Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Do’s & Don’ts of Wedding Venue Searching

The Do’s & Don’ts of Wedding Venue Searching
Finding the wedding venue is one of the first things that couples usually check off their wedding planning list and as it’s often where a lot of the budget goes.  It’s really important for you to make sure your venue lives up to everything you dreamed of and that you are able to do everything that you want there. In today’s post I’ve put together a few “Do’s” and “Don’ts” to help make finding your dream venue easier.
Happy Planning!
Joy x

Do begin with discussing this important starter question; Civil Ceremony, Church wedding or even a jet setting destination wedding. Knowing the kind of ceremony you want plays a big part in your venue choice.

Do decide if you’d like everything all in one place or how far you are willing to travel between venues. 

Venue: The Millennium Gallery Image Credit: S6 Photography

Don’t forget about that budget! Keep it mind and try to stick to it.
Do think about the kind of style you’re after. Is it big rustic barn, a boutique hotel, a stately home, an outdoor marquee or tipi or a blank canvas village hall?
Do ask about capacity, you might not know exactly how many guests you’d like to invite initially, but if that cute village hall only accommodates 50 and you’ve got roughly 70 guests in mind, you might need to reconsider.
Don’t rule out having your wedding day on a weekday or not during peak season. Some venues offer discount for these dates, which is perfect if you’re on a tighter budget.

Don’t forget about your guests, the day is of course about you but it’s good to keep in mind where people are traveling from and if it’s going to be easy for them to get to your chosen venue.

Do make sure you check out the parking situation. Is there enough room for all your guests and check if cars can be left over night?

Do get out there and see the venues for yourselves and get a feel for the place. Many venues hold wedding open days where you can see the venue all dressed to impress and also speak to other local wedding suppliers.
Don’t forget to find out about accommodation. Are there rooms available for you and your guests on site or are there hotels and B&Bs near by?
Do ask to see a full break down of costs. Make sure you know what is included in the price do you have to pay for any extras such as corkage, chairs and tables, crockery etc

Do consider hiring an on the day coordinator, certainly if your venue is a blank canvas such as a marquee or barn. The idea of dressing your venue hours before the wedding might seem feasible but and extra pair of hands will sure take the pressure off. It’s also someone to take control of the day, in the absence of a venue manager.

Don’t forget the weather! If you’re having an outdoor wedding do you have alternative options if the heavens open? Does your wedding venue offer the option of an outdoor ceremony if the sun is shining?
Do check out the venues recommended suppliers not only for inspiration and to help with your other planning stages but also find out if you are tied to using them.

Do find out who your point of contact is in the run up to and on the big day itself. It’s nice to know there’s someone at the end of the phone when you need them and also knows the ins and outs of your wedding when the day arrives.

Don’t assume you can do anything you like d├ęcor-wise. Make sure you find out what you can and can’t do. Some venues might not allow hanging decorations, candles or confetti so it’s worth asking about. 
Do ask about the venues policy on loud music and when the wedding has to end. *sob sob*
Finding your perfect wedding venue is a huge chunk of your wedding planning sorted and once you know when and where your big day is going to be you can really start to shape your day. After all that searching you might be quite worn out so I suggest sticking the kettle on, putting your feet up and giving yourselves a high five!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Ultimate Newly Engaged Checklist

Image Credit: Jose Villa for the The Mrs Box

The question has been asked, the ring is on your finger, you’re both over the moon and basking in love and overwhelming happiness and I should hope that some champagne was popped at some point too! That’s right, you’re engaged! But what next? To save you from slipping into a wedding planning whirlwind I’ve put together the ultimate checklist for newly engaged couples. From the fun and exciting to the sensible and practical, this is the go to list for when you’ve just said, “YES!”

Happy Planning!

