You’ve finally found it… If you are planning your own wedding in 2016, you’ll be acutely aware of how costs can spiral out of control and unsure how to prioritise.
This super valuable information will keep you on the right track to creating the wedding of your dreams within your means!
This post will take you through the 9 elements you absolutely must get right, for a magical wedding in 2016. Once you’ve got these sorted you are well on the way to total wedding success… THE event your family and friends will be talking about for months and years to come!
1. Get Your Timeline Together
A wedding day is a long day, especially for your guests, many of whom will have travelled a long way to celebrate with you…
To ensure it is an enjoyable day for everyone, you’ll need to think about how you want to pace your day. Below are some guide times of how long things generally take at a typical wedding.
Your Essential Timeline Questions:
- How long is the longest journey a guest will have?
- Can you help make it shorter by providing them with accommodation, or a list of nearby hotels?
- If you’re not getting married at your reception venue, how long will it take everyone to get from the ceremony to the reception venue.
Top Tip: Giving gifts to your nearest and dearest during speeches is a lovely idea, but can take far more time that you imagine and could leave your other guests feeling detached. If you really want to give gifts during the event, you can organise a few friends to distribute. This will keep things flowing well for everyone.
Get to know your ‘Big 3’ and the rest will fall into place!
Depending on the kind of couple you are, you’ll prioritise these in different orders. ‘The Big 3’ are:
Your Venue • Your Food • Your Entertainment
You’ll need to allocate around least 50% of your budget to these 3 things. What’s most important to you?
Time and again, top professional planners tell us that venue and entertainment are always the most memorable things.
2. Find Your Perfect Venue. ***ONE OF YOUR BIG 3***
To find your perfect venue, you’ll need to decide on the type of feel you would like your day to have. Remember, this venue will likely be the backdrop to most of, if not all of your photographs.
From the blank canvas of a marquee or function room, a hotel with history to a rustic barn… there are so many beautiful places to choose from. Which reflects your personalities the best?
Finding out what sort of packages these venues offer. Sure, there are great deals to be had, but equally if you find a place that hasn’t hosted a wedding before, you could get an amazing deal! Is this a risk worth taking?
Your Essential Venue Questions:
- Are they licensed to hold a wedding ceremony / Are they within easy reach of your ceremony venue?
- How many guests will their main banqueting room hold and does this include space for a dance-floor or will the room require a ‘turn around’.
- Is there a curfew on music?
- Is there a sound / noise limiter? If yes, what is it set to?
- What size stage do they have?
- Do they have accommodation for you and your guests?
- What exactly will their ‘in-house’ planner help you with?
- Do they allow flexibility on choice of caterer?
A Beautiful ‘Warm All Year Round’ Barn Conversion In Hertfordshire. (As featured in this blog)
3. Choosing Your Caterer ***ONE OF YOUR BIG 3***
Where venues include catering as part of your wedding package, it’s important you understand what choices you have and if you are obligated to use their ‘in-house’ offer.
Another big cost saving is if your venue are prepared to let you provide your own supply of alcohol. It’s not uncommon for this to be ok, but beware of expensive corkage charges.
Where a venue / caterer offers tasting sessions, it’s a great sign. You should also be aware that where there is a bar far away from the dance-floor area, it can split the party up. If this is the case, your caterers / venue should be able to provide you with a bar made from trestle tables so you’re able to keep your guests in the party zone later on.
Your Essential Catering Questions:
- Will you have to pay corkage?
- Are there vegetarian options?
- Will they cater for allergies?
- Will they provide a bar near to the dance floor for the evening party?
4. Entertainment ***ONE OF YOUR BIG 3***
A performance just for you on your special day will create an amazing atmosphere, a load of fun, interaction and great memories that will last a lifetime.
Professional party bands who are focussed on you remove any risk, will look and sound fantastic!
All this fun will guarantee some amazing photos for you to treasure for years to come. So what will your band be able to provide you with?
Get total clarity on how to choose the music that is right for you.
See past the shine websites and find out the key differences between a amateur band and a professional party band who will give you a night to remember for all the right reasons.
Your Essential Entertainment Questions:
- Will you get a choice of band size?
- Will you be entertained by professional musicians?
- Will you band bring a great sound system you can use for music and speeches?
- Will you have options to upgrade the lighting?
- Can your band provide a DJ?
- Will your band be able to provide music for your ceremony, reception and dinner?
5. Wedding Party Wardrobe
From eBay to Bespoke Bridal Boutiques and Exclusive Tailors… Being savvy in this area is key to keeping you within budget.
The Bride & Ladies Dresses
There’s no doubt about it… It’s all about the Bride looking her best on the big day… Finding ‘The Dress’ could take a while, but with advice from the pros, you’ll be sure to find something that looks stunning and not break the bank. Getting extra value from your dress post wedding can be increasingly fashionable. Some Brides like to have a ‘Wreck The Dress’ photoshoot post wedding… Some like to have it altered and dyed, so they can use again in the future.
The Bridegroom and Groomsmen Suits
The options with the mens attire art broader. For a traditional wedding morning suit look, you will be able to hire suits from a number of high street stores. Perhaps having a suit made would be a good investment? After all… a well made tailored suit is a staple wardrobe piece that will last years. If you don’t want to hire for the men of the wedding party, you could simply gift them a waistcoat, tie or a flower for their buttonhole to denote their status on the day.
Young’s Wedding Suit Hire (as pictured)
A good photographer will capture you, your family and friends on one of the most memorable days of your life. Finding a good one is a matter of taste, so look for photographers who have a good portfolio online and go and meet them before you book. You should be able to choose from various options including more than one photographer, edited digital prints and edited physical prints. Your photographer should make you feel at ease, even if one or both of you don’t love the idea of having your photo taken. They will also take great shots of moments you miss. You can help your photographer out by investing in a band that will get people dancing and smiling and who will provide some good lighting for the evening. This will give you a great range of pictures as a result.
Benjamin Stuart Photography (as featured exclusively in this blog)
Flowers could play a very small or a huge part in your day, but one thing is almost guaranteed… A bouquet for the Bride! Beyond that… the sky is the limit. You’ll be able to use flowers sparingly to create a simple and elegant look for your bridesmaids and add a sparkle to the mens suits. Table decorations aren’t always necessary as centre pieces, and you may choose to invest in more lighting or other ‘props’ to decorate the tables. Avoid using bulky floral centre pieces that prohibit conversation across the tables!
Amie Bone (As featured in this blog)
Favours aren’t essential, but a small gift on each place setting at the tables is a lovely touch. These do not have to break the bank and might come in the form of some chocolate, a small candle… We once saw a couple who’s married name was ‘Apple’ use apples!
Don’t forget to account for Ceremony costs: Celebrant / Registrar / Vicar / Rabbi…
Wedding Rings and… Your Honeymoon!
Waste your money on compromise, it’s better to cut things out all together, so that you have are able to invest in the quality and memorable things that matter. You know what they say… “Buy cheap, buy twice” And in the case of a wedding, you won’t get a second chance.
...So What’s Next?
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