No couple wants to leave any aspect of their wedding to chance. The most romantic and memorable weddings don’t happen by accident, although with plenty of forethought and planning you can make it seem that way.
Choosing a Venue
Allocate plenty of time. It’s your stage and backdrop and a reflection of your personality; hence the venue is a crucial factor in how everyone will experience the day. Considerations include:
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- Size – it must be large enough to comfortably hold all your guests, but not so big that the ceremonies are swallowed up.
- Location – do you need somewhere close to your accommodation or travel links if guests are arriving from out of town?
- Services offered – does the location offer catering, and will they provide a stage for entertainment or a band? Is the venue secure, and can you close off your area from the public if you’re hiring just part of a larger venue?
- Cost – set a budget for the venue to narrow down or expand choices. This prevents wasting time on venues that are either unsuitable, under or over your limit.
- Style – If you have a specific theme or style of dress in mind, choosing a venue that matches your style will help create the right setting.
Organisation and Activity Flow
Make sure guests can move smoothly through the venue to follow your order of service. Plan where and how the following will happen:
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- Bride’s arrival – how will you lay out the room for the ceremony, and are there enough chairs or do you need extra? One idea is to have bridesmaids enter before the bride, or send flower girls in first to raise anticipation of the bride’s grand entrance.
- Confetti – does your venue allow it? Remember to check this if you want a traditional confetti moment as you leave.
- Photography – make sure the location is suitable for the kind of images you want in your wedding album. Prepare a shot list for your photographer so nothing important is missed.
- Plan routes – plan the routes through the venue and outside, and organise signage so guests know which way to go. This is especially important if it’s a large venue with a big guest list. Include timings and locations in your wedding literature, so that guests have the running order of the day in hand.
Special Big Day Effects
Get the ambiance right so that the mood, character and tone all blend together. Easy ways to achieve this include:
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- Dressing up doorways with flowers or expert lighting to create a grand entrance.
- Curtains of fairy lights as a backdrop for the top table at the wedding breakfast.
- Using background music to influence mood and emotion (get expert help if you’re running cables or setting up external sound systems).
- Have a dove release to symbolise the beginning of the bride and groom’s new life together.
Every perfect wedding rests on solid planning. Allow time, gather helpers, make plenty of to-do lists, and you’ll have a wedding day filled with warm and happy memories.
Submitted by: Judy Heminsley, Alistage Staging
Alistage manufactures, sells and hires stage systems, seating, and all the equipment needed for a special occasion or event.