Thank you for joining me again for more wedding planning tips. We are finishing the series with some excellent tips about booking your venue and all those little extra’s that are often forgotten about. Read on for loads of tips from letter V-Z.

V – VENUE – WEDDING VENUE MUST ASK QUESTIONS. If you’ve already booked your wedding venue then Congratulations! You’ve got one of your biggest planning jobs ticked off the list. If you are still looking then this is a good time of year to get it wrapped up before your chosen dates get booked up. But whichever category you fall into then this post is for you. I’m covering off some of the important questions you should be asking. Read on as these are often overlooked or forgotten about in the excitement of finding your dream venue.

1) WHAT DOES THE VENUE DO IN THE EVENT OF A POWER FAILURE? Yes that does actually happen!

2) HAVE THEY EVER HAD ANY PROBLEMS WITH INTERNET CONNECTION? Often DJ’s and bands need the internet and if you have 100 guests using their phones you need a reliable and strong connection.

3) WHAT WILL THEY DO IN THE EVENT OF ONE OF THEIR SUPPLIERS NOT DELIVERING? The last thing you want is the bar to be empty because their suppliers failed to turn up.

4) ARE THERE ANY PLANNED WORKS GOING ON AGEAD OF YOUR WEDDING (OR ON YOUR WEDDING DATE!)? No one wants the risk of works overrunning and ruining your day.

5) WHAT LEVEL OF PUBLIC LIABILITY INSURANCE DO THEY HAVE AND HAVE THEY EVER HAD TO USE IT?

If you can’t get the answers to these questions in your contract then make sure you get them in writing. Trying to prove you once had a conversation about something is almost impossible if you ever need to take action.

 

W – WEDDING PLANNER – DID SOMEONE SAY STRESS FREE?! Are you newly engaged or just starting out on your wedding journey? Or perhaps it’s the smaller details you are just starting to navigate? Whatever stage you are at, having a helping hand is never going to be a bad thing. But if you can’t quite work out if professional help is the right route to go down then have a read through the following statements.

1) I want to be in control of my wedding plans but there’s so much to do and I don’t know where to start.
2) I like the idea of the fun parts of wedding planning but my time is precious and I just don’t have enough of it for all of the ‘wedmin’.
3) I want my bridal party with us on our wedding day and not running around setting things up and dealing with last minute problems.
4) There are so many details to think about and I’m worried I might forget something important.

Any of them ring true? But isn’t a wedding planner an extravagant expense!?
There is a big myth that you would benefit more by putting the cost of a planner towards something ‘more physical’ like the venue or your bar bill. But why not have both?

As well as saving you lots of time and stress, planners have extensive networks of fabulous suppliers and great experience in managing budgets. So whilst it seems like an extra cost, in fact you may well end up getting more for your money than you would do without a planner.

 

X – EXTRA’s – Contingency is a word that can never be used often enough when it comes to planning your wedding. Professionals in the industry add contingency to everything, whether it be timelines, budgets or orders, and if you follow this rule you are less likely to come across those last minute panic moments.

I’d always recommend adding 10% onto your itemised budgeting, and when you are making orders for things like save the dates and invitations make sure you always have a some spare for anyone who you may add to your invite list. Food and drink is often one of the areas couples struggle with the most when knowing how much to order but again it’s something you probably want to add come contingency to. Having said that no one likes to spend money on things that go to waste. So be order savvy and speak to your suppliers about how they can be flexible with things like sale or return.

Being smart with your food choices can help for the budget conscious. Me and my husband weren’t sure whether to arrange evening food for our guests as we were having a late wedding breakfast. So we decided on croque monsieurs. If on the evening people were hungry then the venue would serve them to the guest, but if not they were easily stored for the following day and could be used for breakfast. It was a win win for everyone as nothing went to waste and our guests ended up with a free breakfast the following morning!

 

Y – YOU ONLY MARRY ONCE – YOU ONLY GET MARRIED ONCE RIGHT?! So make it count…… And making it count doesn’t mean pleasing everyone else. It’s about giving yourselves the wedding you’ve always wished for.

The other day I was chatting to a good friend of mine about her wedding. As she was telling me about her table centrepieces she started explaining to me why she was having something so ‘boring and simple’ but she said it in an almost apologetic way. To say I was shocked was an understatement. My immediate reaction was to stop her right there and tell her that her choices were not ‘boring’ as she had put it but personal and exactly as she wanted. It felt really important to get the message across that she absolutely did not have to explain her choices to anyone and her so called boring centrepieces were actually perfectly suited to the style of their day.

So, for all of you couples out there planning your fabulous weddings (or celebrations) please always remember to give yourself the day you’ve always wanted, choose the things that suit your style (and not what you think other people would want) and NEVER feel the need to explain your choices to anyone. I mean you only get married once right so make it yours and make it count.

 

Z – ZERO STRESS – Whether or not you have planned your entire wedding yourself or had the help of a wedding planner there has most likely been a mountain of effort put in to create your perfect day. And let’s not forget those meltdown moments and the last minute dash to get everything ready on time. It’s therefore no surprise that many of the couples I speak to are so anxious by the time their big day comes they find it difficult to switch off and really enjoy every moment of this momentous event.

One of my biggest pieces of advice to couples preparing for their wedding day is to hire some help. On day management is by no means the most profitable part of any planners business however it is by far the one service I would recommend if you are on a strict budget. Handing over the ropes to a professional means you will have someone to take care of everything on the day and will discretely manage any last minute hiccups without you even knowing.

Even better, if you agree things upfront your Wedding Co-ordinator will most likely be happy to step in a couple of weeks before and tie up any loose ends. There would of course be an additional charge for this however it allows you to relax and focus on getting pampered so you have zero stress in the run up to and on the day itself. An investment that is worth every penny after spending all those months creating your perfect day.


Thank you for taking the time to read through the final instalment in the A- series. If there are any other topics you want to hear about or have any questions about your wedding planning journey and would like the help of a professional get in contact.

Alana xx

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