wedding co-ordinator

Congratulations - you're engaged! Now what?

So, you’ve just got engaged - congratulations! But now what? Once the initial shock and excitement have passed, you’ve phoned your nearest and dearest, and posted a photo of your ringed finger online, make sure that you take some time to enjoy that ‘just engaged’ feeling.

When you’re ready to start planning your wedding, you might be tempted to buy a dozen wedding magazines or go to wedding fairs straight away, and these can be great ways to get inspiration for your big day, but the first thing you need to do is have a realistic conversation with your fiance/fiancee about your budget. Do you have savings you intend to use, or are you going to set aside a certain amount each month from now on? Your finances will govern every decision you make for your wedding, so it’s important that you both know what your budget is, before you get carried away planning a lavish event that might not be realistic. If you’re going to have a save up for your wedding, try to work out how long it will take you to save a reasonable amount (bearing in mind weddings typically cost anything from £10,000 to £30,000!).

The next thing to consider is the guest list; start with the essential people who you definitely want to be there for the whole day, and see how many you have. Then create a second list of those who you would like to come to the evening reception, and see how many you have. You can always move people between the lists (they’ll never know!). If you end up with a very long list, have a good think about why you’re inviting certain people; do you actually like them or is it out of obligation? It is worth remembering that one of the easiest ways to save money on a wedding is to reduce the guest list!

You then need to think about the type of wedding you both want to have, and the time of year. Do you have a specific date or month in mind? Is your heart set on an outdoor wedding, a traditional church ceremony, a stately home or maybe a marquee in the garden? Is there a particular theme you want to incorporate, and therefore a specific type of venue that fits with this?

Once you have decided on the type/style/theme of your day, you can then consider potential venues. At this point you should think about key things that are personal to you that will affect your final decision, such as: how many people the venue can hold; is there accommodation onsite/nearby; can you have the ceremony and the reception there (if that’s what you want); what dates do they have available that suit the time of year you want; what are the menu choices; can you have a live band; etc…

Don’t forget, if you find any aspect of planning your wedding daunting, you don’t fancy trawling through lots of venue and supplier websites, or you simply don’t have time, you should consider hiring a wedding planner to do all the hard work for you. Yes, it will be an additional cost, but their experience and connections in the wedding industry may actually help save you money in the long run, and the stress it will alleviate from you is priceless, so it is worth thinking about. I offer a variety of planning services, from full wedding planning to partial planning, so you can pick and choose the areas you might need some extra help with.

Please get in touch to have an informal chat and find out more!

Caro Events at The Kent Wedding Centre

As some of you will know, I am part of The Kent Wedding Centre, but I thought I would explain a bit more about what that actually is.

The Kent Wedding Centre, very simply put, is your one-stop wedding shop, designed to make your wedding planning journey as easy as possible. They have over twenty different professional wedding suppliers (some award-winning!), covering everything you would need for your wedding, from florists, wedding attire, rings, photographers and wedding planners, to cake makers, videographers, photobooths, honeymoon specialists and caterers, plus many more, all of whom are specialists in their field.

Situated in a rural oast house at the business park behind the Hop Farm, The Kent Wedding Centre is spread out over two floors, with each supplier given their own area to showcase their products/skills. I have a showroom set up on the first floor, where you can see examples of the centrepieces and chair covers/sashes that I have to offer, as well as my unique backdrop and the props that are available to hire. There is also a consultation area, where we can discuss your wedding in detail and explore which of the planning and styling services that I offer may be the most suitable for you.

For me as a wedding planner it is the perfect place for me to meet with my wonderful clients (and potential clients!) to have a chat and get to know each other, so that I have a full understanding of what you want, and you can be sure you’ve picked the right person to help you plan the most special day of your lives.

The Centre is open Monday to Saturday, 9.30am to 5.00pm, so you can just pop in and have a look around, but I would recommend making an appointment to make sure that all the suppliers you want to talk to are there.

