As one of the finest wedding venues in Wiltshire, Bishopstrow Hotel’s wedding concierge – Nicola Winslade, knows it all when it comes to planning a wedding. From decorations and food, to dresses and flowers and everything in between – she has dealt with it all. Check out Nicola’s top 10 tips on what to know before your big day…
1. Secure the ceremony and reception. If you are getting married away from the hotel, check availability for the wedding reception at the venue and availability for the ceremony at the church. Both might not be available.
2. Know your budget! It’s easy to create a long wish list but make sure you don’t end up disappointed. Make a list of costs against all of the things that you want and see if it matches your budget. If not, go through the day with your fiancé and decide what’s most important.
3. Know your numbers. Each venue has different capacities and it will be very hard to consider a venue without having a rough number of guests. Have an idea of the maximum and minimum numbers that you might have. Start a ‘yes’ and ‘maybe’ list and slot people into them.
4. Visit the venues together. It is impossible to truly imagine your wedding day at a venue without seeing it for yourselves. Make sure you go together, as choosing your venue should be a joint decision.
5. You must try the food. Most venues offer a complimentary tasting for your wedding breakfast to make sure that you are perfectly happy with what you have chosen. This way, you can taste exactly what you will have on your big day and can look forward to it that bit more!
6. Take out wedding insurance just in case! In the event of a cancellation or the venue being unable to accommodate your booking, you need to make sure you have a back-up.
7. Plan the timings. If you have a wedding coordinator, they should go through this with you and make sure that you don’t miss anything out like a welcome line into the reception of family or the first dance!
8. Accommodation for guests. Figure out how many guests are travelling quite far for your wedding. If there are a few, find out if there’s accommodation either at the venue or nearby. These guests are making a special effort to come so it’s always nice to give them some options.
9. Take your time! Planning your big day can be a challenge, so try not to get too stressed. Although it might not be easy, you should enjoy planning your day as you only get to do it once!
10. Try not to think about anyone else. You won’t make everyone happy – whether that is food choices or the dreaded table plan, but after all it’s your big day so make sure that you do what you feel happiest with.