Plan­ning & Dé­cor

IN­VALU­ABLE AD­VICE FROM SOME­ONE WHO KNOWS EX­ACTLY WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE STAND­ING IN YOUR SHOES!

My Wedding - - CONTENTS - By Claire Moulds

‘The per­fect match’

How to find wed­ding sup­pli­ers who can turn your dream day into a re­al­ity.

Now you have a clear idea what you want your wed­ding day to be like it’s time to start search­ing for the per­fect lo­ca­tion. Since the venue will take up a large pro­por­tion of your bud­get, and pop­u­lar ones get booked up so far in ad­vance, it’s im­por­tant to fo­cus on this first, not least be­cause it will mean that you can then set the date!

Make ap­point­ments to visit all of the venues you’re in­ter­ested in and be sure to spend at least a few hours there. Don’t just look at the build­ing it­self … ob­serve how the staff be­have, how pro­fes­sional and on the ball the wed­ding co-or­di­na­tor is, and try and taste the food and drink. Ask if yours would be the only wed­ding there that day, where your pho­tos would be taken if the weather is bad, and what time the mu­sic has to stop in the evening. Try and see it when it’s set up for a real wed­ding so you can re­ally get a feel for how it would look on the day.

If the venue is also where you want to spend your first night to­gether as hus­band and wife make sure the bri­dal suite is re­served for you – don’t as­sume this will au­to­mat­i­cally hap­pen!

Now that the venue and date have been con­firmed, in­form ev­ery­one you in­tend to in­vite so that they can put it in their di­ary and book time off work if re­quired. It’s not im­per­a­tive to send out save the date cards; you can sim­ply phone and email every­body on your guest list. Make it as easy as pos­si­ble for those trav­el­ling a long way by send­ing them de­tails of air­ports, rail­way sta­tions, lo­cal taxi firms and a choice of ac­com­mo­da­tion to suit ev­ery bud­get.

My next pri­or­ity was book­ing the pho­tog­ra­pher. As your wed­ding pho­tos are your last­ing mem­ory of the day, they are ab­so­lutely worth in­vest­ing in but, as pho­tog­ra­phers can vary markedly in price, they can also make a big dent in your bud­get. Cer­tainly, at what­ever stage you book your pho­tog­ra­pher, it’s worth ask­ing to see al­bums of re­cent wed­dings they’ve shot at your venue so you can get a feel for how they use the space. It’s also im­por­tant to con­firm how much of the day they will cover - will they still be there to cap­ture your first dance to­gether?

When look­ing for sup­pli­ers don’t be afraid to pick the brains of fam­ily, friends and col­leagues who have re­cently mar­ried. Many brides shy away from this as they want their wed­ding to be com­pletely dif­fer­ent to any­one else’s. How­ever, if your friend has al­ready done the leg­work and found a florist who of­fers a good ser­vice for a fair price – and you loved the flow­ers at her wed­ding – it would be silly not to ask.

Re­search, re­search and more re­search is the key to find­ing good sup­pli­ers who re­ally un­der­stand your vi­sion and who you feel con­fi­dent work­ing with. Wed­dings of­ten at­tract a pre­mium, so ne­go­ti­ate on ev­ery­thing you or­der – if you can’t get a re­duc­tion on the price ask, for some­thing ex­tra to be thrown in for free!

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