The Kent Wedding Centre really is the ideal place to start planning your dream day, with all the experts you could want under one roof! Get in touch to make an appointment to suit you.

My showroom at The Kent Wedding Centre

My showroom at The Kent Wedding Centre

Choosing your wedding venue...

When you start planning your wedding, one of the first things you’ll need to do is decide on your venue. You may already have your ideal venue in mind, but this may change depending on your guest list, your budget, your chosen theme/style, the time of year you want to get married and the venue’s availability.

Some of the things that you will want to think about before viewing any venues are:
     - Do you want the ceremony and reception at the same venue, or different ones?
     - If your budget is an issue, would you consider having a small ceremony with a larger reception? Could your venue accommodate this, or would you need two venues?
     - Do you want an indoor or outdoor wedding? Or do you want any outdoor space?
     - What theme are you having, and does the venue suit it?
     - Do you need accommodation onsite or nearby?
     - Would you prefer a dry-hire venue, where you can often have the day before to set up and the day after to take everything down? (In which case, you might want to consider hiring a wedding co-ordinator to liaise with all the suppliers, arrange the set up and make sure the day runs smoothly.)

When you’re viewing venues you’ll want to bear these things in mind:
     - Do they have in-house catering?
     - Can you use your own suppliers, or do you have to use their preferred/recommended suppliers?
     - Does the venue offer a package with everything included, such a cake, photographer and décor?
     - What exactly is included in the price?
     - Will the venue let you decorate it yourself, or do they require you to have insurance?
     - Does the venue allow live music?
     - Are fireworks permitted?
     - Logistically, how does the venue run on the day (including timings)? This is especially important if you’re having the ceremony and reception at the same venue, and they require time to turn the room around.
     - What is the back-up plan in the case of adverse weather?
     - Will a member of staff be present on the day? If so, who? Can you meet them?

Also, don’t forget to check the finer details, such as:
     - Can the suppliers set up the day before?
     - Can you use real candles?
     - Does the venue allow confetti?

Your guest list and budget will be the biggest deciding factors when choosing your venue, but there are so many different venues available for weddings, including churches, castles, stately homes, hotels, woodlands, tipis, barns, marquees, contemporary, traditional and historic venues, that you are sure to find something that will become the setting for your perfect day.

And don’t forget, if you need any help choosing a venue or planning/styling any aspect of your wedding, please get in touch to find out how I can help you!

Why should you hire an on-the-day wedding co-ordinator?

So, you’ve got engaged, and you’re starting to plan your wedding; here are some of the benefits of hiring an on-the-day wedding co-ordinator that you might want to consider:

-          We can meet you at the venue prior to your wedding to run through the schedule and layout for the day

-          You can benefit from our knowledge and experience in the industry, as we can take care of any last-minute details and ensure that nothing has been missed

-          You can spend the morning of your wedding enjoying getting ready etc., whilst we can be meeting and liaising with the suppliers and ensuring everything is ready for your special day

-          We can manage the running order for the day, so you relax and enjoy being with your guests without suddenly panicking that something needs to happen

-          Your parents, Maid/Matron of Honour and friends will also be able to relax, happy in the knowledge that someone else if on-hand to deal with any last-minute problems (they will thank you for this!)

-          This is a budget-friendly alternative to hiring a full wedding planner, and it still gives you complete control

-          Some venues provide an event coordinator, but they are usually the person who you liaise with at the venue to make arrangements and discuss timings for the day; they won’t necessarily be on-hand to contact the photographer if they’ve not arrived or let the band know when they need to start performing

-          If you are having a dry-hire venue, marquee or private residence wedding there will be no event coordinator provided by the venue, so we can help you bring everything together on the day

Hiring an on-the-day co-ordinator still gives you the full control of planning your wedding yourself, without having to deal with any of the stress on the day. After spending so much time (and money!) planning it, you should relax and enjoy your day, knowing that someone else is taking care of everything.

Get in touch with me today to discuss your upcoming wedding!