So you’ve decided to get married and the thought of planning your day will either fill you with joy or possibly horror, either way along the way there will be moments when it can all feels a little daunting.
Our company Chives the Caterers have looked after over 1000 weddings & have the held the hands of as many couples throughout their planning & on the day itself. So here are a few words of advice which may just help to keep you nice and calm for the big day.
1 The date.
Obviously you need to have a rough date in mind but there is nothing worse than setting a date in stone then falling in love with a venue & it’s not available on the date you wanted. Or booking a venue & the church is booked. So ask the vicar & venues for available dates & you can always ask them to hold for a few dates whilst you make a final decision or see a few more venues.
If you have suppliers you know that are in your dream wedding team then, caterers, photographers, bands etc. Then again ask for their availability then you will find the date that all are hopefully free & that’s the date that was meant to be!
2. Venue hunting.
It’s like buying your first home, initially exciting then it can become a chore of driving and meetings & often having the same conversation at each one!
So be realistic about your numbers, budget & the kind of venue you really want, and limit the venues you view & give yourselves a time frame to look, if you leave it too long you will just get confused & run the risk of losing dates at what could turn out to be your preferred venue, It’s always a good idea to speak to photographers & caterers for advice, as they will know the venues inside & out, how they run on the day & the service you will be given by the venue, how flexible they are or how rigid, some venue will agree to lots of ideas at initial meetings and then reign you in , so get it all in writing before confirmation.
One essential point is even if you really like a venue but you don’t feel that you were made to feel important at your meeting then don’t book it, first impressions in this case are indicative of how much support you will be given throughout the months leading to the wedding, so walk away whilst you can.
Everyone has one, even if they say they don’t, at least an upper limit they are comfortable with. As I have said before, if the venue doesn’t work into your budget don’t stretch yourself.
We have couples who have spent 50% of their budget on the venue, so little left for the food, photographer, wine & cake etc...there are incredible venues for every budgets so find the one that works for you & don’t get yourself into debt that you will regret later.
If you can get some quotes from various suppliers before you choose your venue it will really help to keep your budget on track..
Church, registry office, civil ceremony at a venue or an independent celebrant,so many choices.
The beauty of an independent celebrant is that you can virtually get married anywhere, you just need to obtain your license at the registry office.
So should you find a venue that doesn’t have a premises license you can still have your ceremony there, so don’t rule it out before discussing with an independent celebrant. They will also write your very personal vows for you & include hand fasting & candle ceremonies.
The fun part… you will know when you find the right one, so go in with an open mind..just buy from a reputable shop, check their reviews, find out how many fittings are included, delivery dates etc.. & allow 6 months before your wedding to start looking.
But my big advice Do not starve before your fitting .. you have spent months planning your day and you want to enjoy in, eat the food you have lovingly chosen and not be uncomfortable all day.
ITS YOUR WEDDING….. so when you choose your menu, choose what you like.. if your caterer offers a tasting make the most of it, and make an informed choice, your food should is as equally important as the venue and memorable for all the right reasons.
Don’t offer a choice to your guests, trust me it will just be a major stress contributor. As well as chasing replies you will also be trying to get in menu choices & guests never remember them anyway! Whatever choices you offer there will still be dietary requirements not covered, so just ask for any dietary requirements on your invites & let your caterer cover them for you.
& if you have some food ideas, talk to your caterer & trust their advice, a menu can depend on the facilities available & many other factors so trust the experts!
If they’re not family & you don’t have a really good reason to invite them & you wouldn’t call them to spend a Saturday night out with them, DON’T INVITE THEM. Keep your guest list to the people you couldn’t dream of getting married without them..easy!
Oh the stress of a table plan, but it doesn’t have to be….
Check with your venue the sizes of their tables and if you can have a combination so that you can have tables of guests from 8-12, this will help that groups will naturally fall into numbers rather than trying to break them into 10’s for instance. If you have a few difficult guests to seat, just sit them all together, they will spend a couple of hours finding all about each where if you had put them a group of people who all know each other it will be harder for them to integrate.
When you have found a supplier you are really happy with , ask them for recommendations for all the others you need, we all work with so many suppliers that we can give you totally honest opinions, and we would only suggest people that we will know will help to build you dream team around you..
Try to limit suppliers as much as possible, for instance if you need to hire linen see if your caterer can organise it for you so you don’t have to worry about too many deliveries etc.. & chasing too many people.
If it does feel remotely stressful arrange a meeting with whoever is looking after you on eh day be it venue manager or caterer & either arrange a meetingor just a chat over the phone to talk through everything & let them help or reassure you all is on track.
& to finish, remember why you are doing this, it’s just about two people who love each other committing to spend their lives together, the rest is just a periphery so keep focused on what it’s all about & just enjoy