budget

Top Tips for Choosing The Honeymoon

Choosing your honeymoon destination is hugely fun. It’s exciting because it’s the first trip you’ll take as a married couple! It’s also in many ways meant to be a trip of a lifetime. Something and somewhere you’ve probably never been to and may never go to again.

In short, it’s special.

But that said, there are no hard and fast rules about where you should go and what you should do. You don’t have to go to some far flung beach and sip cocktails under an umbrella for two weeks. Likewise don’t feel you have to trek through the Andes or go on safari to achieve that once in a lifetime vibe.

The crucial thing is to choose a destination or destinations that you both want to visit.

Here are some top tips to consider, but in the meantime, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me directly if you wish to chat about any aspect of your wedding planning and décor.

 

 

Make a List
Firstly, make a dream list of destinations you’d both love to see. Forget about budgets, time of the year and how far away these countries are. Just make the list and be sure to both contribute ideas to it. Once you have the wish list, you can then sit down and get more practical.

 

Budget
This might be a downer, but the fact is we ALL have a budget so bear this in mind after you’ve set out your wish list. Honeymoons are generally speaking meant to be a luxurious, pampering experience, which can be expensive. If you both desperately want to go to Vietnam for example but don’t have the budge to stay in 5 star hotels and go on escorted tours, then don’t strike it off the list, but be prepared to do it on a more backpacking approach. Also consider the time of year you are booking and if there are any seasonal sales to be had.

 

Time of Year
You might desperately want to go to Thailand for your honeymoon, but if its right in the rainy season, then you’d need to really think about whether you want to spend your time getting drenched? It doesn’t mean you can’t go, but it might mean having a short mini moon right after the wedding and then going on that big honeymoon later in the year.

 

Relax or Active?
Why not both. In the past, the idea of a honeymoon was that you went to one place and flopped. But now honeymoons are more and more combing destinations. For example, why not a safari, a city break and a final relax on a beach for a few days? There’s no reason you have to just pick one destination. You can combine lots into your honeymoon and end with a bit of relaxation, because while you’ll be on cloud 9 right after the wedding, you will eventually need time to relax too.

 

Tell the World You’re Newlyweds!
Finally, make sure you tell your travel agent or hotel you are newlyweds so you get all the little extras you deserve! And on check in at the airport, don’t forget to share your good news, who knows you might get upgraded!

The Pros and Cons of a New Year’s Eve Wedding

Getting married on New Years Eve (NYE) has a certain appeal to it. Think The Great Gatsby with opulence, champagne towers, glitter and even fireworks!

In short, it’s guaranteed to be a huge party that has the potential to be truly memorable and if that’s something you want for your wedding, then it is well worth considering it.

However, there are potential pitfalls, not least of which is a spiralling budget as costs will invariable be higher.

If you’d like to chat about this or any other aspect of your wedding day plans, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with me directly.

 

Pros

Family Will Be Off

Generally speaking friends and family will be off work for the festive season and most will also have New Year’s Day off too, which means you could have a relaxed brunch or lunch the following day with your guests.

 

Memorable Anniversary

It might sound ludicrous to you now, but after you’ve been married a few years, you might occasionally forget your anniversary. But if it coincides with NYE, then you’re likely never to forget it again, plus you’ll hopefully both be off work and free to celebrate every year.

 

There Will Be A Party Feel

Because it’s NYE, there will already be a huge sense of party in the air. You can expect your venue or hotel to be buzzing that evening with a high possibility of other functions or events going on, unless your venue is a bespoke location.

 

The Glam Factor

If you are a total bling, glitter bug, then getting hitched on NYE is the ideal day because you can take your passion to the max, more than any other time of the year!

 

Cons

More Expensive

Generally speaking most weddings on NYE will see a hike in costs. This includes venue hire, staff time for working on NYE, as well as other vendors.

 

Expectations are High

On NYE, there are expectation of a bigger bash, i.e. perhaps involving something like a fireworks display a midnight, special favours, décor or extras such as photobooths etc.? It is something to bear in mind and can add to the inflating of the budget

 

Long Standing Plans

At this time of year people can have long standing plans or even family traditions such as going away for NYE and that means it will be difficult for them to change it. Make sure to let them know well in advance or do a check of the key people before you book.

