August 27, 2019
Firstly, why not download our full wedding checklist by clicking here? Planning a wedding can be daunting. From finding a venue to organising your seating plan – not to mention working out who sits next to who!
Here are just a few of our tips to help you get organised in the run up to your big day.
Set a realistic budget
Understanding and setting your budget from the outset will get you off to a great start. Do this as early as possible. Find out if family are willing to contribute, and if so, how much are they able to add to the kitty? Once you understand what you have in the wedding pot, you can start to prioritise the elements that are most important to you.
Our wedding budget calculator can help you to understand just how much of your budget you might need to allocate to each element of your wedding plan.
This is a big one! Before you get started it might be a good idea to sit down with your partner and discuss your approach. You’ll need to be brutal; it won’t be possible to invite everyone and trimming your guest list can cause arguments! Set your boundaries early on to minimise any conflict…
Once you’ve set your budget you’ll be able to calculate how much each guest is going to cost you. This should help you rationalise your decisions. Who should come for the entire day and who should you invite for just the evening? Does your entire Uni football team really need to be there?
The size of your guest list could also affect your choice of venue. Decide whether the guest list will dictate the choice of venue or whether the setting is more important to you.
Once you’ve decided on guest numbers create a database. Include contact details and RSVPs, plus ones and any other relevant information. This will help you easily keep track of everything; crucial when planning such an important and complicated event.
Book your venue
…as soon as possible! Don’t leave it any less than 12 months before the big day. Sought after venues are usually booked up well in advance. If you have somewhere specific in mind then contact them as soon as you can.
Check how many guests each venue can accommodate. Do they have a preferred suppliers list? Are you able to use the caterer of your choice or do they have a finite list of their own for you to choose from? Some venues charge additional fees for using outside caterers. It’s also possible that you’ll be charged corkage fees if you use an external bar supplier. The costs can mount up so make sure that you check everything out in advance to avoid nasty surprises down the line.
Create a list of standard questions that you want to ask each venue. Don’t forget to check their rules and regulations surrounding music – they may have a maximum decibel limit. Also check what time they will want your evening to come to a close. If you want to party long into the evening you won’t want an 11.30 call for last orders.
Also check guest accommodation on site. Your venue may have plenty of space that they can reserve for your guests. If not, they may have reciprocal arrangements in place with other local venues. If you want your guests to stay late then one site accommodation will be important to you, so make sure you do your research.
Book your entertainment
As with good venues, good entertainers get booked up well in advance too. There’s a huge choice of entertainment out there; from roaming bands to magicians, silhouette artists, professional pick pockets, DJ’s and bands.
Try to see your main entertainers perform. If you can’t get there in person then request videos. Most entertainers have promo videos and YouTube channels. Entertainment can make or break the evenings celebrations; don’t leave this one to the 11th hour or you’ll risk ending up with DJ Dave and his decks of doom on a fold out trestle table….
Meet the caterers
Don’t cut corners when it comes to food. There are lots of different caterers available, some specialise in weddings, some parties. Some have a standard set of menus while others are flexible and will create a bespoke menu to suit your needs.
The quality of caterer, the amount of involvement that they will have in the planning – and indeed running of the event on the night – will dictate costs. Meet with the caterers to discuss your plans. See if they listen carefully to what you want or if they try to steer you down a path that suits the services that they’d prefer to offer.
Book a tasting session. This way you can test the quality of both food and presentation. Good catering is not cheap, so make sure you’re happy. Once you’ve decided upon the menu that you like you’ll be able to get a cost per head.
As with so many other elements, the best caterers are usually booked up well in advance. Don’t delay, start making enquiries as soon as you can.
Download our free wedding checklist to find out more
We can only fit so much into one little blog, so why not download our full wedding checklist to get all of our hints and tips? You can also contact our offices to discuss a marquee wedding. We’ll be more than happy to provide no obligation quotations as well as details of other suppliers, such as caterers and bar companies.
Contact our team on 10372 459485 or email sales@inside-outside for more information.