It’s time to find the venue, but before you start visiting venues and begin making your way to the numerous possibilities within a hundred miles, here are some suggestions to assist with narrowing your search.
Deciding on your budget before venturing out will avoid wasting time visiting venues that might not be suitable. Your budget should also help determine how many guests you can realistically invite and will assist with which venues to consider.
Does the venue have a chapel? Although not essential, it is convenient and saves time to have the ceremony and reception at the same place. Some venues have gorgeous grounds for a garden ceremony, but make sure there is a ‘plan B’ if you want an outdoors ceremony. The weather is one thing you can’t control and you need to know that there is an alternative should it rain on the day.
When choosing the setting for your reception, remember that this is about having your friends and family in one place to celebrate with you and so your venue should reflect your personalities as a couple. The venue and setting should be chosen based on the atmosphere and style you would like your wedding to have.
If your reception is more than an hour away from where the ceremony is being held and your guests cannot easily return home, you will also need to consider whether there is sufficient accommodation on the premises, or close by. At this point your wedding becomes a ‘destination wedding’ and entertainment for the weekend should be considered.
It’s important to find out what is included in the venue hire and the cost per person. Many venues will have a rate to hire the reception hall and charge per head for catering, while others may give an all-inclusive figure, incorporating venue, catering and services into a cost per person. Most often, the venue hire includes the use of tables, chairs, basic linen, cutlery and crockery; some may include chair covers or the use of specialised chairs and even a limited selection of décor. Don’t be shy to find out these details up front, as it will avoid unnecessary disappointment and blowing the budget. Remember to include drinks in your calculations.
The level of service you receive when being shown around a venue is usually indicative of what to expect on the day. Most venues will have staff on hand to show you around and answer questions but it’s advisable to make appointments to ensure they are available. Most importantly, be sure not to compromise when choosing your venue, as there are so many beautiful venues to choose from and your dream location is just waiting for you to discover.
The perfect dress. You may have spent your whole life dreaming about it or maybe now that you’ve said, “YES” you’ve only now thought about what it might look like. For you, this will be one of the most exciting parts of the planning process. So you start to look and quickly see the array of different styles, colours, materials, finishes and what style would suit my body type. It can all be overwhelming. But don’t worry these 10 tips you’ll be able to find the dress of your dream and not break the bank!
1. Venue First, Dress Second
Once you have picked the venue it is imported to take some time to take in the décor and design of each room. Take a moment to walk through and imagine yourself in your dress and what it might look like. Also, consider the time of year you are getting married, what will the weather be like? Take pictures of the venue as a reference for later. For example, you wouldn’t want a ballgown on a beach or a mini in an old castle in winter. Click here to see Types of Dresses.
2. Know Your Budget
Make a budget from the minimum you expect to spend to the maximum. This is most important as you now have a realistic view of what you want to get and what will make you happy. You now know which boutiques to view and you have a clear guide to get the consultants upon arrival. Your dream dress is waiting for you and it is at the right price and it will feel just right so take your time and enjoy the search. Don’t look at dresses outside your budget. Every bride has a budget and there is always a dress that we cannot afford.
Remember you are what makes the dress look beautiful, have patients and wait until you find the one.
3. Budget For Accessories
Accessories can add up so you need to include them in your budget. Be conscious as what you want as shoes, a veil, a sash, jewellery and a headpiece could cost as much as your gown. You have 2 options; you can leave money aside in your budget or you could rent them to save money if the dress means that much to you.
4. Figure Out Your Overall Look
When you imagine your wedding day how do you see it, how do you feel. Is it elegant, sophisticated, modern, vintage or romantic…etc? By thinking about this and finding the right feel, you are getting closer to what you want and what makes you happy. This is also valuable information for the consultants at the bridal boutique as it gives them a vision of how you imagine your dress to look.
Before you step foot in a bridal boutique do some research to make sure that you have an idea of what you want. Don’t get caught up on prices or where the dress is made just the style and shape. Start a Pinterest page for your favourite dresses so you can show the bridal consultants at your appointment.
6. Plan Ahead
Eight months before the big day is the recommended time frame to start the search. A boutique dress can take between 12 to 27 weeks to get in and then another 3 to 4 weeks for alterations. If you decide to have bridal photos taken that could take another month to have the dress cleaned.
7. Embrace Your Shape
Before you try any dresses on you should research what looks best for your figure. This will educate you on what dresses are right for you. You should also try some other silhouettes to be 100% certain you have made the right choice.
Number one rule, Buy The Right Size. Many brides get caught up on trying to fit into a certain size and they are left with a very uncomfortable day. This is one day you want to look and feel gorgeous from morning to night so it is key you purchase a gown that feels just right and you feel confident in because… Confidence Is Beautiful.
8. Trust The Consultants
Work with the consultants, let them show you a variety of gowns. They dress brides every single day. They have an eye for what works on different body types. Keep an open mind you may be surprised by what you end up falling in love with!
9. Bring Your Undergarments
Make sure you wear or bring the appropriate undergarments: strapless or long-line bra, your usual evening shapewear, modest underwear since Gowns are hard to get in and out of. And remember to bring high heels. Dresses look and feel different when you’re in bare feet. Also, remember someone will be helping you and seeing you in your underwear.
10. Limit Your Entourage
Have a select few family and friends went you go dress shopping. People that understand your vision. These people should be familiar with your daily personal style and will support you in your search and not push you out of your comfort zone or try to push their style or style wishes on you.