 

Losing the Bespoke Feel

Because it’s NYE your wedding will lose some of its personal identity as you’ll be sharing the day with another occasion. Even if your venue has a one wedding a day policy, there is likely to still be festivities of some sort which might distract from your wedding day.

 

Images via Pinterest 

 

 

Pros and Cons of a Restaurant Wedding Reception

Restaurant weddings have become increasingly popular in recent times. Ideal for smaller, more intimate wedding parties, this is also the perfect choice for foodies who want to make the most of their budget.

Look for restaurants that offer private dining spaces, flexible menus or indeed special tasting menus and somewhere that has a beautiful location to boot.

While the pros are obvious, there are of course some compromises to be made with this sort of wedding reception, however if you’re looking for something really different, then it’s well worth considering.

If you’d like to chat about this or any other aspect of your wedding day décor, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with me directly.

 

Pros

The Food

If you and your partner are major foodies, then of course, choosing a restaurant wedding is a no brainer. You can expect a superb level of food, as well as service to match. Wine choices will again be more varied and succinct with the food. Chat to your prospective restaurant about what they can offer in terms of even multiple course tasting menus and wine pairing for something really special.

 

Bespoke

While there is absolutely nothing wrong with the traditional hotel/ballroom style of wedding reception, a restaurant reception will automatically be something a little more special and unique. Of course it’s something that will have to fit with other considerations such as numbers, but you can be guaranteed a really bespoke experience.

 

Small Numbers

Speaking of numbers, this is a key deciding factor for whether or not you can have a restaurant style wedding. Generally speaking you’ll have to have smaller numbers then you would for a more traditional reception, so keep this in mind when considering your choice.

 

Maximise budge

If you’ve got a smaller budget to play, with a restaurant wedding means you can really make the most with it and get more bang for your buck so to speak. The food will be better, the service will be excellent and you can make more of a splash for smaller numbers.

 

 

 

Cons

No Band/Dancing

This might be a deal breaker for a lot of couples and generally speaking you won’t be able to have a band and dancefloor as you would with a traditional hotel style wedding. That said, if your restaurant has a private dining room option, check and see if they can accommodate you in some way. However overall, you’ll need to accept that the music and dancing will be absent or very different.

 

Decor

There won’t be as much scope for décor as there would with a more traditional wedding reception. Of course you can still ad you own touches, but these won’t be on the same scale as they normally would.

 

Accommodation

There won’t be accommodation attached to your restaurant, generally speaking, so this may cause problems for your guests in terms of where they will stay.

 

Location

Often, good restaurants tend to be located in urban areas, so if you want a country feel, this may not be the right option for you.

 

 

Clever Wedding Swaps

Getting married is one of those landmark occasions you only hope to celebrate once in your lifetime. It’s a special day and you want it to be perfect in every facet. However, weddings can be costly and many couples these days can be under the financial pressure to save for a home and their family’s future and may not be able to justify spending a huge amount on their wedding day.

But sticking to a budget, shouldn’t mean you still can’t have a super day filled with beautiful touches and style. There’s plenty of clever ways to get the biggest bang for your buck and keep to your budget.

If you’d like to chat about this or any other aspect of your wedding day décor, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me directly.

 

It’s all about timing

When it comes to weddings, timing is key and can lead to fantastic savings.

Consider getting married in the off peak season.

Get married on a weekday when demand is lower and deals are better.

If you can, trim down the guest list which will save massively on food and drinks.

Think about printing off your own invites, or embrace technology and email them out. Get rid of the rsvp have an email address.

Choose flowers and food that are in season to save on costs.

 

Décor

You don’t have to go OTT on the décor to make an impression. And if you a DIY lover, then this is your time to shine.

Use décor that you’ll use again in your home, such as lanterns and battery operated candles.

Go for simple centrepieces, such as mason jars, old wine bottles or vintage glassware upcycled with burlap, lace or glitter.

