As it will be one of the most expensive events in your life, make sure you ask all the right questions before you make your wedding bookings to ensure you get the day you’ve always dreamed of
Considered to be the most exciting part of planning your wedding, looking for the perfect dress will leave you with endless options
Arguably the venue is the first booking you will make and the size of the wedding you are planning is vital here – you need to find out if venues can accommodate all of your guests and whether there is a minimum number required in order to have the entire venue or only certain rooms/areas.
Make sure to ask if there will be any other events taking place on the same day and if there are there any restrictions on where you can have photographs taken.
Find out about your options regarding food – for example do they have in-house caterers and is there a charge if you want to bring in your own?
Accommodation is another key consideration, so ask if there is any for you and your guests if needed – and if there is somewhere for you to get ready on the day, as this will affect your transport requirements.
Check the venue can accommodate any other requirements you have such as a band, marquee or even fireworks if you want the day to go off with a bang!
Most importantly ask if you can see examples of other wedding work they have done. Other key questions include: Are they able to get the types of flowers you want for the time of year of your wedding? Will they be delivered to the venue or do you need to collect them? Will they come and dress the venue – and is your venue within their travel range?
To keep your displays looking perfect, ask what care the flowers need during the day and whether the bouquet needs to rest in water occasionally to keep it at its best.
If you want to save your bouquet after the event by having it dried, find out if they can provide an alternative bridal bouquet so you don’t have to throw yours and whether they can provide the drying service for you.
This is where you can have a bit of fun as you will need to have tastings to find the right cake – but check if this will cost any extra! Ask to see examples of cake-makers’ work and whether they have designs to choose from or if they offer a bespoke cake making service.
To cater for all your guests, see if you can mix and match sponge flavours across layers – and if you are having several layers or cup cakes ask if they will assemble the cake at the venue or if you need to pick it up, and also whether they supply a stand or if this is an additional cost?
Your wedding planner
If you decide to get a little extra help, some key questions to finding the right wedding planner for you will include: How many other weddings do they have on around the same time? What falls under their remit? Is there a fixed fee? Are they available to contact at any time, or only during certain hours? And will they be there on the day?
Considered to be the most exciting part of planning your wedding, looking for that perfect dress will leave you with endless options. Depending on your budget find out if the dressmakers you visit have set designs or if they can make something more bespoke for you.
Timing is important, so ask how long will it take to make. Financially, you will need to find out how many fittings are included in the price and whether that also applies to the bridesmaids’ dresses and any alternations that may be needed.
Practicalities include finding out if they will store the dress for you or whether you need to collect it as soon as it is ready, and what you need to take along to fittings with you.
It is important to find the right person to capture your day as they are responsible for the lasting images you will have.
Think about what style of coverage you want – traditional, reportage or both – and then find out if they suit your needs. Ask to see a portfolio of their previous work and find out what packages they have to choose from.
When it comes to the big day, check how long they will be at the wedding for – the whole day, just the ceremony, or will they stay for the first dance and the evening’s partying? Plus do they need your help organising group shots?
If you have already picked your venue, find out if they have taken photographs there before.
As there are now plenty of new ways to capture the day see if they offer any other services such as photobooths or video messages.
Also find out how will they supply the pictures for you to look at afterwards – CD, hard copies, online – and how long it will be before the pictures are ready to look at/order.
Once the ceremony and dinner is over, to make it a night to remember you will need to find the entertainment that will make your big day complete.
If you opt for a DJ ask if they have the style and playlist you require and whether they provide any other services such as lighting effects, as well as finding out how much space will they need. If you choose to hire a band make sure you can hear them play before you book them and request a CD you can listen to. If they are playing sets find out whether they provide music between them or if you need to organise this, as well as how long will they play for. It is also worth considering whether the band need somewhere to get ready at the venue.