Feb 3 2009 By Chester Chronicle
ONCE you’ve got the nerve-wracking bit out of the way and you have exchanged your vows, it is time to celebrate your nuptials with the party to end all parties. But where do you begin when organising it?
Before you rush headlong into anything, take some time out to have a think about what kind of event you are looking to host.
If you are going for a small wedding of family and close friends, you need to make sure you find a suitably intimate venue and, by the same token, if you are inviting the world and his wife to share in your celebrations, then it is important to find a venue that is big enough to cope with a large number of guests.
Next, you need to decide what your event will involve. Do you want the venue to cater for everything, such as the wedding and the party afterwards as well? And do you want your guests to enjoy a formal sit-down meal or are you going for something more informal, such as a buffet? What entertainment will you be providing?
These are important issues to get right before you start looking at venues. Once you have established what you want, you can start doing your research.
The internet is a great tool for finding lots of venues in your area but make sure that you also try and get some feedback from people who have actually used a particular venue for their wedding. That way you know you’ll get the truth!
Even though you need to be practical and logical in your approach to finding the right venue, there is inevitably going to be an emotional reaction as well. You will know as soon as you arrive that you have found the perfect place to have your wedding. It will just feel right. As long as everything else seems to fit, then go with your gut feeling.
Before you commit to anything, make sure you ask plenty of questions. Think about the following:
Are there noise restrictions? In other words, will they permit a discotheque or band?
What are the set-up and clearing times?
What is the finish time?
Are you free to bring in your own choice of caterer, florist, decorator and other services? Most venues take commission from their preferred contractors – hence the preferred list that they recommend.
Are there decoration restrictions? Normally, this will involve restrictions on fixings in the building.
Are there any special conditions?
The venue’s answers to these questions will help to give you an idea of how flexible or otherwise it is. If you like what you hear, pay your deposit and sign a contract to make sure it is securely booked for the date of your choice.
Once you have decided on your venue, you need to look ahead to your event. The layout of the reception area – as well as the dining/dancing area – needs to be planned. It is a good idea to draw up a plan of the room so you can see where everything will go.
Sketch in the tables and dance floor. Draw in the bar and the serveries. Leave room for the stage, band PA and mixing desk. When these items are in place, sketch in the decorations and play around with the plan – all of the guests are equally important, so the positioning of the tables is everything.
Remember to make everyone, wherever they are sitting, feel extra special.