Raid the attic for vintage pieces such as gramophones, old suitcases, vintage books, old cameras and china that will make ideal centrepieces.

Go to antique auctions and find vintage gems like old typewriters or even weighing scales that will look stunning but cost a fraction of the price of brand new pieces.

Photos of the couple at different ages make ideal centrepieces, or if you’ve got a shared love of going to concerts, why not use you old ticket stubs or album covers too?

 

 

Sneaky Swaps

There are dozens of seemingly small swaps that are very clever and will make a massive difference to your overall budget.

Think about cupcakes instead of a lavish wedding cake, or if you’ve got a friend who’s a baker, rope them in too.

Opt for a BBQ or buffet style meal instead of a sit down meal

Have or two large menus on blackboards instead of menus for each place or table

Serve prosecco instead of champagne

Swap in greenery into the flowers

Use silk or synthetic flowers for your centrepieces or ask the groomsmen to take the pew ends and florals from the ceremony and use them for the reception.

 

Images via pinterest

 

 

Things To Consider When Picking Your Wedding Venue

Choosing your wedding venue is one of the most important factors in planning your big day. The moment you make that crucial decision, it feels as if the wedding is finally, really happening. It’s an exciting time, but it can also be stressful as you try to make the right choice for you as a couple.

There’s many factors you both need to consider before going ahead. Crucial issues like numbers, your budget and the theme you want to go for, will all have a major bearing on your final decision. But there are other elements to consider as well, such as the time of year, the venues proximity to your guests, does it have accommodation, are you are having the ceremony in the venue or in another location, does it have outdoor grounds you can avail of for photos, the catering situation and so on.

As an award-winning wedding planner, I can take the hassle out of much of this process and if you’d like to chat about how I can help plan all or part of your big day then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

In the meantime, here are some of the top considerations to keep in mind when choosing your wedding venue.

 

Number of Guests
While it’s impossible to have your extract final figures set in stone before you choose your wedding venue, the likelihood is you’ll have a pretty clear idea of roughly how many people you expect to attend. You may already know you’ll have something in the region of 200-300 guests for example and this will have a direct bearing on the sort of venue you can book. Think hotels with ballrooms and function rooms large enough to cater for this size of gathering. Alternatively, you may know that you want something small and intimate with just immediate family or friends. In this case you can include different sorts of venues such as restaurants into the mix.
guests

 

Your Budget
This, along with the number of guests you expect, is a crucial factor in deciding on your venue. You may have enough of a budget to go for an exclusive castle venue or 5 star hotel, or indeed you might only have enough of a budget for a quirky guesthouse or smaller hotel. Whatever your maximum budget is, try and stick to it as rigidly as you can, as costs can spiral. Hiring a wedding planner like myself is an ideal way to keep an eye on your costs, plus I can source incredible and unusual venues that will fit with your budget.
budget

 

Your Theme or Feel for the Day
This is another really important factor that should be right up there on your top list of considerations. If you’ve always wanted to have your wedding in a marquee for example, then there is no point going for a standard hotel package. Similar if you have your heart set on a glamorous ballroom style feel for your wedding, then going for a trendy barn venue is not going to work. In the end, you have to try and find the best venue that fulfils your vision for your wedding day. And while we may not all be able to afford an exclusive 5 star castle, there are plenty of private hire venues around the country which can give a similar feel for less. It’s about doing your research and again, this is where a wedding planner can come into their own as they have fantastic connections and can do much of this leg work for you.
theme

 

Accommodation and Location
Choosing a venue that has suitable accommodation either on site or close by is another very real factor to keep in mind as it can have a major impact on your guest’s ability to come to the wedding. Location is another key point as not everyone will be in a position to travel large distances.
location-2

 

The Time of Year
Finally, another really important point to keep in mind is the time of year you plant to get married. You may have your heart set on a glamping style wedding complete with yurts and outdoor music, but if you end up saying ‘I do’ in winter this may not be realistic. Similarly, that remote country venue in the mountains might not be a runner if it snows. While no-one can predict the weather, it’s a consideration worth keeping in mind,
time-of-year