So the fun and excitement of getting engaged, flashing your ring and enjoying glass after glass of champagne to celebrate the fact that he has popped the question is over and it’s time to actually plan your wedding…..
WOW asked Natalie Berry of makemydaybeautiful for some insiders advice…..
‘When planning a wedding couples often ask what they should do first – select a wedding venue or decide on their wedding date and my answer is always the same; you can think about what time of year you might like to get married in but don’t pin the wedding date to anything more specific than that. The success of your wedding day will be more to do with the wedding venue that you select’
The reason for this of course is simple; a perfect wedding venue tends to get booked up quickly – with anything up to 2 years in advance being considered the norm. So, whilst your dream might be for a summer Saturday wedding it’s probably a lot of other couples dream too! This of course raises the question: why should you compromise your dream wedding date for your dream wedding venue? And the answer to this is simple; you don’t have to compromise and you will probably find some venue somewhere that can offer you that Summer Saturday BUT the venue will have that HOT DATE vacant for a reason. It’s likely that if you prioritize your wedding date over your wedding venue you will have to compromise on other aspects of your day. Exclusive use or having a separate space for every part of your day for example might have to be forsaken to achieve the wedding date that you want.
So how can you achieve the best of both worlds?
WOW has put together this 5-point guide to ensure that you do!
Step 1 – START EARLY
And by this WOW means as soon as you get engaged; this might not seem to be the most romantic response to the immortal words: ‘Will you marry me?’ but the sooner that you begin looking for your perfect wedding venue the likelier it will be that you will bag your perfect wedding date
Step 2 – DECIDE ON WHAT YOU WANT FROM YOUR WEDDING VENUE
This varies from couple to couple and is influenced by your tastes and ultimately your budget. But this is a list of the elements that WOW believes makes for the perfect wedding venue
- Exclusive use – in most cases this is the gold standard when selecting your perfect wedding venue. Just ask yourself do you really want to share any part of your day with strangers?
- Space – again this should be one of the ‘must have’ items when selecting your perfect wedding venue. Is there enough space for example to have drinks inside if it rains? Does the ceremony room have to be used for the wedding breakfast and perhaps even the evening reception? Consider the needs of your guests in relation to this one – will they be comfortable using the same space over and over again?
- Civil Ceremony license and/or a nearby Church for the ‘I DO’ bit! Again, WOW can’t stress enough how important it is to consider this element; Is the ceremony space large enough at your chosen wedding venue? Will it detract from the Civil Ceremony if the space has to be reused later on in the day (for the wedding breakfast for example)? Do you know about the requirements for getting married in a Church?
- Wedding Accommodation– not strictly a ‘must have’ but an element that has a huge impact on whether you achieve your perfect wedding dream. Getting ready is so much easier onsite for both you and your guests and nothing is nicer at the end of a very long day than rolling into bed at your dream wedding venue
- Support team – by which we mean the teams that provide the wedding day styling, the food and drink and all of the other elements that go into making your day perfect. Some wedding venues will have done all of the hard work for you by preselecting fabulous food and drink suppliers who they have worked with many times before and who the venue knows offer 5* service. Some will offer a wedding coordination service or use a freelance wedding planning service that they recommend that you use as well.
- And lastly….does the Wedding Venue look and feel right to you?
STEP 3 – DRAW UP A SHORTLIST OF PERFECT WEDDING VENUES
Using the pointers in step 2 as a guide draw up a shortlist of venues that tick all of the boxes and arrange to go and see them.
STEP 4 – KEEP AN OPEN MIND
So once you have selected the perfect wedding venue from your shortlist what do you do next? This is the point at which you need to consider setting the date. If your mind is set on a summer wedding weekend but all of the weekend wedding dates have gone, consider a mid-week wedding weekend instead or have a winter wedding weekend. The key consideration here is to think outside the box: who says that a wedding has to be on a Friday/Saturday or Sunday anyway – the Royal Family for example always get married on a Wednesday or Thursday!!
STEP 5 – DON’T DITHER!
Having found the perfect wedding venue and established a wedding date that is not booked then get cracking! Most wedding venues will hold a date for you for anything up to 2 weeks but within that period other couples will approach them so to bag your dream wedding date you do need to get cracking!!