in total agreement, this can be a romantic choice for those who prefer a more traditional theme on their big day.

For any couple who find themselves with a large number of guests, staying close to home can seem like the less stressful option too.

3. What kind of venue?

Whether or not you decide to go home or away; the type of venue will also speak volumes about you as a couple. Its another way to symbolise what you’re all about and what you wish to share with those closest to you.

From Castles to decorated barn interiors, there are so many different options to choose from. What type of place says “hello this is us!” and can provide comfortable surroundings for you and your guests?

If you have a themed wedding with nature at its core theme then a forest or outdoor wedding is something you would probably consider in the Summer. The legalities are something you could check with your local council. Sometimes couples will go for a blessing at their chosen outdoor arena after a small legal ceremony the day before.

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4. What kind of ceremony?

Wow. You’ve made it to the ceremony…..well done! Now to keep everyone happy… or not?

This is the part that might be a bit tricky with the in-laws. Depending on your own beliefs and the religious beliefs of the in-laws and indeed the rest of the bridal party, you could find yourself potentially offending someone you’ve invited.

You are going to remember this day for the rest of your life. Do you really want to look back and regret not going with your own gut instinct? Just because the in-laws may dream of a traditional Church wedding doesn’t mean that should dominate the flavour of your day. It could cause some problems but really ask yourself at every step of wedding planning, ‘is this what I want?’

As long as you and your partner are agreed on what you both want, that’s the main thing. You can never keep everyone happy all the time.

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5. Alcohol

Corkage fees can be enough to stress out even the most chilled out of couples so be sure to check this vital information before signing any dotted line.

Most venues will provide alcoholic and non-alcoholic options to compliment any meal but if you have something very specific in mind, you should check if the venue can provide this for you.

Most guests look forward to their drink (no offence to the happy couple). It helps folks relax, mingle, dance and sing. Granted at times a little too much but that’s what memories are made of.

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6. Food….with any dietary requirements?

Can your venue provide the required food for you and the rest of your party?

Some guests with young children will need high chairs and the facilities to heat milk or maybe heat some mashed food. A quick double check this can be provided will save a potentially stressed out parent on the day.

If you want a traditional three course meal, that’s great; and it’s also what most guests expect. However, if you plan to have any major changes with tradition it’s maybe best to provide guests with a lovely snack when they arrive at the venue or put on a supper for those who have stayed on for your evening do.

People who party like party food. Make sure the venue can handle catering for your expected numbers.

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7. Music

Much like the themes you have picked for your ceremony, the music you pick for your ‘first dance’ and beyond into the evening is very much a personal thing.

If you are into music that could fall into anything other than a ‘normal’ category may need to be discussed and agreed with a venue first.

Some venues are very strict about finishing times for music so if you’re into dancing into the wee hours, make sure you’re allowed first!

Do you want to hear your uncle singing Beyonce on the karaoke? Fair enough. Do you want a string quartet that can also do jazz numbers? Again, totes up to you.

It’s your day!

By Debbie Pielou, Excalibur Press

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