When the thrill of your engagement has worn off, you’ll be faced with the business of planning your wedding. And weddings are big business. Whether you’ve got parents who can cover part of the bill or you’re having to pay for it all yourself, chances are you’re going to need to start saving as soon as possible. But don’t worry, when you’ve got something like a wedding to plan for, saving gets a whole lot easier. To begin with, open a basic bank account that you can keep separate for your wedding fund, that way you can see the figure growing and you’ll know what you can afford in terms of deposits and down payments, well in advance.
According to Weddingpath.co.uk, of all the decisions you’ll have to make concerning your wedding, the most important choice will be the venue. The venue is the most expensive element of a wedding and it will set the whole tone of the event. There are a number of things to consider before you make your decision, and so here are a few handy tips to help you make your mind up.
Reception and ceremony
Before anything else, you’ll first have to decide if you want two separate venues for the ceremony and the reception. For some, one venue will suffice, for example you could select a country house or reception centre with a garden or gazebo for a reception.
For others, a church will be necessary and for this group, the location of the church will impact the choice of the venue. It’s not practical to have either the bridal party or the guests having to drive across town, so it seems like a sensible choice to pick a venue that is near to the church.
We’ve already emphasised the importance of the right bank account for financing your wedding. After all, how much you’ve got to spend will determine the rest of the planning. You might want to invite 150 people, but your budget might only allow for a smaller venue that will only accommodate 90 people.
It’s best to set a realistic goal for your wedding. Come to terms with your budget and be happy with what you can afford. There’s no benefit from wishing you had more and it can be insensitive to the feelings of your partner and your parents.
So once you’ve got an idea of how much you’ve got to spend you can then decide whether you want a lavish party for a small group, or a more affordable event for a large group.
The date of your wedding will also determine where you might have the reception. A winter wedding would not be ideal in a garden setting, like wise a summer wedding would be lovely outdoors.
To save money, booking your wedding on a Friday can help, but it can also mean that less people will attend due to work commitments.
What ever you decide, it is always wise to book well in advance, to ensure you get the venue of your choosing.
There will generally be a larger amount of options for smaller weddings. For groups over 150, the choices get smaller simply because you’ll need a very large space to accommodate everyone.
For larger weddings, you’ll most likely have to choose from a hotel or marquee.
A smaller group can be accommodated in a smaller hall or country house, a mansion, a restaurant, a pub or even a boat.
If you want a band or some kind of entertainment at your wedding, you’ll need to make provision for this in your planning. There will need to be space for a band or a DJ, and facilities for them to use their equipment. An alternative would be to select a venue that has in-house entertainment already provided.
People don’t generally attend weddings for the good food. So from the beginning, it’s best not to set unrealistic expectations for the quality of the food you can offer, particularly for bigger weddings.
Historic venues, hotels, marquees and sports clubs usually have contracts with catering companies who have experience working within their kitchens and their space. If you’re not happy to use their recommended service suppliers, you’ll have to research your own and negotiate your own prices.
If food is a priority for you, then it might be wise to choose a restaurant or pub for your venue. These establishments understand food, and are more likely to be able to deliver a higher quality meal. However, the higher the quality, the more expensive it will be.
Choosing a venue for your wedding can be very stressful because it involves a lot of smaller decisions like what you can afford, who you can invite and where it will be. Once you’ve got your venue selected and booked in, you can take your time and enjoy planning the remaining details of your special day.
Reporting from London, William Masters is an in-demand journalist for topics of personal finance, lifestyle issues and healthcare.