Joy x

1.  Tell the World!

Once you’re over the shock and it’s sunk in that you’re getting married to your beau, there’s no doubt that you’ll want to tell the other loved ones in your lives’ too. Whether it’s a phone call, a surprise ‘we’re engaged’ card, a series of intimate celebrations or a big get together to celebrate, everyone will be overjoyed to hear your news! Be prepared to relive and tell your engagement story more than once. When, where, how? Did you cry? Did you know? Have you set a date…? Marriage is such a wonderful event that everyone will want to hear all the details. Embrace this moment and don’t feel pressured into making any decisions, this is your time. Enjoy it!

2.  The Rock

You’ll most likely find yourself very aware of your new engagement ring. Playing with it, checking its still there, staring at it as it twinkles in the sunlight and the talking with your hands will be taken to whole new level! First things first, a few practicalities... get it insured! Although it’s irreplaceable, it’s something that makes good practical sense if the worst was ever to happen. Also, make sure the ring fits. Brownie points if he got your size right! Re-sizing doesn’t take a lot of time at all and you’ll usually have your sparkler back within a week or so ready to show off! In the meantime, why not treat yourself to ­­a manicure or a luxurious hand cream? Those hands will be getting a lot of attention so who can say no to a spot of pampering?

3.  Dates for your Diary

In the very early stages of wedding planning there’s no immediate rush to set a date but it’s always good to have an idea of when you’d like your wedding to be. Do you fancy a Spring, Summer or maybe a Winter wedding? Are there any dates that are special to you both? Do you want a long or short engagement? It’s also worth noting that weddings out of season or on a weekday can often be cheaper than those on let’s say, a Saturday in August. 

Image Credit: A Creative Mint

4.  Money Talks

Ah, the budget! It plays a huge part in wedding planning so it’s best to get on to the subject of money nice and early! Initially you should think about how much you want to spend and how much you can realistically save in the time you have and also if any family members will be contributing. At this stage you won’t know exactly how much your bridal bouquet or wedding dress will be and that’s ok. If you know you only want to spend X amount then that’s the budget you’ll work to and you can split up the budget further along the line. Always add in a little extra as a contingency, as the day draws nearer there will be little things you may have forgotten to account for – stamps for wedding invitations is always one!

                5. Be Inspired

Perhaps one of the most exciting and overwhelming parts of planning a wedding is choosing a style or theme. With so much inspiration our there it can be hard to choose, especially if you find yourself open to a range of ideas. Before leaping into a sea of pin boards on Pinterest, I’d recommend looking a little closer to home, after all your wedding day should represent you as a couple. What kind of style are you drawn to already? Have you traveled together? Do enjoy a certain type of food? What are your favourite colours or Eras? Does your ideal wedding venue lend itself to a certain style? Once you’ve chatted through your initial thoughts and ideas, then resources like Pinterest and wedding blogs will be a great place for inspiration. Don’t get hung up on your wedding not having a precise theme, just keep a few words or colours in mind and it’ll all come together.

6.  Priorities in Check

Firstly, let me assure you that there is no need to do everything at once! That’s a sure fire way to end up in a wedding planning meltdown! Instead make a list of all the elements of a wedding… Venue, catering, Photographer, Dress, Flowers, Styling, Transport, Stationery... Then have a honest discussion about the things that mean the most to you and start at the top. Where are you willing to invest a little more of the budget, where might you do a spot of DIY or what might you leave out completely? Be sure to book key suppliers early on to avoid disappoint. Many wedding suppliers can book up a year in advance, so if that photographer is on the top of your wish list, make that your priority.

So there we have it, the ultimate checklist for newly engaged couples! I hope that it has made things a little less daunting for you! If you need any help at any stage during your wedding planning, you know where I am.

Friday, January 9, 2015

2014 Review / A year of incredible weddings / Unique Wedding Planning

2014 Review

2014 has been the most amazing year yet for Unique! 

From winning National Wedding Planner of the Year to dealing with the biggest wedding disaster turned success we've ever experienced!

We couldn't have done it without the support from some very talented suppliers and it always helps when you get to meet and work with such wonderful couples at the most stunning venues all year

Thanks for a really great year to everyone we've had the privilege of meeting